Skip to main content

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

  • Author:
  • Updated:

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

Image from iOS (2)

Urban Outfitters store in Uptown to close

A number of national chains have departed Uptown in recent years.

Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 6.41.22 AM

USS Minneapolis-St. Paul officially launched in Duluth ceremony

It's the first U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

North High principal Mauri Friestleben returning to finish year

The principal said Friday she had been fired from her role over her support of a student protest.


One dead, two injured in wrong-way crash on Hwy. 169

The crash occurred on Highway 169 early Sunday morning.

minneapolis police

Man fatally shot overnight in north Minneapolis

The shooting was reported around 2:20 a.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.30.08 AM

Campsites closed at Voyageurs National Park due to 'historic' water levels

All backcountry trails and campsites are closed, as well as many frontcountry sites.

state capitol Minnesota

Lawmakers reach agreement on tax cuts ahead of session's end

Lawmakers announced they had reached a deal on a tax bill Saturday ahead of the looming session deadline.


Victims of daytime drive-by shooting in Robbinsdale identified

The two men died after a hail of bullets struck a vehicle.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.14.37 AM

Source of 'loud explosion' in Brooklyn Park a mystery

The noise was investigated by police, but no source could be determined.

covid, vaccine, booster shots

COVID: All Americans over 50 advised to get a second booster

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise again as new COVID variants emerge.

J.W. Peck (left) and Eric Galler.

2 Minnesotans inducted into White Castle's Hall of Fame

White Castle — it's what a man in Minneapolis and another in Woodbury, crave.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.


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.