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5 Twin Cities hip-hop artists to watch this fall

Trap, chill, conscious and experimental only begin to describe the waves created by these Minnesota artists.

Wulf Child 

After cracking SoundCloud with a few instrumentals, Minneapolis-based Wulf Child released two more tracks with trap vibes over the summer – only this time they included original bars. On "WULFPACK," Wulf Child literally packs the track with sassy, confident rhymes. Her opening lines set the tone for the rest of the song, "I do it by myself and I do it for myself/ Blowing smoke, who you think you is the goat?/You a joke, stay woke."

On the first of this month, she put down her tough bars in "El Fin." Wulf Child's soft singing about the eminent end of a relationship is reminiscent of Jhené Aiko or Willow Smith. But, her unforgiving attitude is still present as she repeats "Don't text me, don't call me, don't act like you care" throughout the song. 

Lerado

St. Paul spitter Lerado has also created some bass-heavy tracks over the past year. In the visual for his track "Somebody," his meshing of mellow beats and trap elements come to life, as he switches from carrying an acoustic guitar to a gun between scenes. A listen back to his earlier song, "Glovk Hop," further confirms his dichotomous artistry. The intro begins with a sample of Thurston Harris' "Little Bitty Pretty One," followed by abrupt gunshots. 

The first comment on "Glovk Hop" says "greetings from Germany," which is proof that his SoundCloud has steadily been reaching an audience that is beyond local. Lerado's most recent release "360!" has been out less than a month and has already racked up over 37k plays. 

Maolu

Maolu will be your breath of summer on playlists you curate for cooler months. His breezy rap-sing style comes from producer Infinity Suite's beats and his naturally deep voice. The Minneapolis rapper recently completed a marathon of uploads this summer with features from other local artists, including Prolly Tri$, Radio Ahlee and DomoOnEarth. 

His first song of his summer series, "Sometimes," gives a perfect introduction to his sound. Maolu sings carefree lines like "Everything ain't all gravy, oh baby" between deep breaths, and he verbally paints the scene portrayed in the matching visual – a perfect day at the lake with good company.

CRASHprez

Minneapolis emcee CRASHprez has a social media bio that is hard to argue against. It says, "23-year-old Black man writing raps really, really well." His versatility is evident through seamless rhymes he spits over experimental beats from Midwest producers, like Minneapolis-based shrimpnose and Madison-based taxpurposes. His choice in unique beats and commentary on political events sort of give off Vince Staples vibes.

Last month, CRASHprez responded to recent events at Charlottesville with taxpurposes-produced "FASCISTS DON'T CRY." Some standout lyrics that rise above the busy, head-banging beat, include "Pull up to yo hood? I doubt it, get surrounded/White genocide a damn lie, ain't finna be another Auschwitz."

Ice God the Macgyver

Last up is Ice God the Macgyver. This quirky Minneapolis-based artist is also one half of the hip-hop duo known as Softporecorn. In a recent Common Culture-directed video for his song titled "Nina Simone" the Ice God dances and cruises around a highly-saturated golf course over a beat produced by our Go 96.3 colleague Jordan. He shows personality through the especially, locally-produced track in clever lyrics like "And I ain't sipping on no codeine, but my posture's leaning."

His first solo SoundCloud upload, "holy sh*t i don't care" is the Ice God version of a love song. In it, he gets personal with his birth name, Erik, as he sings, "My first name means alone dear, but I want you to stay."

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