FEATURE: The new wave of hip hop – Dope Bands You Should Know
By Sound Check
March 18, 2014
Hip-hop is always changing. Since the birth of rhyming over a beat, many artists have discovered different ways to enhance and innovate the genre. An intellectual vibe has taken the world by storm and welcomed a new wave of hip-hop. An underground movement of independent artists from the U.S. and abroad stands as a breath of fresh air from mainstream rap and are influencing fans by sparking listeners’ psychedelic curiosity.
We are aware and proud of our blackness, this isn’t a new discovery. Now this major idea has elevated to a positive, more uplifting message. Using social media and other internet platforms, these groups are able to share their message with millions of young listeners.
By Ariana Beedie, AFROPUNK Contributor *
For The Underachievers, that message is indigoism. Flatbush natives, Issa Dash and AK create music about “third eye sight” and indigo children.
Indigos is a concept coined by Nancy Tappe, a scientist who worked with color perception. It refers to people born with high functioning technology capabilities. According to Nancy Tappe’s website on indigos, 95 percent of the population are indigo.
The Flatbush duo, affiliated with Brainfeeder (Flying Lotus’ independent record label), builds much of their work around herbal and psychedelic meditation, but also around knowledge of self and mind expansion. Behind their classic Brooklyn sound, and hardcore stature, the duo educates listeners on how to tap into that higher elevation.
“You niggas looking for the truth, I got the remedy. Two drops and a nigga in a fantasy,” said Issa Dash in “Potion Number 25” on their debut tape, Indigoism.
While most of their lyrics are tightly wrapped around the most potent marijuana strains, the idea of discovering more about the self is blatant. Along with elevation, The Underachievers rhyme about today’s evils over hard east coast beats with clever choruses like “stack them dollars, till you can’t stack up no more.”
Issa Dash and AK represent Beast Coast, a collective of artists from the Flatbush area who feature the same messages about elevation and psychedelics. Some of the stories from this movement end tragically (e.g.: late rapper Capital Steez who took his own life in 2012).
The indigo movement flourishes, not only in New York, but also in Washington state. Rap duo, Kung Foo Grip also focuses their message on elevation, indigoism but also the rapid movement of technology and “growing up in the future.”
Eff is H and Greg Cypher of Kung Foo Grip, use futuristic samples and incredible production to enhance their positive message. What exactly is that message? It’s simple, just be yourself.
These elevated messages also spread to the midwest with collaborations from Detroit and Indiana.
Clear Soul Forces, a hip-hop collective from Detroit has spread the elevated mindset to underground rap fans in the heartland. CSF consists of E-Fav, L.A.Z., Noveliss and Ilajide; four rappers who according to their bio “rap like genetically enhanced, socially conscious street poets from the 70’s.”
Rappers Sunny Osho and Jasmonster, from Evansville, Ind., also communicate a positive elevated message to help bring a change of direction for hip-hop.
“The dichotomous nature of our music, look within and strive to be a positive person,” Sunny Osho said. “But also there’s this reality that you’re not perfect. Acceptance of the wrongs you might do.”
Both artists rap and produce music for fans to relate to. Rhymes about reality, change and the future to relate to their listeners.
Through social media, these independent artists are finding different way to market themselves. It’s doesn’t seem like these rappers need to belong to a label, instead they’re making their own mark in hip-hop history.
The message of elevation is consistent with each group involved in this new wave. Clever rhymes accompanied by futuristic beats draw underground listeners close, teaching lessons of individuality. Each collective maintains their individuality while teaching the same lesson, be yourself. These artists are hip-hop’s saving grace.
* Ariana Beedie on Twitter: @thegladfact.