The past month didn’t fail to provide even more quality new Twin Cities rap. Check out City Pages’ 10 favorite new local rap songs.
Cram Ft. Nazeem -- “Trap Van Gogh”
Album: Prolly Bathwater
The members of Minneapolis group Cram share plenty of chemistry and generate just as much energy. On “Trap Van Gogh,” the third single from Cram’s Prolly Bathwater EP, their guest, Minneapolis’ Nazeem, is a perfect further complement.
DB Tha Rasta -- “Bodak Yellow (Remix)”
Album: Jackin 4 Beatz 4
There have been so many remixes of Cardi B’s world-conquering “Bodak Yellow” it takes a lot to stand out from the rest, but that’s what St. Paul’s DB Tha Rasta accomplishes here. He keeps the song’s momentum going with a variety of flow changes, and in the process he lets listeners know about his East Side stomping grounds: “On my iPhone, posted on Payne/ Eating Magnolia’s with the whole gang.” DB’s “Bodak Yellow” will appear on his upcoming Jackin for Beatz 4.
Lyric Marid - “Hu$$le”
Label: Mill City Collective
Just two weeks after the release of his new SexyFat EP, Minneapolis’ Lyric Marid announced that he’s decided to quit music – he says his show opening for Robb Bank$ on December 10 is his last. But the opening track on the EP, “Hu$$le,” a slithery and shadowy banger, really makes me wish he would reconsider that retirement.
Metasota - “Get Bye”
Minneapolis’ Metasota and Talib Kweli started beefing on Twitter in June, but it wasn’t until last month that a direct musical result arose. Meta’s MMYYKK-produced “Get Bye” is essentially a shit-talking interpolation of Kweli’s “Get By.” While Kweli has downplayed Meta’s skill and popularity, “Get Bye” is a heap of evidence of what local rap fans already know: Meta is one of our best and purest underground rappers.
Muja Messiah -- “The Inoutro”
Album: Saran Rap
Label: Man Bites Dog Records
Muja Messiah has some notable features on his new Roc Marciano-produced EP, Saran Rap, including underground stalwarts Roc, Guilty Simpson, and Oh No. But “Inoutro,” one of the EP’s two songs where he goes it alone, shows how effective Muja’s style can be when he’s got a full track to himself. Over Roc’s sweeping, noirish beat, he’s efficiently evocative: ‘96 Impala, impounded/ ATF caught him with nine bricks in Minnetonka.”
Rich Garvey -- “Feels Right”
Album: Onyx Gemstone
Label: Cascade Records
“Feels Right” is the second single and my personal favorite song from Rich Garvey’s latest EP, Onyx Gemstone. The beat, made in collaboration with producer Ackryte, is a thing of beauty, but Garvey’s thoughtful (some might say “conscious”) lyricism is equally important to the song’s success. Read City Pages’ Onyx Gemstone interview with Garvey here.
Rocky Diamonds -- “Still Ain’t Met Nobody Real”
Album: Loner 2
Label: 1123 Music Group / One Umbrella
This standout from Minneapolis rapper Rocky Diamonds’ Loner 2 is produced by Pi’erre Bourne, the beatmaker behind Playboi Carti’s “Magnolia” (and who’s reportedly working with Drake). But that’s not the only thing it has going for it. It also shows how effective Rocky can be in a reflective, personal mode.
Rajitheone -- “#TourLife”
Album: Sincerely the Buzz Is Real
St. Paul’s Rajitheone leaped over a lot of other Minnesota artists last year when he released his viral hit “#WhiteGirlVoice.” The reception of his new album Sincerely the Buzz Is Real will serve as a barometer for the true strength of his fan base. One of the new singles from the album, “#TourLife” is heavily Drake-influenced, but Raji pulls it off. Here, you can clearly hear his dexterity as both a rapper and singer. Sincerely the Buzz Is Real is out December 15.
Student 1 -- “Influence”
Label: Coines Creations
Minneapolis’ Student 1 starts off “Influence” by referencing some of the hottest rappers of the moment: “I’m Carti, I make you say ‘What?’/ I’m Uzi, I do what I want,” etc. But his awareness of those artists doesn’t stifle him – the dizzyingly rapped track ultimately leaves the impression that Stu is a true original.
Taylor J -- “Inside”
Album: Coolin’ Till My 2nd Album Drop
Label: Scenious Entertainment
Taylor J spends a fair amount of time in L.A., so it’s fitting that his new song has a distinctly West Coast feel. The piano-tapping “Inside,” produced by Red Drum Beatz in the vein of DJ Mustard, comes from Taylor’s latest EP, Coolin’ Till My 2nd Album Drop.