Even though SoundCloud’s ethos has shifted, I have this odd, undying allegiance to the streaming service because of the sense of hope and hunger that new artists feel when they upload their music. Not to mention, finding green musicians who can actually sing and rap is quite satisfying.
Before the calendar flips to December, here are four (more) artists who are worth a listen.
Arshad Goods (@arshadgoods) — 606 Followers
St. Louis rapper Arshad Goods came out swinging in 2015 with his debut EP Black Sunday, a self-reflective nine-track project, where he reveals and attempts to reconcile the many versions of himself. Save for the single “Resurrection”—where he waxes poetic on the types of rap that many of us would like to see resuscitated—Goods was fairly quiet in 2016. One year later, though, it appears he has resurrected himself: late this past summer, Goods released the pensive “818” and a two-song EP entitled B4SummerOver.
Over a buoyant beat, Goods and fellow St. Louis rapper Bryant Stewart keep things light on "Burgundy Waves," spitting about rolling up and talking about their glow-ups. But more than anything, the song radiates a warm breeze and the freedom of summer—something we definitely need to cherish as winter is fast approaching.
brahny (@brahny) — 245 Followers
Virtually no information exists about brahny on the internet, except for the fact that he hails from Toronto. This fact alone, however, means that we know the Canadian singer is in good company in the 6ix, a city brimming with talent.
What I can tell you about the north-of-the-border newcomer is that earlier this year, he released a three-song EP, entitled Fresco Time Machine—oh, and he can carry a note.
On previous single “Leona,” brahny proves to be a crooner, his voice appearing sweet and ethereal amid dulcet tones. He’s poetic too: “Can’t stop planets you see / Oh been around my head, time slows endlessly / Heavy thoughts, they weigh on my mind / Like how we gonna live off sunshine and wine.” Real evidence of his dexterity comes at the 50-second mark when he hits a soft falsetto. If, when you first heard his voice you weren't sure he had that range, guess again.
Amaal Nuux (@amaalnuux) — 702 Followers
A native of Mogadishu, Somalia, Amaal Nuux and her family emigrated to Toronto when she was just a baby. Although the singer didn’t spend her formative years in her home country, she uses a socially conscious focus to mirror her culture, using her medium to uplift her Somali community.
After releasing her debut EP Painful Secrets in 2012, Nuux took a four-year hiatus, returning in 2016 with the triumphant and empowering song “Last Ones.” Indeed, her last three singles—”Last Ones,” “Who Are We?” and “Scream”—all have the same running throughline of strength; but on her most recent single, “Scream,” Nuux addresses a more global issue: Love. “Everywhere but here, it’s complicated / But right now, it’s simple in my mind,” she sings meditatively, giving love a voice.
theantisocial. (@theantisocialmusic) — 354 Followers
Like brahny, theantisocial also hasn't provided perspective fans (and writers) much information on himself. Still, it’s apparent that he’s from the DMV, specifically Maryland, and is likely very proud to rep his region, especially given the incredible success of locals GoldLink, Brent Faiyaz, and Shy Glizzy, who recently earned a GRAMMY nomination for their song “Crew.”
Though theantisocial only has three songs available on his SoundCloud, it’s pretty obvious from this small sample size that he can spit. On “Infatuated”—which comes in two parts—he exhibits an existential push and pull. He’s decisive about wanting to win, but doesn’t know if he should achieve that by working hard to find success, through music, or by taking a quicker route, through trapping. While those aren’t necessarily parameters we can all relate to, an infatuation with winning is. In the second half of the song, theantisocial realizes that, for him, rapping is indeed more rewarding.