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10 Rappers You Should Know Right Now on Audiomack

Tell all your friends about Ken Carson, Strick, Cochise, Dougie B, Lil Kayla, and more. Audiomack introduces you to the rappers who are up next.
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This article previously appeared on Audiomack World.

Ken Carson

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Like Playboi Carti, his Opium label boss, Ken Carson has a knack for picking interesting sounds to layer his vocals over. Across his sophomore album, X, released earlier this month, it’s mostly the production that does the heavy lifting. Carson’s vocals serve as more of an ambient instrument on top of what’s already there—a way to direct the vibe of the song if you will. On “PDBMH,” a song produced by Dutch producer Bart How, Carson matches the force of the instrumental with his voice, coasting over driving synths and asking the listener not to blow his high.

Strick

Hometown: High Point, NC

With the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the YSL indictment, it’s seemingly been up to artists like Strick to carry the torch for the label with its leaders Thug and Gunna behind bars. The North Carolina native has been quietly holding things down for years but his recent project, The Machine, Vol. 3, is further proof of his ability to stand on his own. On “Bag Drop,” he recruits Lancey Foux, a rapper clearly indebted to the wide-ranging imprint YSL has left on the rap landscape, and the two trade breezy verses over rolling, moody production.

R3 Da Chilliman

Hometown: Moreno Valley, CA

The late, great Drakeo The Ruler’s influence has clearly been felt across Southern California and beyond. R3 Da Chilliman, a rising rapper from the Riverside County city of Moreno Valley, takes cues from Drakeo’s laid-back, lingo-heavy delivery while establishing a sound that still feels distinct. “Rock and Roll,” a collaboration with fellow Moreno Valley rapper S5—who’s steadily building an impressive catalog of his own—showcases the two rappers’ compelling chemistry as they go bar-for-bar on the song’s catchy hook.

DaeMoney

Hometown: Detroit, MI

Detroit’s DaeMoney has been making noise in his city for a while but, more recently, he seems to have taken a step forward musically, rapping over a variety of production styles and tightening up his flow. “Wayne Perry,” a recent track named after the notorious D.C. gangster, sounds straight out of a score from a horror film. Over eerie synths and constantly hitting bass, DaeMoney delivers understated brags that are more like friendly suggestions: “Trying to be me, that shit don’t work, go get a bag.”

Sideshow

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

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LUNCHIN,” a track from Washington, D.C. rapper Sideshow’s Wegahta Tapes Vol. 1, released this past May, is built around a tightly coiled loop. Similar to labelmate MIKE and Earl Sweatshirt, Sideshow’s raps are often intensely personal scenes that come together not necessarily through cohesive narrative storytelling but through one-off details. He begins the song with a few lines that seem to reference history just as much as it does the present day: “Sold my people the bricks, Sold my people the sticks/ Sold my people, they’re not my people, They got caught up in the mix.”

Cochise

Hometown: Palm Bay, FL

Some years ago, Cochise broke out as a rapper that was heavily indebted to Playboi Carti. But, in the years since, the Florida rapper has seemingly been trying to get out from under the shadow of his influences and hit the Billboard charts last year with “Tell Em.” The song wasn’t exactly a huge departure but the results had spoken for themselves. His recent album, THE INSPECTION, is largely more of the same but “HUNT,” a collab with Chief Keef, stands out among the rest. Over a beat indebted to 2000s Shawty Redd production, Cochise complements the ever elusive Keef who sounds right in his comfort zone, providing an excellent foil and making something memorable.

Dougie B

Hometown: The Bronx, NY

No song is safe from being sampled in a drill song in 2022. For some reason, more recent songs tend to be less obvious choices to me and therefore tend to work better. Dougie B’s “Uzi” flips “I Can Show You,” an underrated song on the Philly rapper’s deluxe version of Eternal Atake, into a Bronx drill banger. Over scattered percussion and sampled strings, Dougie B delivers threats and boasts in a hoarse yell, turning something that once belonged to the internet into something intensely regional.

Juice Menace

Hometown: Cardiff, UK

As drill has become part of the pop lexicon, we’ve increasingly seen the vast range of the sound. Juice Menace, a rapper from Wales, has delivered one of the better break-up songs in the subgenre with “Wake Up Call,” an impassioned retelling of a relationship gone sour. The sinister production matches well with the bitterness evident in her raps. Over the urgent beat, she raps, “You play with my heart and I’ll take it too far/Key my initials all over your car.”

Lil Kayla

Hometown: San Francisco, CA

Lil Kayla has been making ubiquitous Bay Area rap songs about doing men dirty and getting hers for years and her recent track, “11:11,” is an excellent return to form. Over a beat with a classic Bay bounce, Kayla raps, “Just made a call to the streets, bitch I’m back.” More than the content of her songs, what has always stood out to me about Lil Kayla is her pure rapping ability and this new track doesn’t disappoint. Witty punchlines and the percussive, breathless delivery are all there.

FWC Big Key

Hometown: Detroit, MI

I’m Detroit’s biggest opp/Nobody like us but the thots,” FWC Big Key declares on his latest single, “Biggest Opp.” It’s unsurprising that Big Key, who’s become known for his disrespectful bars in recent years, isn’t well-liked and, on his new track, he doubles down. Over a characteristically aggressive Detroit-style beat, he drops memorable one-liners and menacing warnings. Still, the song’s best line is also its most funny: “I got heart problems so I can’t be loving you and shit.” 

By Ben Dandridge-Lemco for Audiomack

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