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Curiously Curated 004: The Undiscovered Realm of Producers

The Undiscovered Realm

The term ‘undiscovered artists’ in 2022 has come to represent talent that aren’t known by your average person. There are so many niche areas of entertainment that it’s virtually impossible to be totally ‘undiscovered.’

The talented group of producers we bring to you today are all in the undiscovered realm. Though they are all respectively developing committed fanbases, it’s safe to say your average music fan isn’t aware of them yet.

Without further ado, let’s take a look into the undiscovered realm and introduce you to three producers you need to know.

1. Dylvinci
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Cb7l9GIryVa/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Cb7l9GIryVa/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Cb7l9GIryVa/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Dylvinci (@dylvinci)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

Dylvinci is one of the most creative producers out when it comes to content creation. Not only are his beats so easy to appreciate, the way he delivers them to his audience is on a whole other level.

In this day and age, music production is one of the most competitive areas of the entertainment industry. It seems like everybody is a “producer” nowadays, and with programs like Splice making it easier than ever to create beats, the best producers have to get creative to be heard.

Whether he’s producing in his room, in the park, or some other random environment, Dylvinci always seems to have his setup on him. It’s very admirable. Take a look:

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”tiktok-embed” cite=”https://www.tiktok.com/@dylvincigtc/video/7058382347711892782″ data-video-id=”7058382347711892782″ style=”max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px”> <section> <a target=”_blank” title=”@dylvincigtc” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/@dylvincigtc”>@dylvincigtc</a> Outside cookup before it snows ❄️ <a title=”dylvinci” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/dylvinci”>#dylvinci</a> <a title=”fyp” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/fyp”>#fyp</a> <a title=”plugg” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/plugg”>#plugg</a> <a title=”pluggnb” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/pluggnb”>#pluggnb</a> <a title=”kashdami” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/kashdami”>#kashdami</a> <a title=”yvngxchris” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/yvngxchris”>#yvngxchris</a> <a title=”earlsweatshirt” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/earlsweatshirt”>#earlsweatshirt</a> <a title=”realyungphil” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/realyungphil”>#realyungphil</a> <a title=”flstudio” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/flstudio”>#flstudio</a> <a target=”_blank” title=”♬ original sound – Dylvinci” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/music/original-sound-7058382333744794414″>♬ original sound – Dylvinci</a> </section> </blockquote></div>

Not only has he cracked the code for his content, Dylvinci is no stranger to landing placements with top-notch artists. He’s produced songs for Tony Shhnow, Casey Veggies, Yung Bans, D Savage, Jasiah, and many more notable names. Take a deeper look at a collection of our favorite Dylvinci-produced songs below.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/5mhzjuZd7B0rs4dpSOXxEp?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”380″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

2. Austin Millz
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdZS0VQPQum/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdZS0VQPQum/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdZS0VQPQum/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by AUSTIN MILLZ (@austinmillz)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

Like many Austin Millz fans, I first came across his music via TikTok. One of his videos making a mashup was the first of many that I came to consume. His energy reverberates through his music so clearly; Austin Millz delivers great energy in the form of great music.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”tiktok-embed” cite=”https://www.tiktok.com/@austinmillz/video/6918398980615392517″ data-video-id=”6918398980615392517″ style=”max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px”> <section> <a target=”_blank” title=”@austinmillz” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/@austinmillz”>@austinmillz</a> Had to flip this Texas classic. Drop your area code in the comments! <a title=”texas” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/texas”>#texas</a> <a title=”houston” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/houston”>#houston</a> <a title=”ugk” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/ugk”>#ugk</a> <a title=”pimpc” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/pimpc”>#pimpc</a> <a title=”remix” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/remix”>#remix</a> <a title=”htx” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/htx”>#htx</a> <a title=”portarthur” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/portarthur”>#portarthur</a> <a target=”_blank” title=”♬ original sound – Austin Millz” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/music/original-sound-6918398955239918342″>♬ original sound – Austin Millz</a> </section> </blockquote></div>

As if his mashups aren’t fire enough, believe it or not, his original music might even be better. Austin Millz frequently connects with insane vocalists to make unforgettable tracks. We handpicked ten of our favorites from him for you to get familiar with. If you’re a fan of electronic and hip-hop music, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/2oJJOZLoTYveC8VZ7xI9jB?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”380″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

3. Popstar Benny
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Cdofz0CJtNr/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Cdofz0CJtNr/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Cdofz0CJtNr/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by popstar benny ♪ ☆ (@popstarbenny)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

The third and final producer on today’s edition of Curiously Curated is Atlanta native Popstar Benny. In addition to making a big name for himself with his calculated placements, Benny is also becoming well-known for his indie label, Popstar FM. He is experienced with graphic design, production, and music business, which each come with massive subsets of specific knowledge. It’s not easy being good, but it takes even more to be great. And that’s what Popstar Benny’s done in each of these realms.

Popstar Benny not only has landed placements with big names like Lil Yachty (he designed the cover art for “Minnesota”), Rod Wave, 6Dogs, UnoTheActivist, and Thouxanban Fauni, he’s also kept a close ear to the underground, linking early with talent like Tony Shhnow, Bear1Boss, and other rapidly rising artists.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdazqcmrSM2/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdazqcmrSM2/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdazqcmrSM2/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by popstar benny ♪ ☆ (@popstarbenny)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

Benny is making a big wave out of Atlanta, taking his time with the newest generation of artists. All the while, he’s making even bigger placements look easy. Take a listen to some of our favorites from Popstar Benny.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/7Gty3SkOkfyuOy4prKT0tZ?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”380″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

With yet another week in the books, we’re starting to pick up even more steam. Thank you for staying tuned, we’ll be dropping Curiously Curated 005 at the end of this week! For now, here’s our updated playlist – featuring Dylvinci, Austin Millz, and Popstar Benny.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/7BiCSpZiSlzkhdbQqqaRxV?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”380″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

Categories
Music

Lil Keed Was At the Beginning of Something Special

The last song on Lil Keed’s 2019 album Long Live Mexico is called “Proud of Me.” Alongside his champion and artistic antecedent Young Thug, Keed peels off sticky, caramelized melodies about being too rich to slum it in Dolce and Gabbana. This is a triumphant song and rightfully so; it’s a coronation, a victory procession. It sounds like the beginning of something. But now it mainly scans as a document of stunning loss.

Early in the morning of May 14, 2022, Lil Keed, the Atlanta melodic rapper, died from unknown causes in Los Angeles. The 24 year-old is survived by his three-year-old daughter Naychur, his girlfriend Quana Bandz, and his brother and fellow rapper Lil Gotit.

“I did all my cries,” Gotit wrote on Instagram, “I know what u want me to do and that’s go hard for Mama Daddy Our Brothers.”

Born Raqhid Jevon Render, Keed first entered the public consciousness when he signed to Young Thug’s imprint Young Stoner Life (more popularly known as YSL) in 2018. The next year, his profile rose so quickly it felt like predestination. “Nameless,” his earwormy breakout single, went gold; his debut album Long Live Mexico had features from Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert, Gunna and Roddy Ricch. 

At the behest of Gary Vaynerchuk (the entrepreneur and Keed’s unlikely friend), Keed was one of the first rappers to harness the powers of TikTok—his singles “HBS” and “Snake” sparked some of the app’s original dance crazes. On account of his 2019 success, he was a member of XXL Magazine’s 2020 Freshman Class, appearing on the cover alongside the likes of Jack Harlow, Fivio Foreign and Baby Keem. 

As the most prominent YSL artist to not be charged in the wide-reaching RICO indictment against the label, Keed was poised to function as the avatar and proxy for Young Thug’s legacy. You can’t listen to Keed’s acrobatic yelps and Atlanta slang without noticing his mentor’s influence; fittingly, Keed was from the same Cleveland Heights apartments where Young Thug grew up. With Young Thug, Gunna and 26 other YSL affiliates in legal limbo, Keed should’ve been the standard-bearer for one of rap’s defining labels. 

Still, Keed was more than simply a reconstitution of his influences. While he was indebted to Young Thug’s free associative vocals, Keed was an innovative stylist in his own right. In his hands, boilerplate lyrics about violence and vulgarity morphed into something bright and vibrant. On “Snake,” he whispers the hook before launching into a tenuous, warbling falsetto on the verses. He occupies the lower register of his range to menace through “Blicky Blicky.” During “Anybody,” he practically squeals. His music possessed a big-tent openness; Keed was so variable that he could deftly accommodate features from a Detroit sparkplug like 42 Dugg, a crooner like Ty Dolla $ign or a Fortnite non-playable-character like Travis Scott all within the same project. 

As such, Keed represented the vanguard that defined YSL before the label became so enmeshed with the mainstream. Young Thug has cashed in on the martian weirdness of Barter 6 for features on Camilla Cabello songs; Gunna and Lil Baby are household names. The counter-culture is now the culture. 

Conversely, Keed was the rare young artist who seemed more inspired by slime than by commercialized drip. Although he declared an ambition to be a “megastar” and not just a run of the mill superstar, his music still maintained his unique sensibility. His final full-length project, 2020’s Trapped On Cleveland 3, certainly boasted some of his hookiest and most accessible songs, but it did so by refining his sound rather than resorting to out-of-place, Rap Caviar-pandering features. Accordingly, it’s easy to imagine a future where Keed could’ve pioneered a new mode of rap stardom, combining his oddball pitch with a knack for TikTok-friendly melody. 

But beyond the musical aspect, there’s the more immediate and more serious human aspect—none of the tributes to Lil Keed were about Long Live Mexico’s success on the Billboard charts. He was one of the most genuine and heartfelt human beings; he was a devoted father, brother, and son. He was at the beginning of something. He was only 24. 

Categories
Music

Curiously Curated 002: Four Producers You Need to Know

In the world of music, producers have always played a key role. In the modern era of music, that notion has only become more substantiated. Producers are getting much more spotlight through social media platforms, which make discovering them even easier than before. Additionally, companies like BeatStars and Timbaland’s BeatClub have made producers’ lives even easier, connecting producers with other producers, artists, labels, sync licensing companies and more.

As the producer niche of the industry has evolved, so have the producers themselves. In this day and age, producers have to be some of the most adaptive music-makers of all. Think about it: a new trend emerges, and the first producers to master it are likely the ones to land the most placements with budding stars. Some are even fortunate enough to be the reason why the trend starts in the first place.

On this second edition of Curiously Curated, we’re highlighting some of our favorite producers who you probably aren’t directly aware of. Chances are, you’ve heard some of their work before. In no particular order, here are four producers you need to know.

1. Bakkwoods
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CZpjAezJLFd/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CZpjAezJLFd/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CZpjAezJLFd/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by woods light that shit up🔥 (@bakkwoods)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

Bakkwoods is a producer who’s come a long way in the past couple of years. He become well-known for his work with SoFaygo, along with many other noteworthy artists. Woods been producing for Faygo since their early days together in Atlanta, and the two have only continued to collaborate.

In his latest Instagram post, Bakkwoods and SoFaygo are at Pharrell‘s crib in Miami, where they’re making music together and pouring champagne together. This is just one of many star-studded scenes that Bakkwoods has found himself immersed in lately; he’s produced for artists like Trippie Redd, Lil Tecca, SSG Kobe, Thouxanban Fauni, 6 Dogs and many other stars.

His “woods light that shit up” tag and his trademark sound are becoming more and more familiar to the world each day, as his music is accumulating a ridiculous amount of streams. Woods has put in years of work to get where he’s at today, and is only continuing to work harder.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/3Dc7EiHP7aDOhTI92OQaKi?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”80″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

2. Cash Cobain
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CbsaNqqrlmo/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CbsaNqqrlmo/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CbsaNqqrlmo/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by SLIZZY ✌🏾❌ (@cashcobain_2x)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

“And this beat from Cash not from YouTube.”

New York producer Cash Cobain has come a long way since he taught himself how to produce drill beats. From pop to hip-hop, R&B and more, his thorough knowledge of music fuels the “sample drill” wave that he’s largely responsible for.

If you were to look at his Genius page, you’d see an insanely long list of collaborations, along with some easily recognizable names: B-Lovee, Lucki, Lil Yachty, Shawny Binladen, Casanova, and many, many more. A lot of the records he crafted for these artists have gone on to be some of their most unforgettable tracks. In the same way that Warhol would include logos of some of the most reputable brands in his works, Cash Cobain samples hits that live somewhere in just about everybody’s mind. And as if that’s not impressive enough, Cash raps on his own beats, too. The young talent does it all.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/0aVXJnOqFE8YTc0fDsuepN?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”80″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

3. AR
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CaQdi8ULRWN/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CaQdi8ULRWN/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CaQdi8ULRWN/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by AR (@afuckinr)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

AR is a Long Island-born producer whose come-up looks like nobody else’s. AR has long been one of my favorite producers, though I’m slightly biased from my time spent as his assistant in 2018 (and being from Long Island). That time, though it was largely spent doing menial tasks, taught me so much about AR, the underground hip hop scene, and music in general. Just by being around him, it was impossible to be behind on culture – from fashion, the best kept secrets in rap and production, cannabis, crypto, and more, AR has a phenomenal understanding of the world around us.

Separate from his other areas of expertise, AR’s musical catalog is seriously impressive. He’s got songs with Bryson Tiller, A$AP Rocky, Lil Gotit, Thouxanban Fauni, The Game, Kevin Gates, Robb Bank$, and countless other highly regarded names in music. Even more impressive than the big-name records he has is his eye for talent. He’s collaborated with artists like Yeat, Ola Runt, Sainvil, Benji Blue Bills, and Lunchbox, long before just about anybody else was aware of them. AR has a very distinguished style and is highly adaptive to the artists he works with, which is a rare balance in music.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/1X7JPaOkf8nj3mvbnZx1bk?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”80″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

Cor Blanco
<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdEg-PSPQT1/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdEg-PSPQT1/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CdEg-PSPQT1/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by @corblanco</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

One artist who’s stood out to me over the years I’ve been familiar with him is Cor Blanco. From the beats he creates out of thin air, to the ear-catching lyrics he writes over them, and his ability to put on a performance that ties all of it together – Cor Blanco is on another level. There are some huge artists that I feel inclined to mention in comparison to Cor, but no comparison would do a proper justice. Cor Blanco’s music is incredibly original, from production to rapping.

To a familiar ear, Cor Blanco’s personal catalog of records is just as impressive as the placements he’s landed. His latest project, ‘Globoy,’ is the pièce de résistance of his recording work thus far, featuring his close friends ATM, Stacy Money, PuddaH, Countup, and NEMP. Separate from his impressive work for his own recording career, Cor Blanco landed two placements in Jack Harlow‘s 2019 project, ‘Loose‘: “9th Grade” and “Can’t Call It.” Talk about being early on a superstar. Cor Blanco has proven not only his ear for up-and-coming talent, but a masterful ability to produce and record music.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/50yft8DM9i49l1YQYiv1Yp?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”380″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

Check out our playlist below, which features music from these four producers, along with last week’s picks. The first 8 songs feature 2 songs from each of these producers, in the same order as this article.

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Categories
Music

Inside the Screen: Aaron “Don” Dukes Talks to Jx.Zero

“Sorry… I can’t be your man…”

Jx.Zero has been having an incredible year, especially after the massive success of his mega-hit “Playboy.” The track has become extremely well-known, being used alongside the “griddy” dance trend.

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The trend has taken the song to an extreme, as trends tend to do, resulting in a classical version of Jx’s hit song. The remix is a mashup of “Playboy” and Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker,” which led to an additional increase in videos made with the song.

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With this level of exposure comes a lot of responsibility. Fans are quick to label artists as “TikTok rappers,” when in reality, the only thing that separates them from a “regular” artist is their means of blowing up. Jx.Zero could’ve become well known through a variety of ways, but it just so happened TikTok was it. In 2022, that means an awful lot of exposure.

Jx.Zero / NRG

Last month, Aaron “Don” Dukes from the ONE37pm team linked up with Jx.Zero after a special all-star Fortnite invitational (April 19th) called the ‘NRG Champions Show, Featuring Fortnite,’ sponsored by Omnic Data. After Jx did a performance at the event, he had a chance to talk with Aaron and elaborate on his love for gaming, music and more. As it turns out, Jx is a gaming fanatic.

If you’re like Aaron, and you can see beyond the TikTok-driven hit, you’ve probably found Jx’s impressive catalog of two albums: ‘Hi I’m Jx‘ in 2020, and ‘In My Sins‘ in 2021 – which contains “Playboy” along with many other bangers. Each project is 7 tracks long, and tells you a lot about Jx, from his ability to musical inclinations.

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/36RLn25VK3YZUMiNC2lrAK?utm_source=generator” width=”100%” height=”380″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></div>

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In addition to the music, this conversation between Aaron and Jx.Zero explains just about everything else that fans are wondering. They discuss his roots, getting started with music, gaming and much more. The conversation sounds like something you’d hear exchanged between close friends; if you’re looking to get to know Jx.Zero, this interview is the absolute best start.

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Jx.Zero is an artist who was blessed up with an extraordinary amount of progress in 2022. As his brand continues to scale, the artist is keeping his eyes directed forward and being himself. Jx is an artist’s artist, not a “TikTok artist.” He seems to have a bright future ahead of him, and for good reason.

Categories
Music

Curiously Curated 001: The Top Rising Artists of Today

As accessible as information is today, it’s no easy feat to stay in tune with even the mainstream music. Our ‘Curiously Curated’ column is dedicated to the tough task of finding the soon-to-be stars, so you don’t have to. This marks the start of a weekly series, which alternates between artists and producers every week. The series will be run in tandem with a playlist of the same name.

In this piece, we list 10 of our favorite up-and-comers in no particular order. Without further ado, welcome to volume one of our ‘Curiously Curated’ series.

1. T$AN

Out of Philadelphia is emerging talent T$AN. The rapper recently finished up his stint with Columbia Records, and has been moving independently in the time since. A good bit of traction came early on from his unreleased record with Lil Uzi Vert, which was leaked on SoundCloud by one of T$an’s fans. In the time since, the rapper has been building out his sound and collaborating with an impressive array of artists, including Lancey Foux, who’s the only feature on T$AN’s latest album, Til The Death of Me.). TTDOM is a 22-song project that’s bound to get you hooked to his music. T$AN has continued to evolve as an artist, from his sound to his style and engagement with fans. Today’s a great day to get hip, especially on the heels of his recent release.

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2. ericdoa

Who hasn’t heard of or seen HBO’s hit show Euphoria? It’s almost impossible to find anyone who hasn’t at least heard of it. That means chances are, you might already have heard this next artist on our list. Even if not from having a song the show, perhaps you’ve heard of him from his presence on Spotify playlists or the rampant use of his music on TikTok.

Say hello to ericdoa, one of the most rapidly growing young artists in 2022. I met ericdoa last year in New York City, and was immediately taken by his charisma and genuine passion for making music with his friends. It felt impossible to not root for him on his creative mission, and still does. ericdoa’s knack for music and stardom in general has set the stage for a major year for him, and a bright future to follow. With almost a million monthly listeners on Spotify alone, and two songs at over 10M streams, it’s only a matter of time before he’s a household name. If you aren’t already familiar take a peek at his video for “sad4whattt,” which was featured in Euphoria, in the link below.

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3. Leeky G Bando

New York hip-hop has evolved over the years, and its latest drill movement has only grown since its conception. Of the many notable characters leading the drill charge, Leeky G Bando is definitely an artist you’re gonna want to get familiar with. His deep voice sets him apart from his competition, and makes any of his songs instantly recognizable.

If you’re familiar with Bizzy Banks, one of the last artists to be co-signed by Pop Smoke, then you’ve probably already seen or heard of Leeky G Bando. Both artists are managed by producer RubiRosa, whose cuts include “Fabo” by UnoTheActivist and “Bully” by Jay Critch. Leeky has his sound figured out, and has been steadily growing alongside his tight-knit team. Getting money is essential for this Brooklyn-based rapper and his crew.

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4. XORA

After catching attention recently for charting in the top 10 on the iTunes store, XORA has continued to become more and more established with every day that passes by. XORA has a very memorable sound, and is rapidly growing with grace.

The Ottawa, Ontario native’s music on DSP dates back to 2018, but his latest project, Moonchild is the apex of his creation thus far. The only feature on the project is fellow up-and-comer cxldface. With 9 songs on the tape, and 8 of them solo, Moonchild is the perfect way to get introduced to the world of XORA.

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5. BabySantana

One of my personal favorite bars I’ve come across on social media in the past year is Columbus, Georgia native BabySantana‘s lyrics for “Antisocial”: “She ask me like ‘tana are you antisocial, and I told her no girl, I’m socially-anti.” Both the writing and delivery felt like a subtle way of making people go, “oh shit, rewind that again.” Sonically speaking, it felt like an iconic moment for the fifteen year-old rap star.

Before this iconic moment, BabySantana signed with Galactic Records, Lil Tecca and his manager Giuseppe Zappala’s imprint with Republic Records. If you listen closely, you’ll hear the reference in “Antisocial”: “Me and Giuseppe, we hit Benihanas and spent us a bag, she like boy you so fancy.” BabySantana is insanely fun to listen to because of a thorough approach to lyrics and an insanely original sound. “Antisocial” proved to be an amazing initial step for the young talent; it charted on SoundCloud and Spotify, and set the stage for BabySantana to be ready to join Tecca and Bktherula on Tecca’s latest tour.

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6. Bear1Boss

If you consider yourself to be in tune with the Atlanta rap scene, then you have to know Bear1Boss. He’s been making a wave out of ATL and online via SoundCloud, Instagram and other platforms.

With 100k followers on Instagram and 17k monthly listeners on Spotify, this artist is at a unique point in his growth process. It seems like any day now that the Spotify stats will have a drastic boost. After all, his name is being mentioned in all corners of the industry, and has even been covered by platforms like Lyrical Lemonade and Pitchfork. Some of his top songs out right now include “Xan!,” “Stoopid Gas,” and “$$$.” Bear1Boss is likely your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper right now, so get familiar while it’s still considered early for the soon-to-be star.

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7. GMO Stax

GMO Stax is another artist who should definitely be on your radar. Detroit has been known to be producing some of hip-hop’s best acts lately, and GMO Stax is no exception. The crisp, calm nature of his sound is one of a kind. Even though many other Detroit rappers are pursuing the same style, he stands apart thanks to his voice, sense of rhythm, and lyrics.

GMO Stax is a standout, and is helping to continue the relevance of Detroit’s slick, relaxed sound. He’s collaborated with artists like Pooh Shiesty and Big 30, along with #10 on our list today, PGF Nuk. When you read more on PGF Nuk, you’ll see how impressive GMO’s taste and strategy is. Not only can he land major features, he has an ear for the underground and impeccable timing.

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8. Shawny Binladen

Introducing the “king of samples,” Shawny Binladen. New York is a hotspot for the unique; after all the whole ethos of the city is to shamelessly be yourself. Lo and behold, Shawny Binladen has emerged in the hip-hop scene with an unforgettable sound.

Sample-fueled drill beats have become commonplace lately, and samples have long been a part of making music. However, Shawny built a direct affiliation with samples, demonstrating phenomenal taste and a knack for making these old sounds feel new. A combination of the producer curation for his work and his distinctive vocal approach have amounted to a very special relationship with his listeners. Take a listen to one of his biggest hits with Bizzy Banks in the link below.

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9. Groupthink

Lately, there’s been a large buzz in the music industry about Groupthink. The 10k Projects signee started his career sounding like nobody else around, and has only continued that trend, which is a proven recipe for success.

Groupthink’s latest release, “Guilty Pleasure” is his highest performing song so far, and it comes with a really fire video to match. I first heard about Groupthink from seeing his marketing tactic of “hacking 10k Projects’ Instagram,” which was pure genius. It brought the mayhem of pure artistry to the company who signed him, and to fans new and old watching, it felt like they were welcomed to be a part of the mischief. From the music to the visuals to the marketing approach behind all of it, Groupthink has a natural ability to stimulate his audience. You’re gonna love it all when you get up to speed.

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10. PGF Nuk

With the craziest song as an official intro to a mass audience, PGF Nuk first stepped into the limelight with a Polo G co-sign and feature. “Waddup” is the only proof-of-concept needed to show just how special this rapper is. After hearing “Waddup,” it’s only natural to wonder if he’s got a severe cold, or if that’s his actual voice. His stuffy-sounding vocals in “Waddup” are in fact not a cold; if you take a listen to the rest of his catalog, you’ll see that is actually his natural sound.

With such a hard-hitting song, it’s typically a challenge to match that energy visually. In PGF Nuk’s case, it seemed like it happened with ease. The chemistry between him and Polo G, along with the rest of his crew, is blatantly apparent in the video. Watch the video in the link below, and see if you can resist looking for more bangers from the young Chicago talent.

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These are the first 10 artists to be covered in what will surely prove to be a memorable journey for ‘Curiously Curated.’ Learning more about the underground artists who are separating themselves from the pack is wildly entertaining. There’s definitely a method to the madness of finding talent early, and we’re gonna be continuing to refine that ability together. Even if you don’t have an interest in finding the talent yourself, you can still stay enjoy the luxury of listening to our finds.

If you have any suggestions of artists you think our team should know about, feel free to reach out to us on Instagram, Twitter, or our Discord!

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Categories
NFT

Lyrical Lemonade Enters Web3 with ‘L3MON’

Lyrical Lemonade and its founder Cole Bennett have had a very successful journey thus far, and somehow they manage to continue evolving.

What is Lyrical Lemonade?

Since 2013, Lyrical Lemonade has actively worked to build a community of music lovers through Cole’s videos, their blog, clothing sales, lemonade sales and their events – which range from early shows like their 2016 Uzi-headlined concert to their annual ‘Summer Smash’ festival. Cole’s superior video direction has driven the value of his endorsement; you rarely see a director with such influence. He’s been responsible for putting on a laundry list of artists, including Lil Pump, Ski Mask the Slumpgod, and many more. In short, Lyrical Lemonade is one of the most intriguing multi-faceted music companies in existence. Not only do they offer a long list of products and services, they pay very close attention to detail in every endeavor and have a genuine interest in celebrating artists and their respective art.

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What is L3MON?

Last week, the company unveiled their web3 project, ‘L3MON’, alongside a collection of 500 NFTs – each one a completely unique take on the famed Lyrical carton. After fully diving into researching NFTs in February of 2021, Cole Bennett was sold on Web3. In the time since, he devised L3MON and ‘The Carton’ collection to introduce Lyrical Lemonade to the Web3 space. 

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Each ‘Carton’ was originally minted at 0.5 ETH and comes with an interesting set of utilities: whitelist spots for every future L3MON release, 3 years of access to the Summer Smash Festival, access to exclusive Lyrical merchandise drops, and private Discord access. This is a pretty interesting setup for their first drop; all of the 500 cartons are uniquely handcrafted and are of equal value. Just like the effect of his videos, this drop leaves us wondering what Cole and Lyrical’s next move will be.

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Whatever it is that Cole Bennett decides he wants to do, he does. The 25 year-old founder makes the difficult seem easy with his graceful execution of well-thought-out ideas. It’s encouraging to see Lyrical Lemonade joining the Web3 space, and to see Cole Bennett continuing to shine. As the innovative company’s foundation continues to widen, their influence is following suit.

Categories
Music

Kick Off Your 420 Festivities with Our ‘4:20pm’ Playlist

420 has a rich history, and this year, stoners around the US have more legal access to cannabis than ever before. It’s hard to ignore how special this year’s 420 festivities are, especially with how rapidly weed use is expanding. A strong sense of community runs deep throughout all weed-smokers; today, the community is uniting once again to celebrate their love for the recreational drug.

The holiday is said to have originated during the 1970’s in California, amongst a group of friends who called themselves “the Waldos.” This friend group would come together every day after school to smoke weed at 4:20 pm. What started as an idea became a ritual for the Waldos, and before long, the term 420 and its association with cannabis were widely popularized. One of the founding members, Waldo Dave, had a sibling who was good friends with Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh. It’s said that the Grateful Dead were influential in the amplification of the 420 movement.

While many other stories of 420’s origins have floated around, this particular one has been fact-checked by many and is seen as the most valid explanation of the movement’s beginnings. One thing is for certain: from the moment that the term ‘420’ was coined, it has represented a desire to come together and celebrate a shared love for cannabis.

In the same spirit, today, we present you a 42-song playlist called ‘4:20pm.’ The playlist celebrates some of our favorite weed anthems from artists like Wiz Khalifa, Kid Cudi, A Tribe Called Quest, Curren$y, Snoop Dogg, Mac Miller, and more. It’s a great reminder of just how culturally influential marijuana has been for decades. Its influence has only continued to grow, as has its community.

Take some time out of your 420 to kick your feet up, light one up, and listen to our ‘4:20 pm’ playlist! You’re bound to enjoy yourself.

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Categories
Music NFT

Snoop Dogg Drops Exclusive $APE Mixtape

Rapper and Death Row label owner Snoop Dogg has been finding his way to headlines consistently since his Super Bowl performance in February. Snoop’s latest drop is yet another example of his innovative approach towards Hip-Hop and the modern world. 

Snoop’s newest mixtape features four songs: “FOOLIN YASELF”, “THA GREAT”, “MY APE”, and “DOCK THE YACHT”. The first track sold for 20 $APE, while the rest sold for 15 $APE. Only $APE holders have access to the primary release, while a secondary release took place on OpenSea. All four Ape-based songs sold out, which has only continued to fuel the fire for Snoop’s crypto presence. 

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Snoop recently made headlines for his acquisition of Death Row Records, followed by his announcement of making the label the first NFT label. In the time since, he keeps proving how serious he is about the concept through demonstrated action. There’s no better way to get your point across to people than actually showing them. Snoop is making history with his latest drops and is showing no signs of slowing down.

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In addition to his own NFT tape drop, Snoop dropped another eight-track mixtape with Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa. It seems clear that this format of release must be working well for Snoop, especially since he doubled down so quickly after his own rollout.

Music has always been something to look forward to in our culture. Snoop Dogg is actively showing his massive following what else they have to look forward to, and it’s so interesting to watch. He’s always had a graceful approach with his career, but as of late, he’s been especially on point. While other artists are getting acquainted with the new crypto environment, Snoop is pressing go on memorable music-based NFT projects. 

The music and crypto worlds are watching closely to see what Snoop Dogg’s next move is. Snoop is proving that “falling off” is no concern of his; it’s all about building for this west coast superstar. Take some time today to check out this groundbreaking drop for yourself.

Categories
Culture Music

ICYTWAT Sounds Like He’s From The Future

Chicago native ICYTWAT has been highly acclaimed for his music in the underground for years, on both the production and recording side. His beats are in a league of their own, and his vocal approach is starkly different than his contemporaries’. The veteran music-maker spent a chunk of his early career as a member of rap group Divine Council, alongside Cyrax, $ilkmoney, and Lord Linco. From there, he has added an incomparable amount of depth to his work; his beats have gotten even better, along with his recording ability.

ICYTWAT is shining in his solo career, but also made a recent buzz for his signing to A$AP Rocky’s creative agency, AWGE. He signed as a duo with his rap comrade Thoto, under the group name ThotTwat.

Thoto was on tour in 2019 with Rocky in Canada and Europe; when the infamous incident went down, Thoto was also in jail with Rocky, and got released at the same time. In the time shortly after, Rocky brought Thoto and ICYTWAT out for his Rolling Loud 2019 set, which was an explosive entrance for the duo.

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As ICYTWAT and Thoto collaborated over time, they made hits that have left their die-hard fans begging in the comments. They even collaborated on music with Rocky, which they gave fans a peek at in their 2021 Rolling Loud performance together.

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Outside of his budding collab project with Thoto, ICYTWAT has still continued to release his own music and innovate his sound further. What’s crazy is that if you listen to his earlier work, you’ll notice it still sounds futuristic from today’s standpoint. Considering his first DSP drop was in 2015, that’s really saying something. His latest project, ‘Siddhi,’ is a great indication of where he’s at sonically, and is elaborated upon with his follow up EP, ‘Eyez On Em / Love Who?’. If you’re new to ICYTWAT, here’s your chance to get familiar to this groundbreaking music act out of Chicago.

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Categories
Culture Music

Russ’ “Handsomer” Remix Has Quite The Story Behind It

At the start of February, Russ dropped a new single, called “Handsomer.” After releasing the song, he put an open verse challenge up on TikTok, and said he was looking for a feature for the remix.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”tiktok-embed” cite=”https://www.tiktok.com/@russ/video/7060634195990727942″ data-video-id=”7060634195990727942″ style=”max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px”> <section> <a target=”_blank” title=”@russ” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/@russ”>@russ</a> Reply to @jacobparker.ca <a target=”_blank” title=”♬ HANDSOMER OPEN VERSE CHALLENGE RUSS – RUSS” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/music/HANDSOMER-OPEN-VERSE-CHALLENGE-RUSS-7060634122083306245″>♬ HANDSOMER OPEN VERSE CHALLENGE RUSS – RUSS</a> </section> </blockquote></div>

Russ has built a reputation for getting crafty with his social media presence and using that presence to build leverage. From collaborating with upcoming artists like KidSuper’s @foda.farm on his cover art, to using IG engagement to strategize song releases, Russ has his finger on the pulse of his career and the world around him. This latest drop highlights the same notable aspect of Russ’s career, but this time, he leveraged TikTok to make major noise in the music world.

Ktlyn, a female rapper from San Diego, decided to give it her best shot. As her rapidly-growing fanbase has found out for themselves, Ktlyn is ridiculously talented. Her video for the “Handsomer” challenge quickly became the top response to Russ’ video, and is currently at 23M views and 3M likes. Russ selected Ktlyn’s verse to be on the official remix, and within the first week of its release, the remix started charting on Billboard and Spotify.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”tiktok-embed” cite=”https://www.tiktok.com/@ktlynraps/video/7062508521748696366″ data-video-id=”7062508521748696366″ style=”max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px”> <section> <a target=”_blank” title=”@ktlynraps” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/@ktlynraps”>@ktlynraps</a> I won’t lie that extra coin don’t hurt 🤣 @russ eng @brendangone <a title=”handsomer” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/handsomer”>#handsomer</a> <a title=”russ” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/russ”>#russ</a> <a title=”rap” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/tag/rap”>#rap</a> <a target=”_blank” title=”♬ HANDSOMER (Remix) (Feat. Ktlyn) – Russ” href=”https://www.tiktok.com/music/HANDSOMER-Remix-Feat-Ktlyn-7062508568989223727″>♬ HANDSOMER (Remix) (Feat. Ktlyn) – Russ</a> </section> </blockquote></div>

This single is a preview of a trend that will continue to grow in prevalence as TikTok expands: the duet remix. As artists are getting more acquainted with the platform, it’s starting to find a place in their art. Russ has been actively contributing on TikTok, and in return, he found himself charting yet again, thanks to Ktlyn and the TikTok users who drove this hype.

While many artists have shown reluctance to being present on the platform, here’s a golden example of why it’s the place to be. Russ could’ve asked an established artist for a feature, but by including the audience in the process, he managed to land a perfectly fitting feature and some of the best promotion possible. This simple yet effective tactic got Russ and Ktlyn on the Billboard charts. That says a lot about TikTok, and what the future holds for artists on the platform. It doesn’t matter if you’re an already-established act like Russ, or an up-and-coming act like Ktlyn.

Although she’d already been gaining traction prior, this official remix has launched Ktlyn even further in her career. What started as a shot in the dark has evolved into an unforgettable moment for Ktlyn, Russ, and all of their fans.

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