It can be very difficult to get in the right flow of success as an artist, but many unique talents find their way to accumulate traction. Undiscovered Gems is dedicated to these special creatives who find the proper means to gain recognition and those with talent who aren’t commonly familiar.
The process of creating something appealing and properly marketing it is challenging, but there’s hope to be found in the number of successful artists that the industry is packed with. This edition is special. With more artists featured than ever before, here’s a golden opportunity to introduce you guys to some of the best talent out there. Whether they’re about to blow up or just getting started, the remarkable extent of their ability is undeniable. Without further ado, let me introduce you to eleven artists that should be on your radar.
To kick this off in proper fashion, let’s start with a favorite. Aftertheparty is a New York City artist who’s built a thought-provoking mystique around his name. His music adds to the mystique, being that it draws emotion from his audience. One major thing to note is that his tens of thousands of fans have never seen his face. My initial exposure to him was at a party in NYC a few years ago; a friend had shown me his music when it had barely any traction. Since that time, he’s built a very loyal fanbase and has dropped heater after heater. His top track, “Numb”, has accumulated ten million streams on Spotify alone, and the rest of his catalog isn’t too far behind in numbers. Who knows how long he’ll go without revealing his appearance- one thing for sure is that mystique is a very powerful element of a brand. Aftertheparty is living proof. The most remarkable part about him is that his music is more powerful than his tactic of secrecy. Find out more for yourself in the link below.
Out of Arlington, Texas is another upcoming talent worth beholding. He was raised by Nigerian immigrants and goes by the name Hanani. He has a flare to his vocal ability that sets him apart from the rest. In his Spotify bio, he cites Kid Cudi, Coldplay, and Chief Keef as some of his most influential inspirations- a combination of names you don’t see too often. A combination that adds to the unique nature of this young talent. Whenever gauging new talent, one of the primary things I focus on initially is their inspirations and musical interests. As if that list of inspiration didn’t grab my attention enough, he surely grabbed my attention with his music. His current top track is “Perfect Love”, a song that’s garnered him 600k streams on Spotify. Next up in numbers is his track “Eastside”, which is a personal favorite. He reminds me of an early Chance the Rapper, but with extra oomph in his voice. He currently embodies a stage of artistry where one particular track has gained prominent recognition, yet the rest of his work is awaiting the same numerical acknowledgment. Without a doubt, that day will soon come. Take a listen below and understand for yourself.
Out of Glasgow, Scotland is one of the world’s most exciting upcoming female artists. She goes by the name CHLOBOCOP, and she’s creating quite the buzz. A vivid sound that has galvanized listeners into streaming, which is complemented by her troublesome history and unique parental influence. Her mom is apparently an avid rap fan, exposing the young female talent to prominent American Hip-Hop artists at an early age. In addition, her dad used to be a DJ at old-school raves in Europe. These unique influences, paired with vastly creative ability, have steered CHLOBOCOP onto the path of success. Her top track, “Narcotics”, is sitting pretty at 800k+ streams on Spotify, followed by a slew of six-figure songs. One of the most important and exciting elements of her brand is her visual presence. She utilizes the color red as a foundational piece of her visual appearance (in pictures on Instagram and videos). If you aren’t hip, now is a great time. Take a look for yourself. CHLOBOCOP surely is special.
One of Harlem’s best rappers goes by the name of Delly. He’s created a vivid depiction of his brand to his audience, expressing himself masterfully through music and fashion. Harlem is an international cultural hub- and as a result, the art that emerges is remarkably expressive. Between songs, dances, fashion, ebonics, and more, it’s clear that Harlem has got something very special about it. Delly stands out amongst the rest, incorporating several artistic elements into his overall brand, and flawlessly at that. One of the greatest indicators of his skill is his latest EP, Twenty7. This collection of six songs is a telling insight into the life and style of Delly. He happens to be the brother of A$AP Ferg, and what I love most about him is how understated he is about this, creating a wave of his own. I love it when well-connected artists take the road less traveled, disregarding certain entitlements that others might feel in their position. This only furthers his audience’s respect for the art he creates and the path he leads. Delly can do it all, he’s a wonderful representation of Harlem and the wildly artistic energy found within. Featured below is a prime example of his expressive prowess, an alternate video for his single “Quarter Water”. In the video, his track is sped up as he and two of his homies dance in pure Harlem fashion. Come see for yourself.
Atlanta’s Kenny Mason is taking off, following his smash-hit, which is ironically titled “Hit”. He continued his hot streak with two heavy singles, “Angelic Hoodrat” and “Metal Wings”, and is set to be dropping even more fire music soon. He’s really made his mark on all platforms, most importantly YouTube- the platform where his audience gets a drastically more personal insight into Kenny Mason and artists alike. Kenny hit the nail on the head with his video for “Hit”, the only released music video he has so far. He accumulated 27k subscribers since it dropped, and that comes to no surprise. “Hit” was masterfully directed by Nasser Boulaich, whose visual style was a perfect match for Kenny. If you aren’t already familiar with Kenny Mason, it’s about damn time. Here’s his video for “Hit”, featured below.
Another impressive Atlanta up-and-comer goes by the name of Grip. His masterful vocal execution has grabbed the attention of the mass market, and there are pretty clear indicators to show for it. Not only was his latest project a success, but so were his two most recent singles, “911” and “100YD Dash.” The latter aforementioned track actually landed a spot on the Madden 20 soundtrack. His most recent project, Snubnose, featured other notable upcoming artists like ICECOLDBISHOP, Mick Jenkins, and Armani White, along with some super low-key gems like AHYES, Big Rube, and Grandmaster Vic. If you’re looking for great music to occupy your time in quarantine, Grip is your guy. His sound is beyond exciting and he’s currently experiencing a rapid ascension. Take a look for yourself.
If you aren’t already familiar with Chicago’s Young Jasper, then you’re doing something wrong. The dazzling young artist has been dropping heater after heater, showing no signs of slowing down. With recent tour experience abroad with Comethazine and a long list of other major opportunities, Jasper seems to be checking every box on the list of becoming a huge success. Although he has every dimension of his career booming, his music still is the most inviting part of his brand. That is what makes him so special- the music is the center of his energy and appeal as an artist (which is how it should be, but isn’t necessarily the standard nowadays). With close connections to Chicago’s vivid Hip-Hop scene and beyond, it’s more than clear that Young Jasper is set to blow up soon. It’s your loss if you’re not there for it. Don’t miss out on another soon-to-be star, Young Jasper. Attached below is his top streaming song on DSPs, “TIP TOP”, sitting at 385k plays on Spotify.
I first encountered Lil Mariko on social media, and it was a hell of a first impression. The content I saw was a video snippet for her (only) song “WHERE’S MY JUUL”, a meme-worthy collab with No Idle‘s Full Tac (aka Jared Soule). At first glance, you could tell everything was high-quality, yet playful. There’s a certain fun to be had from listening to music made by skilled professionals, meant to be taken as lightly as possible- just like Zack Fox‘s track with Kenny Beats, “Jesus Is The One”. The viral potential “WHERE’S MY JUUL” is blatant, the track is currently sitting at half a million streams on Spotify and two million views on YouTube. The visuals for the song were a perfect fit. The combination of all of these factors led to what seemed to be the greatest takeaway from the listening experience: imagining what the rest of her rollout is looking like if this is her first track ever. Lil Mariko is a talented creative with a knack for humor. Take a peek at the video for her debut single, “WHERE’S MY JUUL”, featured below.
Hailing from Riverside, CA is an artist who’s bound to make a huge name for himself. He simply goes by Brandon, and is spazzing on all platforms. He’s gained almost two million streams across his four tracks on Spotify, along with a stellar start on YouTube. Visuals are make-or-break for an artist, and surely they are serving Brandon. His focus on every element of his image and sound is remarkable. This attention is apparent and easily separates the best from the rest. Brandon has immense potential- although his start is already impressive, I can confidently say that he hasn’t even scratched the surface of what his future success looks like. His current most popular song is “Equinox”, followed by “Makeup”, “Mourning”, and “Fallen (Here)”. He also has another drop exclusively on YouTube titled “28”, which is a whole vibe. If quarantine (or anything else) has got you in your feels, you’re gonna fall in love with Brandon‘s music. Even if you’re not feeling the least bit sensitive, Brandon will get you there. I’m happy to have come across him so early in what looks to be the start of an incredibly fruitful career. Take a view at the amazing combo of audio and visuals that Brandon pieced together for “Fallen (Here)”.
A great indication of one’s familiarity with the Florida rap scene is if they know Richy Samo. If not, you can’t really call yourself familiar with the scene. The young talent has collaborated with the likes of Smokepurpp, Lil Pump, Krimelife Ca$$, and more. His sound is unique and brings out an energy that is near impossible to replicate. Artists like this are bound to blow regardless, it’s merely a matter of time. His most popular track on major DSPs is “The Hated”, off his Demon Dayz album, which has accumulated nearly 400k plays on Spotify alone. He has many tracks spread across all platforms that don’t fall far behind in numbers, including exclusive YouTube drops with WorldStar and NoJumper. If you’re a real Richy Samo fan, you’ve probably heard his latest EP, Slutty Skrew, which is a 5-track glance at the latest stylistic approach from Richy Samo. If you haven’t already heard it, get ready for some heat- and check out the rest of his extensive catalog while you’re at it.
Very recently, Young Nudy mentioned in a radio interview that he would be signing upcoming artists, and the first name he mentioned was rising Atlanta talent 2FeetBino. Even if he had no released music, this co-sign would put him in the spotlight regardless. However, he’s got a plethora of great music already out, most notably a collab with Nudy that has garnered over a million streams on Spotify and a very heavy buzz across all other platforms. Additionally, his next most popular track sits atop 700k streams on Spotify alone, titled “Todd Gurley”. Both of these are heaters, but the disparity in streams between them and the rest of his drops shouldn’t impact your overall assessment. Everything he’s dropped is well worth a listen, and with this new rise in momentum from Young Nudy, 2FeetBino is on a straight path to success. Now is a great time to get acclimated to the sound of Bino, he very well could be one of Atlanta’s next superstars. Hear his collab single with Young Nudy, “No Freestyle”, featured below.