Our Twin Cities rap roundup returns this month with 10 new songs that show Minneapolis and St. Paul hip-hop is in good shape to start the spring.
Bones & Beeker ft. Brother Ali—“Elevate”
Album: Inside a Different Mind EP
Label: Wax Poetic Records
In 2015, Bones & Beeker released their self-titled debut album, featuring what would become their most popular song by a considerable margin, “Heartbroken in Love.” Last week, the duo of Anthony Newes and BK-One followed up that album with a remix EP, and the “Heartbroken in Love” re-edit is a gem. Brother Ali (for whom BK-One DJed from 2000 to 2010) comes through with a characteristically warm, thoughtful cameo.
Dessa—“5 out of 6”
Label: Doomtree Records
Dessa’s long-awaited new album, Chime, is another full-length demonstration of the Doomtree polymath’s versatility. The relative straightforwardness of “5 out of 6” is part of what makes that track an album highlight; it’s always good to hear Dessa just rap, which she does plenty of here, in addition to the explosive chorus. Read City Pages music editor Keith Harris’ Chime review here. Dessa headlines the First Avenue Mainroom on Friday.
Destiny Roberts—“The Jungle”
Label: 3rdworld Music Entertainment
“The Jungle” is a breakthrough for St. Paul’s Destiny Roberts, quickly accumulating strong streaming numbers and even making it as far as Pitchfork’s “What’s Good.” playlist. Roberts gravitates to neo-soul some of the time, but “The Jungle” shows her in straight-up rap mode, confident and animated.
El’ Robbo ft. FBG Duck—“Like This”
St. Paul’s El’ Robbo was able to secure a feature from Chicago’s on-fire FBG Duck, whose bludgeoning recent track “Slide” has rapidly totaled 10 million views and hundreds of thousands of streams. But propelled by an efficient chorus, “Like This,” whose video is already approaching 100,000 views, might’ve become Robbo’s most popular song yet even without Duck’s verse.
King Day—“Uhh Huhh”
King Day is fairly new on the Twin Cities street rap scene, and judging by “Uhh Huhh,” he definitely has promise. It’s a raw, blunt street banger that reminds me a little of Pittsburgh rapper and T.I. associate Hardo.
La Foo—“No Hook”
“No Hook” is my introduction to the intriguing young street rapper La Foo; I’ll be paying attention to him going forward. “No Hook” does what a rap song with that title is supposed to do. La Foo builds up uninterrupted momentum with an emphatic flow—no need for a hook.
Metasota manages to rap with craftsman-like precision and make it look easy. It might be his greatest gift, and “Gone Home,” my favorite of the three new songs Meta casually uploaded to SoundCloud last month, takes barely a minute and a half to prove how effective that gift can be.
Muja Messiah ft. Pilot Jonny—“I Didn’t Mean 2 Make Your Girl Laugh”
Album: MPLS Massacre Vol. 2
When we talked to Muja Messiah last fall, he was gearing up to release his MPLS Massacre Vol. 2 EP. He ultimately turned it into a full-length mixtape, dropping the project last week. The hilariously titled, supremely sarcastic “I Didn’t Mean 2 Make Your Girl Laugh” is a meeting of a Minneapolis trio: Muja and Pilot Jonny, plus Metasota on the beat. It’s my favorite song from my favorite Minnesota project of the year. Listen to it here.
Rey Gordo and Rich Garvey—“Elevate”
Rey Gordo and Rich Garvey’s “Elevate” is languid and loose like a Curren$y song—a thought I had even before I heard Garvey actually mention Curren$y in his verse here. But while the song feels laid back on the whole, Gordo (who’s a member of the Free Lunch Crew) and Garvey both impress by rapping with energetic focus.
Rz Shahid ft. Kaleem the Dream—“I Need”
On the smooth, smoked-out “I Need”—their first song together—Minneapolis’ Rz Shahid and St. Paul’s Kaleem the Dream instantly establish their chemistry over producer Bliss’ beat. Kaleem has been on a roll recently, releasing the solid single “My Calling” and guesting on new songs by Why Khaliq and Juice Lord.