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10 Rappers You Should Know Right Now on Audiomack

Discover Destroy Lonely, YoDogg, Connie Diiamond, Maxo, and Li Rye, among others, on Audiomack’s monthly editorial list.
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This article previously appeared on Audiomack World.

Destroy Lonely

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Destroy Lonely, the rising signee to Playboi Carti’s Opium label, has been deservedly building a cult-like following over the last few years through a steady stream of one-off releases. His debut mixtape, NO STYLIST, arrived in August and, while some fans seemed to have higher expectations given the Atlanta rapper’s recent run of loosies, the high points of the project don’t disappoint. The tape’s title track, in particular, showcases Destroy Lonely’s potential. Like Carti, Destroy Lonely finds the perfect balance between allowing his voice to almost melt into the synth-driven instrumental and steering the song’s direction with his vocals, delivering an earworm of a hook and a memorable second verse.

YoDogg

Hometown: College Park, GA

As the first signing to Cardo Got Wings’ Everything Is Gold label, YoDogg has the benefit of access to cinematic instrumentals from his label boss. The musical connection between the two is immediately evident: Cardo’s groove-heavy, trunk-rattling beats are a perfect palette for the College Park rapper’s silky storytelling and deep delivery. “Fonyuns,” a standout from the duo’s recent collaborative project Raised By Wolves, is the best example of this chemistry in action. Over a smooth sample, and classic Cardo cowbell, YoDogg coasts on the beat with both tenacity and a hint of jadedness, at one point rapping, “Wouldn’t believe the shit that I seen/ I know what people would do for that green.”

Anti Da Menace

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Anti Da Menace has been one of the fastest-rising rappers out of the Atlanta scene over the past year, first breaking out this spring with sinister singles like “Big Eyez” and “Murder Bitch.” Since then, the Westside Atlanta rapper has been on a steady tear, releasing hard-hitting track after hard-hitting track, culminating with the release of his Legend tape at the end of June. On recent single “Blood Boy,” he shows off the dynamic sound that’s made him stand out in a crowded city full of talent, delivering a catchy hook and harrowing storytelling.

Lokolil

Hometown: The Bronx, NY

While the most recent stylistic iteration of drill music in New York has seen sample drill become the mainstay, more recently, the club-inflected sounds coming from Newark and Philly have begun to have a heavy influence in the Big Apple. Lokolil’s “My World” is built around a sped-up sample from J. Holiday’s 2007 single “Suffocate.” The song begins like many of the borough’s current drill hits, before dropping into a four-on-the-floor bass pattern unmistakeable from the clubby drill sound of recent Jersey artists like Bandmanrill. This exchange of sounds and styles up and down the East Coast is making for some of the most exciting rap music coming out now.

Wee2Hard

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

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On its surface, Wee2Hard’s “Golden Child” sounds similar to many of the rap songs coming out of Atlanta at the moment: a towering instrumental built around triumphant piano and a story about coming up from the bottom. But, in the first verse, the Atlanta rapper diverges from normal rhyme schemes. Instead, some stanzas rhyme while others close with an abrupt change. “Nike skis and all black pullovers, made the murder rate skyrocket/ Fuck a n**** main ho by accident, double back and I hit her on purpose,” he raps midway through the first verse. The effect elevates the song, placing more emphasis on Wee2Hard's words.

Connie Diiamond

Hometown: The Bronx, NY

The delicate art of the NY drill love song is one that is still being fine-tuned, though there are some stellar examples. Connie Diiamond’s recent single “Toot That (Nene Bomba),” built around a sample of a merengue hit from the turn of the millennium, skews towards the more aggressive side of the spectrum. “I put his ex in a new pack,” she raps at one point, before doubling down: “You in your feelings now you wanna fight now/ I’m still gonna fuck him, don’t care how it might sound.”

Maxo

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Maxo’s 2019 album Lil Big Man established the LA rapper as an introspective artist finding his voice, and his place in the world, over dusty, lo-fi production. A little over three years later, Maxo has returned with a new offering ahead of his next project, Even God Has a Sense of Humor. 48” sees him collaborating with Pink Siifu and Madlib on a soulful track, as both Maxo and Siifu hint at past regrets, lost friends, and constantly striving for self-fulfillment over a looped guitar lick courtesy of the legendary producer.

Tino Szn

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Tino Szn stands out among the roster of South Coast Music Group, the North Carolina label behind DaBaby’s rise. However, the teenage artist’s music is more influenced by the of-the-moment sounds of internet rap. Across Tino Szn’s recent Sentient project, you’ll hear rage beats and even some pop-punk breakdowns, as well as his melodic delivery. On “Vetements Coat,” he slows the tempo down, letting his sing-song flow and aggressive ad-libs shine.

Li Rye

Hometown: Mobile, AL

True to its name, Li Rye’s “Punch In” sounds like it was recorded bar-for-bar, most likely in a closet. But what the Alabama rapper may lack in sound engineering know-how, he more than makes up for with his menacing charisma and punchlines on the song. Built around a slow-marching beat, and the same Continent Number 6 sample used on Kanye West’s “Power,” Li Rye uses the simple instrumental to get off some clever and threatening bars like, “Only rapper really sliding, I’m a shooting star.

Dcxshy

Hometown: Flint, MI

For an artist who first began dropping songs online in 2020, Dcxshy (pronounced D Cashy) has seen his buzz grow steadily in the world of internet rap’s underground. First coming to prominence as a member of the cr3stfallen collective—alongside rodneyy, Okaymar and others—he’s recently built an eclectic catalog, often collaborating with one producer on full-length projects like the recent Solitude (produced by OK) and #Meant2Be (produced by TDF). On recent single “Get Money,” he connects with producer Swish for a catchy and chaotic track, switching tempos and pitches, as he recounts how friends change up when they see you shining. 

By Ben Dandridge-Lemco on Audiomack

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