It all started out as a bet, of sorts. Maybe more like a challenge. In 2014, when previously unknown artists are 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 returns only one result, is it even possible to find an artist with "Under 1K" Twitter followers. And better yet, is it possible to find an Under 1K artist who's any good?
It was a fascinating proposition, and since there's no fucking way I'm listening to that much probably terrible music, I put Lucas on the case. Best case scenario, I figured he might earn himself rap blog immortality by literally being one of the first 999 people to hear the next Kendrick Lamar. Worst case scenario, he goes Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day" finds some artists that may not even be at a point where they deserve a song feature on DJBooth, but are still interesting.
Here's three artists he found that fulfill the Under 1K criteria. Diamonds in the rough, or just rough? Let's see...
Elle Araminta (@ellearaminta
For the first minute-ish of the song, I thought I had found a cool, new female singer which, if you haven't noticed, I am always a fan of (see Made In Heights). I guess I technically did, because she can sing, but Elle also has a nice flow. It's not often you find a female singer, (or any singer for that matter) who can sing and rap, but she does both and does 'em well. The highlight of this tune, however, is Elle's lyrics. Though you can listen without really listening and enjoy it sonically, you'll be missing some smart, thoughtful social commentary. I also love the touch of rawness to it, though the beat is soft, her unapologetic, brutally honest lyrics give it some edge. An understated, jazzy number with some slick, meaningful wordplay? I'm in.
p.s. - If you liked this, both in style and content, check out Olivia Louise's "Skin Deep"
(@Halfcut_Noc_Rec): 546 Followers
We got a live one here! Honestly, if you asked me how many Twitter followers I thought this guy had I would have guessed zero. Not because Halfcut isn't lethal with a raspy yet fluid flow, but because he sounds straight from the pre-twitter era. Trying to pick cut off the Calgary native's free project, FromDungeons To Rooftops, was like trying to decide which of my children to kill. If you didn't like the one I picked please, still give his album a shot; it's really good. his is some real ass hip-hop. Normally, real ass hip-hop implies some kind of rugged, brashness to it. While his gravelly flow has that essential power, he has a great fluidity to his delivery and it really balances things out. Oh, and the production is absolutely stellar. Really though, Half says it best, "If they digging underground it's no doubt they'll be diggin me." I'll tell you one thing, one follower he needs to have is Statik Selektah.
The BoomBachs (@TheBoomBachs): 594 Followers
I almost picked a soul band, but I wanted to keep this all hip-hop, so I found a band that does both. Okay I didn't find them recently, these guys, and specifically "In The Morning", still stay in the occasional rotation and, two years later, that saying something. It's a little rough around the edges, but I think it adds to the charm and the live feel. It may not be the best mixing/mastering, but damn if these dudes can't shred; I'd love to hear this live. Also, I couldn't pick between that number and "She Got Me" so I'm including both. Sue me.
Did you dig any of these artists? Let us know in the comments and maybe we'll run larger features on them. Are you know obsessively combing the internet trying to find the dopest Under 1K artist alive? Congratulations, your mind's just as twisted as ours. It's good to know we're not alone.