5 must-hear Minnesota hip-hop tracks: 2/15/17


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.

GYM - Low Noise Vol. 1

Bouncing between Las Vegas and Minneapolis, GYM made an impact on the local scene with last year's video for "Breakdown." His latest 5-track project pushes even further. GYM's appropiately titled Low Noise Vol. 1 is a slow-paced, syrupy R&B project that draws on ambient electronic production and heavily reverberated vocals. The dirty-minded lyrics sink into the beats to add a dark texture and enigmatic charm. It's a quick but affecting listen that hints at the prospect of future projects.

Muja Messiah - "MCRNM"/ "PyrExpeditioN"

"For ten years straight I've been showing ya'll how to rap," Muja Messiah casually states over Tek's crawling beat on "MCRNM." Beyond his imagery, references, and subject matter, one of Muja's greatest strengths is his relaxed flow: "MCRNM" is a nonchalant gauntlet thrown, aiming at those who can't rhyme. The song opens with a sample about the era before rap was monetized to truly signify the difference. He also recently dropped the single "PyrExpeditioN" (also produced by Tek, a preview of an upcoming full length effort), a work-whipping anthem that plays like a boom-bap Clipse with trap drums and a solid hook.

Neon Blaque - Exo~Tropica

The debut from producer Infinity Suite and Zeus James, as group Neon Blaque, aims for the vibe of summer and succeeds. This breezy, low-key lounge hip-hop feels weirdly appropriate for our unseasonably warm February. James' voice can recall the smooth boisterousness of Grand Puba at times, and it doesn't hurt that Infinity's beats evoke the slickness of Native Tongues-era production. The succinct song lengths satisfy, but if you're left wanting more, they've released an excellent B-Sides record along with it.

Mayyadda - eightynine

Mayyadda combines an acoustic vibe with a soulful style with her latest project, the bright and uplifting eightynine. It primarily leans towards relaxed pop, driven by Mayyadda's subtly powerful voice and guitar work, but some of the standout tracks like "Mars" and "Black Girl Magic" incorporate produced elements that play like hybridized contemporary R&B.

Tha Rift - "Sauce Wave"

M&A Production's visual for Tha Rift's "Sauce Wave" matches MJ Nichols' menacing beat, cloaking the rapper in red smoke and dim lights as he's surrounded by cars and armed women. Using his elastic voice to give every bar a low-key hooky feel, Tha Rift proves both his songwriting talent and his knack for affecting videos with a single stroke.

Next Up

smoke, hazy sky, wildfire smoke

Hazy conditions may lift temporarily, but smoke will keep coming for MN

Drifting smoke "will likely remain with us for a while," one group warned.

Pixabay - covid face mask bicycle bike

Number of MN counties with high, substantial COVID transmission hits 64

Nine days ago, 14 counties passed that threshold. We're now up to 64.

rowdi billboard

Six months on, devoted family not giving up search to find missing Rowdi

Rowdi went missing on the North Shore in February, but Cory Carlson has hope Rowdi is still alive.

Pixabay - hospital emergency room sign

Woman suffers fractured neck, leg after driver blows through stop sign

The crash happened early Thursday about 20 miles outside of Detroit Lakes.

suni lee

Watch: Suni Lee reunites with family after winning 3 Olympic medals

Suni said she wouldn't be where he is today without her family.

Julie blaha and melisa franzen

Blaha, Franzen reveal extent of injuries suffered in crash

The state auditor and state senator were driving home from FarmFest.

covid vaccine card

More than 11K Minnesotans signed up for $100 COVID incentive on Day 1

The new vaccination rewards program opened on Wednesday, and it has proven quite popular among the newly vaccinated.

jeremy jones richardson - pine county

Charges: Man broke into friend's home, killed him with his cane

Pieces of the victim's cane were found on his back, charges say.

Awwal Adebayo Ladipo Go Fund Me hospital

Charges: Fatal punch after fight led to fractured skull, brain bleed

The victim, a 25-year-old St. Cloud State grad, died two days later.

Pixabay - school - classroom

Minneapolis Public Schools to require face masks for staff, students

The rule goes into effect Monday, and will continue at the start of the new school year.


5 must-hear Minnesota hip-hop tracks: 3/8/17

This week: Muja Messiah, Student 1, and more.

5 must-hear Minnesota hip-hop tracks: 2/22/17

This week: Paper Tiger, KPW, Sweetz P, and more.

5 must-hear Minnesota hip-hop tracks: 3/29/17

This week: Moodie Black, Psymun, RP Hooks, and more.

5 must-hear Minnesota hip-hop tracks: 3/1/17

This week: Guante, Bobby Raps, and more.

5 must-hear Minnesota hip-hop tracks: 4/12/17

This week: Greg Grease, Talia Knight, and more.

5 must-hear Minnesota hip-hop tracks: 5/24/17

This week: Kristoff Krane, Bionik, Drelli, and more.