Over the last few years rap fans of a certain age have felt a very clear disconnect with the hip hop of the current time. The recent evolution of hip hop, we have seen a much deeper focus on melodies and flows over lyrical ability; giving birth to the likes of Migos, Future. Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, Lil Yachty, etc. I’m not by any means saying this is a bad thing, however there is a clear contrast between the current popular upcoming artists and the former artists that have a buzz. Although, artists with strong lyrical ability, like, Kendrick and J. Cole, still manage to maintain popularity and sell records, it is clear that there are very few new artists with the same level of lyrical skill. Due to all of this, I have decided to devise a list of 6 MCs that are in the same vein as those from the past, just for you old heads who need some rappers they can truly relate with. Before people come at my neck, disclaimer: these rappers can and are enjoyed by all ages and I am in no way saying there only market is the older generation. Thanks for reading.
Your Old Droog
We recently made New York rapper, Your Old Droog, our subject for our artist spotlight and there is not much we can say that we haven’t discussed already. In short, Your Old Droog, brings that 90s east coast vibe with a slight new twist. His lyrical ability is undeniable with his intelligent wordplay and smooth flow; making him one of the most slept on rappers of the current time. make sure you check out his most recent project, ‘Packs’. listen to Bangladesh ft, Heems Below:
When you look back at gangsta rap, before the scene was dominated by trap beats, you will find that a wide range of rappers, would spit their ghetto truths over smooth, soulful beats, and this was something lost in the new generation. However, Westside Gunn, is one of the very few that embraces this style with songs like ‘Mr. T’ and ‘Gustavo’. His high-pitched voice may be a bit different to the ear at first, but once you move past that you will realise how talented he is, and see his style is very reminiscent of earlier gangsta hip hop. His project ‘Flygod’ was superb and I recommend it to any hip hop fan.
Listen to Mr. T below:
Mr MuthaFuckin’ eXquire
There are very few rappers that would have the sheer confidence to have ‘muthafuckin’ as part of their rap name, and when I heard about this artist I was instantly intrigued. What I found is that this name was no gimmick, eXquire was a hell of a rapper. He seemed to embody that New York rap sound with a twist of experimentation and weirdness that makes him stand out. After his project ‘Kismet’ in 2013, I expected this upcoming MC to start gaining notoriety, however things not work this way and after he dropped a couple more projects he seemed to disappear for a few years. However, this year saw him return with the EP ‘Brainiac’, and his frank, unforgiven lyrics and hard flow made for one of the most entertaining projects of 2017.
Listen to Manboy below:
Dave East was an XXL freshmen and stood out as the one rapper who wasn’t part of the current trap trend. In comparison to his peers in the rap game, Dave East is clearly influenced more by the lyrical east coast side of Hip Hop, rather than the southern-trap that is taken on by most of the new school. Dave East’s flow and delivery is on point, and his smooth style has caught the attention of many.
Listen To Prosper below:
Troy Ave is probably one of the least popular rappers currently active. This MC seems to get shot at on a regular basis, and it must be said some kind of divine intervention has kept this young rapper alive. He also facing charges for a shooting at a T.I. concert where he was caught on camera but he has claimed self-defence and is currently out on bail. But despite all this controversial and issues outside of music, Troy Ave manages to bring that gangsta, New York feel that was brought when 50 Cent began rapping. He brings a certain arrogance to the mic and denounces all the ‘weirdo rappers’; sticking to a sound that is more in-line with old school traditions of hip hop. Troy Ave’s unapologetic approaching to rapping makes him exciting and a very interesting artist to follow.
Jonwayne hasn’t got the stereotypical look and bravado of a rapper but forget that, brings amazing beats and straight bars. Clearly influenced by the likes of DOOM and Dilla, Jonwayne brings his laid-back, authentic brand of hip hop. His most recent album ‘Rap Album Two’, showed just how talented he is and I highly recommend this artist to anyone looking for that old school hip hop feel.
Listen to These Words are Everything below:
I am in no means saying that these rappers are producing ‘Illmatic’ replicas or rapping like your favourite 90s MC. Each of these rappers incorporate the old school vibes of former rap pioneers and manipulate this for their own personal sound. however, these rappers bring the essence of the early days of the genre and may strike a chord with rap fans that feel disconnected from modern day rap.