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

This week: Kristoff Krane, Bionik, Drelli, 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.

This week: Drelli, Kristoff Krane, Velvet Negroni, Knowledge, and Bionik.

Drelli feat. Allan Kingdom and Finding Novyon - “White T”

Drelli’s affinity for beats that sound like video game bonus levels finds him flexing over a beat by New Orleans’ producer Lukrative. With like-minded rappers Allan Kingdom and Finding Novyon on board, the song details stealing your girl, rocking diamonds, and airbrushed T-shirts. They sink perfectly into the glimmering, bubbly beat. Drelli totally owns the fun, carefree bounce that’s anchored by smooth and confident styling.


Kristoff Krane feat. Lady Midnight - “Shine On”

Kristoff Krane’s upcoming album, Kairos, is an epic 22 track double-album out July 11. The first glimpse features Lady Midnight's vocal textures, and an unorthodox but captivating beat. Kristoff uses his trademark heady, intricate bars to rap briskly about DMT, overcoming fear, and preparing for the future. Produced entirely by experimental composer and drummer Graham O’Brien, Kairos stands to be among Kristoff’s best works.

Velvet Negroni - “Levels” / “DARENOLEOPARD

With a tilt toward hazy, drugged-out R&B, vocalist Jeremy Nutzman (whose résumé includes working with Pony Bwoy, Marijuana Deathsquads, and rapping under the name Spyder Baybie Raw Dog) has undergone another metamorphosis. His ever-evolving sound begins a new chapter as Velvet Negroni. With producer 1990, he finds a post-Weeknd vibe that includes a flow slow as molasses and lyrics distinctly surreal and sinuous. “Levels” is a track about peaking and losing weekends. On “DARENOLEOPARD” he strips away the sound even further and embraces the auto-tuned reverberation. Velvet Negroni finds a voice like a tempered Busdriver aiming for the pop charts, a slurring Drake off opiates, or, more appropriately, an amorous post-bender Spyder Baybie Raw Dog.


Knowledge - “Traumatized”

Knowledge does not shy away from the specifics of the struggles he’s seen, detailing experiences with death, prison time, suicide, betrayal, and depression over a 7-minute hookless track. Unafraid to talk very explicitly about a number of personal situations, Knowledge has written a stunningly real track, a harrowing listen that lucidly expresses pain and grief in as straight-forward language as possible. Every line is a punch to the gut, spit with gravity and a reflective tone that showcases rap’s incredible potential for honesty and unflinching realism.

Bionik and Lazerbeak - Pool Boys - High Dive EP

Local beatmaking polymaths Lazerbeak and Bionik join forces for “High Dive,” the vibrant first single off their debut Pool Boys EP, a collaborative instrumental album that highlights the wavy middle ground of their many points of influence. The smooth, buoyant sounds pull from a wide spectrum of genres and styles, and is perfectly timed to the upcoming season of hard chilling. Before a June 6 release (which comes with a soundpack of over 300 original sounds), the duo debuted their live set his past weekend during Art-A-Whirl.

Next Up

police lights

Three teens charged in Minneapolis robberies

The incidents took place on Saturday in Minneapolis.

covid-19, coronavirus, ppe

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 21

It's the first time in exactly four months that Minnesota has had fewer than 100 COVID patients in intensive care.

icy roads, bad roads

Girl, 16, killed in crash with semi on icy Minnesota road

The crash happened in Dodge County around 8 a.m. Wednesday.

police lights

Road rage incident sees driver punch out man's window, punch him in face

The incident happened in Waite Park Wednesday morning.

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 7.01.24 AM

Minneapolis will recover $100K in costs connected to 2019 Trump rally

The Target Center operator said it'll pay the costs over three years.

Jacob Frey

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey confirms run for reelection

He has faced criticism over the city's response to George Floyd's death.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: How far away are the Vikings from playing championship weekend?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.


1 dead, 1 airlifted following head-on crash in Stearns County

A 48-year-old died and a 35-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries.

fire truck

1 person killed, another injured in fire at Hudson home

The amount of "combustible material" in the home made it difficult for firefighters.

nichole's fine pastry and cafe

Guy Fieri's visit to Fargo cafe for 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives' will air soon

Over the summer, Fieri visited several restaurants in the Fargo-Moorhead area.


2 dead in St. Paul shooting Thursday morning

A homicide investigation is underway.


One dead in head-on crash in west-central Minnesota

The incident occurred on Highway 27 near 150th Avenue.


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: 3/8/17

This week: Muja Messiah, Student 1, 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: 4/5/17

This week: Dimitry Killstorm, KnoX, Tomorrow Genius, 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: 1/25/17

This week: Drelli, TVKRS, Sti-Lo Reel, and more.