There was a lot of music released this year and it gets increasingly difficult to keep up to date to new music as the established and more popular artists hold your timeline hostage when they put out new songs. The market share is usually unfair to up and coming artists because the quality of their music is just as good, if not better, than the “biggest” artists of the time.
Just incase you missed out on some gems this year, here are 6 artists that may have went under your radar this year:
6. La Même Gang
La Même Gang is actually a collective of artists: Darkovibes, Nxwrth, $pacely, Kiddblack, KwakyBs, and RJZ all hailing from Ghana. They are each very talented individually but as a collective, they put together one of the better projects that came out this year, La Même Tape: Linksters. You more than likely already know Darkvibes from “Stay Woke” featuring Stonebwoy but it’s refreshing to see that the collective isn’t centered around him and that each member is bringing equal talent to the table. They are certainly one of Ghana’s future stars, even Sarkodie seems to think so.
It’s Bad Boy Blaq SZN. Nigerian Rap has taken a backseat to traditional afrobeats in recent years, but that isn’t stopping Blaqbonez from bringing the bars. This is not to put him in a box as “rapper” because on his project, he sings on quite a number of songs. If I were to compare him to another artist, it would be Tory Lanez (BlaqLanez??). Either way, his album, Bad Boy Blaq, was very impressive and deserves a re-visit if you slept on in this year.
4. Nasty C
Strings and Bling was one of my favorite albums that dropped this year and to be honest, Nasty C is one of the best rappers from South Africa currently. The amount of flows in his ammunition on this album is nothing to scoff at. He’s able to create conscious and personal songs and tackle alcoholism and suicide and effortlessly switch on the title track, and switch to boasting and flexing on a crazy bounce beat. If you haven’t already, PRESS PLAY.
“The new Godess on the block”, OSHUN is the Hip-Hop / Soul duo from New York that are steadily making a name for themselves through out the Oshunverse. Their project, bittersweet vol. 1, is as smooth as it’s going to get. Filled with out of world metaphors about relationships, stars, demons, solar plexus, souls, and Nigerian heritage, it’s a lot to digest but you will enjoy the ride.
MY GOD, THIS PROJECT IS CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED. Take Not3s II flew under everyone’s radar for some reason. This sequel is a more mature and focused Not3s than we’ve seen in the past. This project has nearly no skips and high quality verses. U.K. artists just have a different style of creating music that makes your ears perk. “Trekked Like Me”, “M3 not you”, “Nigerian Eagle” are all bangers. Listen to the whole project here!
1. Wavy The Creator
Jennifer Ejoke aka Wavy The Creator has the potential to be of polarizing figures in the Nigerian music industry, given the right push. She didn’t put out an album this year but her visual aesthetic in her Shaku, Stay, and H.I.G.H. (released on the tail end of 2017) makes up for it. She fits right in with the new Alte movement with the likes of Santi, Nonso Amadi, Odunsi (who happens to came on in the Shaku video) and shows great promise to be a star. “Shaku” ironically sounds like an early 90’s house music vibe (think Vanjess) and not the traditional afrobeats production you might be expecting and it works perfectly. In light of her few releases this year, she has been working hard at producing eye catching visuals via her instagram that simply gets you intrigued and engulfed in her world. She’s definitely someone to look out for in 2019.