It all started out as a bet, of sorts. Maybe more like a challenge. In 2014, when a previously unknown artist is being called the next big superstar after their first YouTube video, how "new" can you really get? Just like it's (nearly) impossible to come up with a Google search that yields only one result, is it even possible to find an artist with "Under 1K" Twitter followers, Soundcloud streams, YouTube views, Facebook likes, etc? And better yet, is it possible to find an Under 1K artist who's any good?
Turns out, yeah, it is pretty fuckin' possible, as long as you're willing to put in some work. So much so that we are going to make this a regular thing. Finding those needles in a haystack of "0 to 100" freestyles and bringing them to your doorstep is what I live for and why I'm excited to do this. So let's get right into it shall we?
ChaunSAY Mackin' (@_puffpuffpass) & Chisom Uzosike (@AfricanChisom) 561 Followers
Bonus! Here we have not one, but two - count 'em two - talented artists under 1K. I mean, how could I separate two artists who go together like PB&J? Also, how could I separate two artists who just released a collaborative project? The project I am referring to is their Buffalo Brave LP and it's definitely worth the download.
On the LP, ChaunSay handles the rapping, while Chisom Uzosike kills it behind the boards. What really stands out on this project is the production; he may not have 1,000 Twitter followers, but the man knows his way around a sample. ChaunSay is charismatic and for the most part pretty steady, and Chisom gives the set its spark with a diverse array of beats and some really engaging samples. There are some amazing beats on this project that the true students of hip-hop will appreciate.
Ed Rowe (@EdRowe84) 78 followers
Do I get any bonus points or monetary reward when I find an artist with under 100 followers? I mean 1,000 is easy, but 100?! That's the definition of a needle in a haystack. No? Oh ok cool....I guess finding a dope lyricist is reward enough. Ed Rowe is grinding like Tony Hawk at a middle school dance; since December of last year, he has released three full albums (all available via Bandcamp). Three! One of those projects, On Clouds, features Ed rhyming over nine Apollo Brown beats; we would definitely get along because I love Apollo. For him to sound so in his element over an Apollo beat really speaks to his skills. It takes a special kind of emcee to handle Apollo's perfectly constructed beats, and Ed really impressed me. He didn't sound lost at all. In fact, if I didn't know any better I would have thought he is part of Mello Music Group; that should speak volumes to his skill.
Drud (@druiddi) 26 Followers
You think this search is easy? You think it's a game?! Whenever I set out to find artists for the "Under 1,000" series, I end up in some deep, dark, distant corners of the internet. Case in point, Drud. I sat down at 11 PM, but before I knew it the clock read 2:30 in the morning and I was listening to Ukrainian hip-hop. I think it goes without saying I have know idea what Drud is saying, but I still dig his performance. Normally I don't listen to hip-hop in other languages, I just can't connect with it if I don't know what they are saying, but Drud has a nice flow and despite the language barrier, I'm feeling it. Plus, it doesn't hurt that the production is stellar; some great laid-back beats. Ukrainian hip-hop...who knew? God bless hip-hop
[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is “College Dropout,” but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.]