Hottest Summer Picks: 2016-2019

The spring, fall and winter seasons all come bearing really good music and smooth transitions by artists from there experimental origins to being on the cusp of international fame , but it’s the summer that rests on all of our minds throughout the year. Through the almost unbearable heat and with cold drinks in hand, we surf the underground for what we know is to come. Whether it was Playboi Carti’s notorious run through what is often considered Soundcloud’s most memorable year, or 6ix9ine’s breakout alongside Trippie Redd, the summers have given us good music even if we’ve grown to dislike the artist entirely. Though we couldn’t list every memorable project, here’s a look back at some of the best of previous summers:

Lucki is obviously the first to name on the list, having released Freewave 2, which is without a doubt a masterpiece. Taking a different approach than he did to it’s predecessor Freewave, he embraced production of the next era of hit makers like TayMasterChef and Lil Voe, wrapping it all in the clever rework of Nirvana’s cover. Freewave 2 will be remembered as a perfect lead up to his breakout project Freewave 3.

Sahbabii is an outlier of this list, but that’s not a bad thing whatsoever. He embraces the unique and kiddish style of the underground’s youth but caters to adults with wordplay that’ll make anyone run his songs back to make sure they heard him correctly. Sandas is so good of a tape that it’s standout single Pull Up Wit Ah Stick was remixed and rumored to be touched up by Drake himself. The remastered version is what you’ll hear played more often than not, but the original, even with its quality shortcomings, sounds just as good and leaves an impression.

In the middle of summer, which might just be the best time for a release, Playboi Carti dropped what I (and most of the underground) had pretty much already been listening to months before it’s actual release, and it’s finalized version still somehow exceeded everything I had prepared myself for. The opening track Location to his self-titled project was a tell-all, a gesture from he and Harry Fraud to come along with him through an audio odyssey they would never forget. Of course things only got better from that point, with his breakout hit Magnolia and fan favorite and Uzi featured wokuplikethis* serving as a catalyst to his bee-line to stardom. Now with WLR on the horizon and Die Lit serving as a worthy follow up, we can only guess which leaks are legit and what else he may have up his sleeve for us.


Witnessing Duwap Kaine‘s rise from A Stove to being on the receiving end of Lil Yachty’s praise has been a privilege to say the least. You’ll rarely find a natural mix of simplicity and nostalgia, but Duwap makes it all look easily replicable. The short and simple production, addicting hooks and confident tone behind his words continues to hold his 2017 classic Forever Kaine in the underground’s favor. Despite whatever is next for the Savannah prodigy, this project will remain a pillar to his success.

Nolanberollin‘s position as something an underground elder became evident years ago, but the lead up to his project Glocks In The Summer Vol. 2 was filled with an unprecedented level of anticipation and uncertainty. But with all the pressure to please his unsatisfied fans, Nolan released what is now undoubtedly considered some of his most polished work. Though it may be overshadowed by Superbeanman and eventually Ultrabeanman as well, Glocks In the Summer Vol. 2 holds a special place in the hearts of fans of his trendy references in tracks like Bitcoin and Nerd Thug. We called Nolan’s bluff about taking it down, but sure enough after only a few days the project was swiped from our hands. You can still find the songs scattered around the internet though if you look (YouTube) in the right places.

Just a year ago, Young Nudy made a pivotal move with the release of Slimeball 3, a phenomenal chapter to the now three part series. At the onset of it’s release, rumors of another project with Pierre surfaced, and not long after that there was talk of another album but little was known about it. That left fans in the dark about what to expect from Slimeball 3. To our surprise Pierre didn’t make an appearance on it, but the production from the lines



This summer has been surprisingly quiet, at least that’s the case when you compare to the others, but Yung Bans ended that with the release of his debut project Misunderstood. Let’s be clear, the tape is undeniably good, so good that it managed to silence a lot of the jokes and knit picking on Twitter and landing in the Top 10 on Apple Music. But regardless of what nay sayers and the numbers say, Bans outperforming the majority of his own features is something we have to respect. The elevating melodies he and Lil Tjay compare in Touch The Stars, his confident solo in I Don’t Even Crip and everything in between will take Misunderstood and Bans himself international.