Boston’s hip-hop scene has been steadily on the rise, as producers and lyricists release quality content on the regular.  To give the recognition that these artists deserve, we’re back with five tracks that showcase the talent that this city has to offer and fill you in on the songs that deserve a spot in your rotation this month. 

Don’t Take It From Me” by Tashawn Taylor ft. Guyclaude

“I’m tired of being broke and I’m tired of being broken!” With some heavily quotable rhymes and a mellow, old-school beat mixed with a new-school sensibility, Tashawn Taylor and Guyclaude’s “Don’t Take It From Me” takes its time without feeling slow.  The track starts off at a smooth, comfortable crawl, taking on more shape as the beat picks up and hits you with some surprise horns around the chorus that really makes the song feel whole. The lyrics represent the best of hip-hop’s spirit, rooted in storytelling, personal reflection and observations.  The lyrics go deep into Taylor’s psyche, drenched with extreme honesty about depression and loneliness, along with his love of home and music. This jam is lovable right away but gets even better on repeat. 

-Jared Steinberg

 

“Get a Job” by Lewis M. ft. Slitty Wrists

This is a cheeky, soul-sampled cut by Lewis M., a musical successor to DJ Premiere. The song, while poking fun at itself lyrically, also brings a gritty, hard-hitting beat that feels cold enough for winter, but also has a smooth, warm soul sample that works well in the summer.  Lewis M.’s catalogue runs deep: he’s put out dozens of beat tapes and 4 full-length albums although he describes himself as a “spoken word poet first and foremost.” His music is deep, dark, and intensely personal, but the often difficult themes are easy to take in because of the honesty and emotional transparency that Lewis proudly shares. The song also works just as well in the instrumental version, given how smooth melodies and vocal samples are in this head-nodding beat

-Jared Steinberg

 

“Cleo N ‘Nem” by Oompa ft. Brandie Blaze

A lyrical flame thrower, “Cleo N ‘Nem” shows off the best of Oompa’s lyrical dexterity and raw power as she torches over hard-hitting beats to recreate a scene from one of her favorite movies growing up, “Set it Off,” a female-led bank heist film from the 90’s. She has said in interviews that she was often called “Cleo” in school by her peers, which she felt was a label mischaracterizing her as “angry.” Oompa’s latest album, Cleo, is a concept album and highly-anticipated follow-up to her 2016 local classic November 3rd. The album gives Cleo a fuller backstory while helping share Oompa’s own with listeners.

-Jared Steinberg

 

“Dr Doom” by OTTO

Otto’s fluctuating flow oscillating from spitting verses to singing lyrics isn’t the only factor that gives “Dr Doom” life. The evolution happens once the heavily saturated 808’s kick in, introducing Otto’s first verse. Suave and somber guitars interlace with pretty auto-tuned croons,  sobering verses and a trap-like beat. Otto raps, “I feel bad but it get better with the time  /  it’s hard to catch feelings when you vacant…  all my friends dead and Caucasian.” While this kind of music is reminiscent to the works of XXX and Juice WRLD, Dr. Doom definitely falls into its own realm of syrupy trap with its lo-fi home-mixed production.

-Kristen Sallaberry

 

“the wedding!” by Brevin Kim

“Ain’t shit cool about falling,” a waning voice sings under blue-toned guitar plucks; undisturbed, this reads like the introduction to a soft, simple lo-fi track—but only for a short moment. Seconds later, a wave of cold water hits and wakes this track right up. Shrill, shaky synths, heavy beats, and shouted verses transform “the wedding!” into sonic anarchy. After having set a polar tone and calling for total combustion mid-intro, Brevin Kim manage to make sonic upheaval sound pretty sweet in their 2019 released track.

-Kristen Sallaberry

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