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Music

Which 12 New York Rappers You Should Know?

While New York’s rap movement is currently ignited by its combination of OG’s, superstars, and upstarts, another wave of talent is waiting to surface. Across the state of New York, specifically the tri-state area within Westchester County and New York City, MCs are steadily building their audiences while adding to their resumes.

Whether it’s releasing music videos that attract millions of views, collaborating with one of the culture’s biggest acts, or touring alongside a Grammy-nominated artist, this list of rappers has done a bit of everything and getting closer to introducing themselves to hip-hop’s mainstream audience.

Here’s our list of 12 New York rappers you should know.

Young Devyn

Coming from Brooklyn, NY, Devyn has established herself as a talented rapper and songwriter with the ability to make many records– ranging from drill to soca. Over the past year, the 20-year-old MC has signed with Island Records, released a new EP (Baby Goat), and performed at Rolling Loud.

Dougie B

Alongside his close friends and fellow collaborators, Kay Flock and B-Lovee, Dougie B has become a prominent Bronx drill act. Inspired by his infectious energy, Dougie has provided various standout verses (I.E., “T Cardi” and “I’m Back”), worked with fellow Bronx native and multi-platinum MC Cardi B, and performed at HOT 97’s Summer Jam earlier this month.

Malz Monday

Coming from Westchester County, NY, Malz has become an early favorite for those loving lyricism and storytelling. Coming off of his acclaimed December 2021 release, Super Heroes Don’t Exist, Malz has reached over 215,000 monthly Spotify listeners and is performing at the Mercury Lounge on July 2nd.

Ice Spice

If you’re really into New York drill, you’ve probably entered a rabbit hole and discovered plenty of artists before– with Ice Spice being one of them. The Bronx, NY native is gaining a lot of steam right now as her standout single, “No Clarity,” has nearly 200K views on YouTube, and she got featured in Converse and Foot Locker’s Black Music Month campaign.

Kenzo B

Within the last five months, Kenzo B has quickly caught the attention of fans around New York City, and for a good reason. Aided by her slick wordplay and smooth delivery, the NYC native is positioned to have a good summer as her “Bump It” single is consistently being played at events and throughout neighborhoods.

Niko Brim

Whether as an activist who played a crucial role in making Juneteenth a national holiday to touring with Grammy-nominated MC, Cordae, Niko Brim‘s star has been steadily rising over the past year. The proud Mount Vernon, NY native, who’s also a co-founder of the buzzing rap collective, CYN, has been busy releasing new and well-received music— an April-released joint EP with Kai Ca$h titled ELEVEN53 and various freestyles.

STEELYONE

Coming out of New Rochelle, NY, STEELYONE has become one of the Tri-State’s most respected and experienced lyricists. Fresh off releasing another stellar project in Lost City last January, the Stainless Global leader completed another sold-out overseas tour through Europe and is gearing up for more releases before the end of this year.

Iman Nunez

In recent years, Iman Nunez has produced one heck of a resume. Between exchanging verses with the legendary Styles P, performing alongside Lil Wayne and Machine Gun Kelly, and making his SXSW performance debut this year, the Yonkers, NY MC is sure to take off even more in 2022-’23.

Shawny Binladen

The “King of Samples” may catch people by surprise with his name, but his music does all the talking. With “Whole Lotta Wickery” being a massive success and following singles such as “Shawn Ye” and “Hercules/Paradise” gaining traction, it’s not a surprise Shawny got added to Rolling Loud’s New York lineup for this coming September.

The Girll Codee

The evolution of The Girll Codee over the last year is a clear example of consistency at its finest. Brooklyn’s Shaa Bigga and Siddity have done nothing but deliver incredible verses, great energy, and a fun live show– the latter, I witnessed during their performance at HOT 97’s Summer Jam. Next month, they’re reportedly releasing a new EP.

Melvoni

Regarding top-notch videos, Melvoni is one of the few artists from New York in that conversation– especially as an up-and-coming artist. “Feel Alive 2” is quickly becoming a standout record of his, and there’s a lot to like about Melvoni– great melodies, strong songwriting, and a good ear for production.

26AR

Even though record labels are making a great effort to sign artists from New York, the pairing of Def Jam and 26AR makes me excited. Ever since his Rocko Ballin-assisted “MANEUVER” got over seven million YouTube views, the new Def Jam signee has been on a hot streak– most notably releasing “MY SET Pt.II,” “Beatbox Freestyle,” and most recently “Hottest In My City.”

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

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.

2. Cash Cobain

“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.

3. AR

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.

Cor Blanco

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.

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.