Sunday, March 21, 2010

Givin' Y'all Nothin' But the Lick Like Two Broads

With "hip hop" like Soulja Boy and Black Eyed Peas dominating the airwaves, it's easy to agree with doomsayers that hip hop is dead. Just as there exists a thriving world of exciting indie underneath the nauseating Nickelbacks and Lifehouses of the world, so is there a mind-bending underground hip hop movement beneath the mindless bling-bling bullshit. There's the fairly well-known artists like MF DOOM, Atmosphere, Brother Ali, and Immortal Technique, but that's just the beginning. To assume that that's the extent of underground hip hop would be to assume that The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, and The Strokes are the extent of indie.

I'll begin to scratch the surface of what the underground hip hop scene has to offer: Columbus-based rapper/poet Illogic is one particular compelling act who blends Saul Williams-esque lyricism with ambient-leaning production. iCON the Mic King is another interesting MC who exudes arrogance and has a swagger that rivals Weezy, and in Dwayne Michael Carter fashion, iCON offers head-scratching non-sequiturs and "did he just say that" quotables. The underground equivalent of Young Money, the QN5 crew includes the slick-tongued Tonedeff and the dirty south trio CunninLynguists, which features the remarkable production of Kno (who might be best known for his efforts in remixing Jigga's The Black Album). There's far more where this came from, but these exceptional musicians should hold you over for now.

Please comment if you would like more of an artist mentioned in this post or would be interesting in some follow-up posts on the underground hip hop scene. Enjoy.

Illogic: "Perfect Storm" [alt]
Mr. SOS: "We R the Champions Freestyle" [alt]
iCON the Mic King: "Iron Will" [alt]
CunninLynguists: "616 Rewind (feat. Tonedeff, Sankofa, Kashal-Tee & Celph-Titled) [alt]


Anonymous said...

Can you elaborate on how QN5 is the "underground equivalent of Young Money"?

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