Welcome in The New Year With New Tunes
This year has had its ups and downs. Many will look back on 2016 with side eyes and frowny faces in historical context, but it was an inarguably good year for music. Gucci came home, ATCQ put out a new record, Frank Ocean reappeared then disappeared again, Kanye made a living / breathing / malleable record, and Drake was very Drakey. 2016 also gave us tons of new talent to look out for. Here are four under-the-radar artists to look out for in 2017…and a new Christmas classic.
1. GUCCI MANE — “ST. BRICK INTRO“
It’s a true Christmas miracle. Zaytoven flipped the “Jingle Bells” melody and our man Guwop let us all know why he’s the East Atlanta Santa, Jolly Ol’ Saint Brick. I know we just posted about Gucci a few playlists ago, but the man’s on an everlasting hot streak and delivered a holiday slap that’ll allow you to one up your “cool” uncle who still puts “Christmas In Hollis” on his Christmas mix.
2. DEMO TAPED — “STAY” (FT. AMBER MARK)
Demo Taped is an 18-year-old Atlanta native with a voice and aura of wisdom far beyond his years. With only a handful of songs released, all of them equally mind blowing, he’s certainly one to watch. “Stay,” like many of his tunes, is hiding sadness with a smile; bright and cheery musically, but somber and contemplative in lyric. For fans of Blood Orange, Toro y Moi, and James Blake.
3. 6LACK — “PRBLMS”
6lack (pronounced “black”) released his anticipated album Free 6lack in late November and it hasn’t left rotation since. The lead single, “PRBLMS,” puts all of his strong traits on display: great knack for melody that blurs the line of rapping and serenading, intricate lyricism describing vividly relatable emotion, and an amazing ear for beats. He’s like a more self-aware Bryson Tiller.
4. EARTHGANG — “VOODOO”
Apparently Atlanta owned my week in music because this is the 4th ATL pick in a row. EarthGang have been putting out consistently great rap music for most of the 2010’s. Their crew, Spillage Village, recently released a new compilation tape called Bears Like This Too Much that’s Grade A, all the way through. This standout track has Johnny Venus and Doctor Dot trading verses over a bugged out reverse sample J.Cole / Childish Major beat, sounding like the heir apparent to Goodie Mob.
5. KEVIN ABSTRACT — “EMPTY”
Kevin released his beautiful, challenging, genre-defying American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story album a few weeks ago and it’s already ended up on a few “Best of the Year” lists. This video is like a mini American Beauty set to music. The record frequently tackles themes of his sexuality and emotional inner conflicts, outward conflicts with his loved ones, and society’s frequently contradictory outlook on love and hate. Deep topics covered by an artist finding his voice over the highest production value he’s offered to date.