9 Perth rappers to watch in 2018
By Harry Cunningham
Personally, mainstream Australian hip-hop still hasn’t quite managed to find it’s feet. For me, breakthrough groups like Hilltop Hoods, Horror Show and Bliss N Eso have been progressive for Aussie hip-hop only in that they’ve helped launch it into the somewhat mainstream. However, when artists have to conform to a set of expectations to get commercial play time, their style can become oversaturated. What should be encouraged in Australian hip-hop is originality, innovation, a progressive message, and like Australia’s multicultural society – embrace music and sounds from everywhere. For me, over the past few years, the majority of Perth artists on the scene have been listenable but their lack of ingenuity has failed to really get me excited about hip-hop in my city. However, over the past year, I have been blown away by Perth’s up and coming hip-hop talent. Here are nine artists progressing Australian hip-hop with their own unique sound and making the Perth scene a force to be reckoned with.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi has been active on the Perth hip-hop scene since 2012. Toyotomi produces an atmospheric cloud trap sound infused with an unlimited flow of mellow, rugged vocals which seem to hit the beat precisely where they need to. ROCKETSHIPS was released last month and is Toyotomi’s first full-length LP release – Get it while it’s hot here.
Label: Boogie Nights
Butter smooth flows and catchy R&B hooks. Fremantle artist Split Figure has only entered the scene a couple of years ago, but bangers like Persian Wine and Brûlée prove he’s got a bright future ahead of him. Stream his latest EP Créme De La Créme on Spotify or Soundcloud.
T$oko fka S.O.X aka Tinashe Soko is a Zimbabwean born, Perth based rapper. Solid tracks like Blasphemy/ The Mirror honor hip-hops true roots while hard-hitting singles like Parlayand his latest release 4th Quarter bring the heat to the table. It’s no suprise he supported Future when he came to Perth in September earlier this year. T$oko linked up with Perth producer Jimmy Drones recently for his latest single 4th Quarter, and it BANGS so check it out here… PULL UP!!
Label: Co-sign A$AP MOB *
Llehna is (Including Toyotomi) another member of Perth group TUFFBOYS and has recently released an EP of his own. Llehna’s latest EP Llenhas World is definitely one to listen to. It’s Fast, lyrically creative and almost every track contain hooks that are catchy AF – “swiper no swipey”. Check out Llenhas World on Soundcloud here.
Label: Boogie Nights
Fast, crazy and out-of-this-world creative. Fremantle’s hip-hop/ jazz group POW! Negro produce a unique sound that brings a whole lot of energy to the table. I haven’t seen a Perth band blow up as fast as these guys did – and I’m not surprised either. You’re lucky if you caught these guys live at Code Red festival earlier this month – They are killing it and there’s no stopping them. Their latest EP is called Jasmine & Licorice and you can stream it on Spotify here. They will also be releasing a new single ‘Flesh Off The Bone’ on November 25th at Jack Rabbit Slims. See you there.
Maori/Samoan rapper HYCLASS produces some insanely catchy beats which compliments her world-class flow. Her latest project I NEED YOU is a must listen. Her EP offers some ol’ fashioned raps and hip-hop beats that everyone can vibe to. She recently supported Marksman Lloyd at The Sewing Room and you can check out her full length EP on bandcamp here.
Ziggy Ramo’s music provides an insight into the silent injustices of Aboriginal Australia among other social issues. Ramo’s productions range from poppy funk hits like his latest track YKWD to tracks provide a strong and hard-hitting message like Black Thoughts. Check him out on Spotify or Soundcloud.
Label: Ramo Records
And Beyond comprises of rapper Insane the Prince and producer ZYTGYST. Insane’s mellow vocals and catchy lyrics make me want to listen for hours. The duo produce a clean, creative and modern sound which compliment their contemporary discourse on topics affecting the youth of today. Check them and their latest single 2 Cents on Soundcloud here.
LBFRMikey spits evocative, smooth and R&B infused flows as well as hooks that prove the upcoming artist’s mature talent. Mikey frequently links up with Perth producer talent Dub A and together they create a world-class sound. Stream his latest single KATRINA here.
Check out a playlist featuring all these artists below: