7 Dope Underground Rappers You (Probably) Haven’t Heard Of: Vol. II

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I did

"Volume I" of this article

a little while ago not really expecting much, but you guys seemed to like the artists I was putting on; and the boss over here at Refined Hype might might want to turn this into a regular column. So I want to say thank you guys for the positive feedback, being new to this rap writing thing, it means a lot.

Here are 7 more emcees that I've discovered after too many hours on YouTube over the years, some old and some new. Each of these artists know how to make dope music, and at the same time really know how to spit.


Lightheaded is a group that was formed in the early 2000's, consisting of Ohmega Watts, Braille, and Othello. While they're all sure to drop knowledge with every verse, each rapper has their own style, keeping the tracks interesting all the way through. Their first album Pure Thoughts (released in 2003, purchase it


is dope in its entirety, and is definitely one of the smoothest projects I've heard to date. "Completion" demonstrates their style in a nutshell, and reminds me of the times when I  would cruise around, not having shit to do.

Artie McCraft

Last week I introduced you to Kixxie Siete, and this week I'll introduce you to his partner in rhyme, Artie McCraft. This Hawthorne emcee has a vibe reminiscent of Afu-Ra, using a vintage flow to drop knowledge over classic production. His extensive vocabulary keeps the listener entertained, as he talks about lessons learned in his day to day life. Artie and Kixxie are both signed to

Argonautix Entertainment

, representing a chill, skate-influenced California lifestyle.


California has been producing too many dope emcees lately. Recently, 18-year-old emcee Phora has been gaining attention by grinding harder than any other artists I can think of off top - putting out a (dope) music video every couple weeks, on top of doing shows nonstop. His subject matter tends to be about uplifting his people through dark times, speaking through a "voice that's almost as painful as Pac's in his prime". Check out "The Old Days" above.

R2 Revolutionary Rhythm

Los Angeles emcees Predominance & Kid Abstrakt each deliver slick flows over smooth boom-bap production, forming the duo R2 Revolutionary Rhythm. Each track off of their Soulvibes mixtape (released in 2012, cop it here [http://revolutionaryrhythm.bandcamp.com]) has a mellow, yet intelligent golden-age vibe, making for a solid listen. I found myself unintentionally nodding my head after first hearing their track "1 Step Ahead".

Da Youngstas

This group of Philly kids brought the essence of early 90's east coast boom-bap to every track. Young emcees Qu'ran, Taji Mahal, and Tarik each deliver raw lyrics over nothing but phat beats - reminiscent of Wu-Tang member Shyheim when he was rhyming with Big and Pac. After hearing their quick wits and gritty flows, you might just think they're some of the most underrated young spitters of all time. Check out "Pass Da Mic", which was sampled for the chorus of Gang Starr's "Mass Appeal".

Bishop Nehru

New York hip-hop received a lot of criticism after Kendrick Lamar's "Control" verse, with people claiming that it's been lacking new talent. However with rappers like Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, and most recently Bishop Nehru, emerging onto the scene I feel like New York is in a good place. Bishop sounds like he's been influenced by early Nas and Mos Def, possessing an intellect that many rappers lack today. The 16 year old emcee paints a picture of his daily life of trying to rhyme instead of doing the same as everyone around him on his track "Fickle Mind$".

Common Market

Common Market is the perfect group for anyone who loves conscious hip-hop. They were even cosigned and praised by "The Teacha" KRS-One, who took them on tour with him after hearing their music. Sabzi provides a soulful backdrop to RA Scion's flows, who promotes love and change - bringing a Bob Marley-esque message to each of his records. To be 100%, this is the music I used to listen to when I was going through some tough shit, and it got me through it every time. Check out their track "Connect For" below.


 Alec Zisi (