There’s a near-constant stream of quality music coming from the Minnesota rap scene, and we’ve taken it upon ourselves to pick a few highlights from the past week in new releases and videos. Here are 5 that are definitely worth your time.
Sims - "Brutal Dance"
Sims recently released “Brutal Dance,” the second video from his latest project More Than Ever, which drops Thursday to coincide with his upcoming tour with Air Credits (The Hood Internet and ShowYouSuck collaboration). The video for "OneHundred" is all a e s t h e t i c -- colorful, bright, bizarre and slightly ominous -- but "Brutal Dance" plays with post-production lighting techniques to distort a ruminative walk through the words and the urban landscape. Continuing with a bullish sound imbued with sincerity, Sims continues to challenge himself.
MMYYKK - Astral Beat Theories 2
ZULUZULUU deliver a wide range of hybridized neo-soul and Afro-futurist sounds, and their 4-week Astralbeat Theories residency at Icehouse coincides with a string of solo records from the group. The follow-up to last week’s stellar AstralBeat Theories 1 from Proper-T is from the soul scientist MMYYKK. He carries a subtle frontman vibe undergirded by slinky synth lines. Their live show is unquestionably worth taking in.
CRASHprez - “i just moved to minnesota (so you’re all F--KED)”
New Minneapolis resident CRASHprez has a quick-and-dirty statement of intent over the glitchy sonics and stomping drums from producer Shrimpnose. It’s goofy, poisonous, technically proficient, spastic-but-controlled, and danceable. With eight projects already under his belt, including the four-part “Campaign” saga which included last year’s harrowing more perfect. on Мишка Records, there’s no telling how the former Madison resident will influence the local scene with his heart-rending and original take on gritty, personal hip-hop.
su na & DUVV - Unfold
Producer su na’s chilled vibe blends beautifully with DUVV’s vocals on their enchanting 4-song EP Unfold. Its subtlety will grab you, and their harmonious textures elevate the beats-plus-vocals concept into a more fully realized soundscape. While su na represents a new wave of young, forward-thinking Minneapolis beatmakers, DUVV hails from New York by way of Seoul, and expands on sounds showcased on projects like Through No Fault of Your Own on this cross-regional foray into atmospheric downtempo R&B.
Taylor J - “Highlight”
St. Paul’s Taylor J continues to steadily make a name for himself locally and nationally by putting out great music and crisp visuals consistently. Previewing an upcoming mixtape with acclaimed producer Lex Luger, who all but defined the advancing sound of trap music with his work on records like Waka Flocka Flame’s Flockavelli, Taylor J’s black-and-white video for “Highlight” perfectly matches the song’s floating melodies and understated flex.