feature: celebrating creative underground rappers

October 10, 2014

Recently, I realized there are many underground rappers that I either really enjoy or respect. Using honest lyrics, creative production, and a strong sense of personal freedom, these rappers are making great stuff. As the music lover that I am, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t spread the word about some of them.

By Latonya Pennington, AFROPUNK Contributor

Maimouna Youssef She is a rapper and singer from Washington D.C. who is extremely good at writing empowering songs in a variety of genres. This May, she released the mixtape, ‘The Reintroduction of Mumu’ Fresh, which has original songs and reinterpretations of songs from musicians like Lorde and Pharrell. If you have never listened to her, then ‘The Reintroduction of Mumu Fresh’ is the perfect introduction. If you want to hear more from this talented woman, support her via Kickstarter –>

Akua Naru – With jazz and soul influencing her production and poetic observations influencing her rapping, she is a force to be reckoned with. In 2012, she released ‘Live and Aflame Sessions’ to revisit her debut album ‘The Journey Aflame’ through a fiery, poignant live recording.

Sammus – Holding it down for black girl nerds, she makes rap fun by rapping about the video games and cartoons that she loves. Yet, she can also combine her gamer side with socially conscious lyrics. This June, she released the EP ‘Another M’ to retell the story of the Metroid video game series and its bounty hunter heroine Sammus from a personal point-of-view.

Skyblew – Moving along from female rappers, Skyblew is one part nerdy and three parts heart. Combining positive messages with his love of video games and cartoons, he is somebody that rap definitely needs more of. Recently, he released the LP ‘SkyBlew’s Unmodern Life’, which fuses personal experiences, 90’s cartoons, and ambient beats to create a unique listening experience.

Prince Ea – With his raps and spoken word, Prince Ea’s challenges rappers and listeners to become more knowledgeable about themselves and the world around them. Recently, he dropped a new spoken word track called ‘Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?’ The track urges people to not let technology get in the way of life’s experiences.