Boston’s hip-hop scene has been steadily on the rise, as producers and lyricists continue to drop bars and beats that compete at the highest levels. We’re back to give the recognition that these artists deserve with five tracks that showcase the talent that this city has to offer and to fill you in on the songs that deserve a spot in your rotation this month.

With this latest release of Listen Local, we’re also launching our Listen Local Hip Hop Edition Playlist on Spotify, be sure to follow it for all the freshest local cuts!

 

“Only 1 Me” by Brandie Blaze

Light a Cuban cigar and get your boss on like Tony Montana in Scarface with this song. Dorchester-raised rapper Brandie Blaze exudes pure confidence in the studio and on stage (as seen during this year’s BMA’s), rapping with percussive vocal firepower. The beat on “Only 1 Me” is thunderous with melodic strings and floor-shaking bass. It’s the first track on her highly-rated sophomore album, Late Bloomer, featuring collaborations with Boston rap legends Oompa and Red Shaydez. Brandie said in a recent interview about album, “we women… we out here spitting.”

– Jared Steinberg

 

“OJ” by Lucas

A song for spring off his 2019 EP, Palm Trees, “OJ” by Lucas starts with bird chirping and someone aptly saying, “it’s a nice day out!” All about finding the groove on a sunny day and bopping to it, Lucas rides this beat like a wave, playing around with pauses and showing off his rhyming swagger and style. With cheerful church organs and snaps, Lucas also incorporates a bit of levity through his singing, which he mixes in to give the song a modern stylistic feel.

– Jared Steinberg

 

“No House Parties (Stay Inside)” by Meech, Luke Bar$

“No House Parties” by Meech and Luke Bar$ gives the sensation of swimming around in a baller fish tank with a muted sound that makes the listener feel almost underwater, popping your head to hear the mellow beat. Unintentionally prophetic, this jam is well-timed to help the listener find strength and maintain purpose during this quarantine, it’s a song about trying to stay away from the party life and toxic interactions, focusing entirely on music. 

– Jared Steinberg

 

“Ok Sick!” by Caev, Lil Satan, Maka                                                                                               

“I’mma blow up right under ya nose and ya not even gonna see it comin” – Caev. He’s right, you know. Boston’s brazen and brisk rapper is on the verge of breakthrough. His seamless flow switch-ups and frantic, hard-hitting productions allow this agile rapper to take home the title of “Boston’s best-kept hip-hop secret.” Caev makes the most of a sharp, pulsating piano slur that loops over a bracing beat. One moment he’s paced and unbothered in his delivery and the next he’s vigorously rapping in double time, spitting ferocious verses and sporadic ad-libs on “Ok Sick!” 

– Kristen Sallaberry

 

“Worth” by Michael Christmas

“What it’s worth to you?” Christmas asks on his multifaceted track “Worth.” Throughout the song he divulges late-night thoughts over a sinuous, spirited beat. A trippy reversed piano loop lays the foundation for him to move through his addictions, anxieties, and retrospection with a bounce. Christmas shows us that pessimism can pair well with perky. “Worth” invites you to move to the beat as you ruminate on the verses, underscoring the gravity of this track.

– Kristen Sallaberry

 

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