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

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

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.

Villa Rosa feat. Yrak Saenz "Vitalicio" - "Ca$hDro"

The closer of Muja Messiah's exceptional PyrExpeditioN album – its release show is Thursday at the Uptown VFW – is the Villa Rosa track "Ca$hDro." It was recorded in Havana with Cuban rapper Yrak Saenz "Vitalicio" as part of their upcoming project through the US Cuba Artist Exchange. Producer Tek, who handled the whole of the precursor to the Saran Rap project (to be produced by Roc Marciano), shines as the sonic backdrop to the intercontinental and imagery laden banger.

Student 1 - "Paint"

Student 1 finds the perfect pocket for the next-level bounce of Psymun of thestand4rd fame's beat on the distinctive "Paint." The jabs of his smirking flow build to a satisfying crescendo with a strong hook that drives the tail-end of the track. Following up last month's excellent dichotomy EP, Student 1 continues his unique approach.

Tarxan - "Exhausted"

When Tarxan of the West Side St. Paul group N.D.O. (No Dayz Off) hits his stride around the first chorus, it's evident he's just dropped something that stands among his most propulsive solo work. Finding where his reflective, melodic side meets with the raw energy of his remixes, "Exhausted" follows a cadence that carries both the gravity of the hook and the brashness of the verses.

Shrimpnose - not really 

Rootnote Collective and ASSORTED FLAVORS released "Darkness" as a preview of CRAM producer Shrimpnose's new project, an EP due Friday called not really. Meanwhile, Shrimpnose dropped "Thankless" and "Musty" on his own Soundcloud. The album features guest vocals from the whispery choral R&B vocalist Aym Telos on "Thankless," and a subdued Nazeem and Jaylap on "Darkness," but as is the tendency with producer albums, the stuttering, icy beats are the central character.

3B's - "50 Cent"

3B's drops multiple visual and lyrical references to Fiddy on this anthem. He cites the rapper's unlikely rise as a personal inspiration in both the song itself ("That's that motherfuckin' Get Rich or Die Tryin', you know that motherfuckin' CD changed your life") and the spoken interview introduction. The video's loud energy matches the snap of the beat, properly invoking the impactful punch of early 50 Cent material.

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