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5 Hip Hop Artists That Blew Up Using Soundcloud

Shawn Davis, Account Executive at FRUKT New York, looks at how Soundcloud has helped launch hiphop artists not just the dance music producers that they're synonymous with.

“Ayeee click the link in my bio!” Nine times out of ten, if a rapper posts those infamous words on one of their social channels, you will be redirected to her/ his self- made Soundcloud page. This Swedish- founded online audio distribution platform has been pivotal in helping MC’s make a name for themselves in the music industry by allowing them to post and share their music with the millions of people scouring the internet in search of new & influential sounds. In the ever- growing age of tech that we live in, other outlets such as Hot New Hip Hop, Spinrilla and Datpiff have emerged, offering platforms for artist to share their music; however, none get it straight from the source better than SoundCloud. In the past ~3 years, several rappers have been able to rise from the muck and make a name for themselves. This piece will dive into 5 rappers who along with their lyrical skills and artistic abilities have SoundCloud to thank for their success. When did they first start to gain buzz? What song(s) catapulted them into the limelight? Those questions will be answered soon enough. We’ll also peek into which rappers I believe are next to break the scene. 

“I used to want to kill myself, came up, still want to kill myself”. Peep falls under the emo, dark side of hip hop that has slowly been gaining momentum over the years. He and his “Goth Boy Clique” bring a different angle to the genre of #cloudrap. The glorification of drugs (i.e. lean, pills, and marijuana) are all found within his songs, however with less of an emphasis on the violence and selling drugs. This leaves his writing material to getting money, girls and doing drugs. But he owns the fact that his sound and image are so different. He has tagged a few of his songs as #alternativerock. Give him a listen and see if this genre bender music fits into alternative rock; beware, he’s one weird dude.

Lil Uzi Vert
The Philly rapper started to garner some buzz after his appearance on Carnage’s song “WDYW”. He carried that momentum into his debut mixtape “Luv is Rage” which after released, soon secured his spot amongst rising rappers in the hip hop community. Singles such as “Money Longer” were received well, and secured Vert a spot in the world of established Soundcloud rappers. His popularity on the streaming service even earned him a trophy:

Lil Yachty
Atlanta has been churning out rappers for years, and is currently showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. Yachty broke into the scene with his viral hit “1Night”. The rapper then continued to dominate the streaming airwaves thereafter with his debut mixtape titled “Lil Boat”. Like many multi-faceted artist today, Lil Yachty’s success does not stop at music. The self-proclaimed “King of the Teens” is attracting the likes of major brands such as SpriteTargetand Nautica. He’s announced the title of his debut album “Teenage Emotions” but has yet to confirm a release date. It will be interesting to see if Yachty will go as quick as he came, or stay and get his buffet on for the years to come.

21 Savage

“Flexin on that chick, hol’ up” These simple yet catchy lines that would soon become catch- phrases easily thrown around a party are what first bought the Atlanta rapper to my attention. Then I listened to the rest of the tape and was dumbfounded that an individual can rap monotone, showing almost zero emotion, and earn spots on tracks with the likes of Drake and Future. But the superstars and fans clearly see something in 21, because the man has been on a hot streak for a little over a year and a half now. The Slaughter Tape and Free Guwop mixtapes received plenty of internet accolades as well as an overwhelming amount of streams. He transitioned smoothly into commercial success with his collaborative album with mega producer Metro Boomin, Savage Mode.

(Photo Source: Vegas Giovanni)

Chance the Rapper
This list would not be complete if it failed to mention Chance. If you happened to catch the 2017 Grammy’s, you probably heard his SoundCloud shout out during his second acceptance speech. The rapper exclaimed “thank you SoundCloud for holding me down!” His story starts with his first mixtape “#10Days” which he debuted on said platform. Whoever the teacher was that suspended Chance and inspired that mix tape, thank you, from all of us fans. His sophomore mixtape Acid Rap proved Chance was here to stay and is a force to be reckoned with. Songs such as “Chain Smoker” & “Favorite Song” are a couple of the many gems on that mixtape. His The latest mixtape “Coloring Book” has earned over 5 million listens and 2 GRAMMY awards. His success does not stop at music either. He has created jingles for KitKat, was a collaborator for H&M, and is set to create a song for 1800 Tequila.

Rappers to watch for 2017 and beyond:

Samron Agnew
Richie Quake 
Kodie Shane
Su Bviley
Lionel Da Vinci
P.S 4080 

(Photo Source: Soundcloud Blog)