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 this a regularthing. Finding those needles in a haystack of "Hot N*gga" 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?
Billy Chambers (@BillyCh4mbers) 549 Followers:
With sports, rap and life in general, some skills are honed over time, but there are some qualities that cannot be taught. While Billy might be a little rough around the edges, there is a great energy and natural "it" factor in his music and that can't be taught. I wouldn't say he is the best singer or best rapper nor would I say he can't grow into one (see Kendrick), but he does have this natural charm and energy about him that makes this record work. Normally, when a rapper chooses a less traditional method of delivery it takes me a minute to adjust, but with Billy I don't have to think twice; I just put it on and enjoy. I have no doubt he'll continue to grow as an emcee (and I'll be listening every step of the way) but he already has those intangibles - heart and charm - that some rappers never develop. Keep an eye on this dude!
Local Nobodies (@LocalNobodies) 13 Followers
Like any good sleazy lawyer, I found a loophole! Local Nobodies only has 13 followers, but the members of Local Nobodies, Mathien & Sulaiman (who are both DJBooth regulars) have well over 1K each. Still their collaborative Local Nobodies Twitter has a mere 13 so I'm including them. (Tough shit, it's my feature and I'll do what I want.) Plus they are awesome so who is really going to complain (trolls probably)? Anyway, I absolutely love what they are doing together. It's so fresh and inventive. A great mix of hip-hop, R&B, and at times, alt-rock (see "Feets Desire"). I dig these two on their own, but there is something really fucking special going on when they get together. I'm not quite sure how they only have 13 followers, because Local Nobodies has that special, fresh sound to appeal to just about anybody, but hey, I'm not complaining. This might be the most developed, "ready" artist/act I have profiled in this whole series. They have been quiet since May, but let's hope that doesn't mean the end of Local Nobodies. I need more of this in the worst way...
Celeste (@from_celeste) 287 Followers
Before this Celeste, the only Celeste for me was Mama Celeste, but this is more scrumptious than any microwave pizza (even the deluxe kind). She only has 287 followers right now, but when Eminem or Ab-Soul grabs her for a hook, I'm sure that number will soar. There's something hypnotizing about Celeste. I can't quite put my finger on it, but every time I listen to "More Lives" I find myself strangely hypnotized. She changes her style and pace up so much, but I never get taken out of that trance. For being relatively soft and hazy, her cuts go hard. Every song, there's a minute or two where I'm like "Fuck Yes!" and I start really vibing; that little breakdown on "Classic" for example. It's those small little treats within a song that make me really dig Celeste.
[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.]