Between Kendrick dropping an untitled and unmastered project, Kanye dropping an incomplete project, 2 Chainz and Wayne and TDE debates, we’ve been pretty busy with the big names lately.
Finally, after several weeks of online madness, it feels like we have a chance to catch our collective breath. What do we do when we need a break from new music? More new music! Only this time, it’s not Kendrick or Kanye. No, it feel like it's time to do another Under 1,000 because, yes, we talk about the big names, but we always, always make sure to maintain balance.
You should know the rules by this point; it’s pretty simple. This is the chance to go small, highlighting artists who have under 1,000 followers but certainly deserve your eyes, ears, and follows. Enough talk, let’s share some dope unknown music already.
Joseph Chilliams (@josephchilliams) - 836 Followers
A member of Chicago’s Pivot gang (alongside Saba), Joseph Chilliams has been on my radar for a good minute but today feels like a good time to spill the beans like a clumsy Jack and the Beanstalk. Sorry about the lame simile, I was just inspired by Chilliams latest effort, "FN-2187."
I was absolutely floored by Chilliams' super clever effort. I haven’t laughed while listening to a song in a long time; it reminded me a bit of the first time I heard Gambino. There are some great lines. One about a pregnancy scare and my personal favorite, “Getting read my Miranda Rights with a Miranda Lambert track on.” His cool, laid-back approach exudes an abstract, left field feel that really works. Missing from so many up-and-comers, there’s a ton of personality in the Chicago emcee's raps, which is a characteristic even those with millions of followers can fail to master. There are other records that are worth your time (like this one), but I’m more excited for the future. “FN-2187” was a next level track, a big step up for Chilliams. I look forward to seeing him build off the momentum.
Part Time Cooks (@PartTimeCooks) - 498 Followers
I love traveling to all corners of the earth Internet in search of dope hip-hop. It never ceases to amaze me how in just a few decades, hip-hop has become a global phenomenon and whether it be Tommy Cash or Rap Monster, international hip-hop always brings something different to the table. So, when I stumbled across Seoul duo Part Time Cooks, I was expecting just that, the unexpected. What I got when I clicked play, however, was a group comprised of North Carolina native Saul Goode and Durban, South Africa native Black Moss. Interesting...
What jumped out at me most is the production. The pair rap over some absolutely phenomenal beats littered with jazz brushstrokes. Still, while the beats got me first, the more I listened the more I appreciated both rapper's flows. Their raspy, tumbling vocals are a great juxtaposition to the dusty, jazzy beats. This yin and yang effect really brings out the best in both and is the perfect balance between the U.S. and their current homebase in South Korea. I know Asian hip-hop is heavily influenced by jazz, but on the mic this feels very Western.
As a little bonus, you should take a listen to this solo cut from Black Moss.
Soulectica (@Sean_Souletica) - 59 Followers
Credit Brendan for the assist here. Last week he told me there was this dope artist I should consider for Under 1,000 and, sure enough, he was right. So dope, in fact, I put aside two other artists that I had originally picked for this column. My preference is to always offer up a variety of talent, artists who are both talented and unique, but today you’ll just have to settle for some unique hip-hop...which....come to think of it, isn't really settling at all.
Peep Soulectica and "Motherships":
What did I tell you?! Strictly hip-hop, but it’s packaged in a speical way. From the very first second of the track you become curious; I love the way Soulectica builds momentum with that sample. What really jumped out at me (aside from his decisive flow) is that hook. It paces the song perfectly and brings a different, more atmospheric feel to the song.
“Motherships” isn’t his only unique effort, though, take a listen to “When I Child/Die Tonight.” Where “Motherships” has a extra-terrestrial trap feel, this one is almost a spoken word record. “Mantis” is another uniquely constructed effort. He has the flow (he can even sing a little bit, too), he has the beats, but most importantly takes the right approach. He’s pushing boundaries and experimenting; he’s daring to be different. I love emcees who can technically rap, but I really love artists who use their skills to try and do something new and exciting; that’s why Souletica is definitely one to watch.
There you have it - proof yet again that anyone who says "there's no good music out there" or "hip-hop is dead" is too lazy to take a look around for themselves. There's always great music to be heard. It may take a minute, but when you find a "Motherships," a Part Time Cooks or a Pivot Gang, it makes the sixteens all the more sweet.
Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth. His favorite album is College Dropout but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.