5 Twin Cities hip-hop artists to watch this spring

From trap to R&B, the local music scene is chock-full of young artists on the rise.
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From trap to R&B, the Twin Cities music scene is loaded with young artists on the rise.

Here are five rising artists from both sides of the Mississippi.

Malik Augustus

Starting off on a psychedelic note, meet Minneapolis-based Malik Augustus. His recent visual for his track "Trip" gives off a major surreal feel. In the trippy visual, Malik raps in front of a static television screen in the midst of a fogged-up, starry campsite.

"Trip" comes off of his latest project, Lucidity, which was recorded in his D.I.Y. bedroom studio. He not only write, raps and records in his cozy studio, but has also been sharpening his production skills under the alias Scrappy Mixed.

The visual for his track "Bike In," makes us long for bike rides and beach days at Lake Calhoun. Malik's independent and adventurous spirit shines through as he rhymes about focusing on his craft and as the camera follows his solo bike ride and a Vans-first jump into the lake.

Although, he's currently backpacking through Australia, he hasn't put a pause on music. Below is his latest song about late-night thoughts.

RO$$I

RO$$I's sound is nothing short of versatile, yet fresh all at the same time. The Brooklyn Park artist puts his own spin on chill rap, trap, and conspiracy rap depending on the track.

Positivity is a common core for many of his songs. In RO$$I's recent track "Who You Are," he talks about how we are all one and advises listeners look within to find their true selves. Whereas, "Wanna Ride," is a perfect track for a night drive with your windows down.

In his joint track with fellow Spvce Covst crew member called "Dark Matter" and in his solo track "GenerationY" he raps about dark matter, martians and keeping his third eye open. Many of his tracks are self-produced and create an otherworldly atmosphere.

His most popular SoundCloud upload, "Back At It," has 166,000 plays. After one listen to this catchy track you'll probably find yourself chanting "I'm back at it, like a crack addict" at the most inconvenient times.

Talia Knight

Minneapolis-based Chilean producer Talia Knight tags her latest album Nocturna as experimental, electronic, and hip-hop.

Talia's track titles alone are inspiring and include, "Balance," "Guidance," "Hope," and "manifest." The titles help set the mood for each, unique instrumental, which tell a story on their own, yet take you through a journey when you listen to Nocturna in its entirety.

Talia not only crafts beats from scratch, but also adds her own echoey, rhythmic spin on tracks by other artists. She recently reworked Aaliyah's "Back In One Piece" and has also put her own spin on Phony Ppl's "Why iii Love The Moon."

Yung Kane

Yung Kane is a St. Paul-based trap artist who recently opened for Florida's self-proclaimed "UnderGround King" Yung Simmie.

His sound is dark, confident, and raunchy. He is backed up by his crew known as the Hooligans. The Hooligans have been booked both as individuals and as a collective to open up for national acts like Playboi Carti. He has also collaborated with fellow St. Paul emcee Lexii Alijai.

He supplied sentimental lines on "Dirty 30" off of Lexii's project called Joesph's Coat. Kane raps a mumbly, yet sweet chorus, "You're all I really want, you're all I really need. You're all I really think about, I can't stop thinking of you."

In contrast, in his recent project called 3 NIGHTS he uses his straight-to-the-point attitude to discuss his revenue, call out the fakes, and describe his contagious persona in a clever track titled "coKANE."

GYM

This list wouldn't be complete without a smooth-sounding R&B artist like GYM. GYM's moody and raspy tone, poured over electronic sounds make for refreshing music. He has created a sound that stands out on a local level and would be a perfect addition to Spotify's "Genre Bender" playlist.

Before releasing a mixtape, he teased his talents by dropping his single and matching visual for "Break Down." The video traces a couple summer love connections, and it includes a rooftop view as the sun goes down as well as an effortless dance solo from GYM.

Last month, GYM released his first project called Low Noise Vol. IWithin this five-track EP he seamlessly describes every feeling that comes along with love. He makes a convincing case with the combination of his buttery vocals and lyrics like, "Let's just take our time, 'cause you know that I like you" in "Ready." He recently hinted at a video for "Ready," so now is the perfect time to become familiar.

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