Born in Connecticut, Fifty Grand is a producer and singer-songwriter based in Hollywood, CA, and is a former member of TeamSesh, founded by fellow rapper BONES. His real name, Elliott Onofrio, was revealed in 2014 when he announced that he was a transgender man and had his name legally changed. His music has a distinctly sinister sound that commands sometimes-unsettling buildups and deep, looming drums. The eeriness of his music is characteristic his identity, in many ways being a reflection of the turbulent process of transitioning. 

His voice is admittedly “unreliable”, however he continues to create haunting melodies and production that allow him to transcend the stereotypical principles of making music, while at the same time, transcending stereotypical notions of gender identity. His music is eerie and candid and powerful. He’s definitely worth a listen – this is what the future of ominous, melodic, trap-influenced Soundcloud pop sounds like.

Comprised of members Dylan Brady and Laura Les, hyper-pop duo 100 gecs of St. Louis, MO has been delivering their own brand of genre-defying synth-pop since the release of their debut album 1000 Gecs in 2019. The duo originally met in high school at a rodeo, however they would later decide to collaborate after meeting again at a house party in 2012 – the two would self-release their first EP 100 Gecs in 2016. Critics have praised the sound of their debut album, regarding it as helpful in consolidating the eclecticism of 2010’s hyper-pop by elevating the sound of their music into anthemic-status.

Their songs are ambitious and jarring while remaining effortless catchy, and their album would be ranked among the best albums of 2019 by several major music publications. If you’ve never heard of 100 gecs, familiarizing yourself with their sound is definitely worth your time. Their music sounds like the future of distorted, electronic, stadium-anthem hyper pop.

Growing up in Oxnard, CA, drummer & singer-songwriter Brandon Paak Anderson, professionally known as Anderson .Paak, began releasing music initially under the pseudonym Breezy Lovejoy. Paak grew up in an impoverished, disfunctional household and would find himself homeless with his pregnant girlfriend before being discovered by Dr. Dre after the release of his debut album Venice in 2014. Since then, he has released four solo albums, multiple collaborative projects as Nxworries with Grammy-nominated bedroom producer Knxwledge, an album with his band The Free Nationals, as well as an upcoming album as Silk Sonic, a duo of Paak and Bruno Mars.

His unique voice has seemingly travelled from 1970’s Motown, and his music is consistently upbeat and electric, melodic funky goodness that just makes you feel happy. Paak frequently handles the drums on many of his records, performing live while simultaneously singing and handling percussion. He’s an incredible talent, and anyone who’s heard his music before a few years ago saw his success a mile away. He’s the future of soulful music, and there’s really no chance that this guy doesn’t have a long and prolific career.

While he initially began releasing music under the moniker KLNV (or Killanov), Ontario, Canada artist Shermar Cuba Paul, professionally known as Night Lovell, has been dropping music since 2014’s Concept Vague, released independently. His music is slow and foreboding, otherworldly vocal samples dwarfed by the looming presence of percussion and massive basslines. While the delivery of lyrics about pain and loneliness is undeniably sharp and forceful, the melodic tone of his music is dark and contemplative, rarely becoming too aggressive.

It’s arguably not even moshpit music; it’s for raging alone, late at night. Lovell has found himself squarely situated on $UICIDEBOY$’ Grey59 roster, fulfilling his role as the label’s go-to artist for his gloomy, melodic vocalisms and dark, cohesive production. His music sounds like the future of melodic, contemplative, horror-core rap music.

When asked about her inspirations, R&B singer, rapper, and rising-star Audrey Nuna cited Sade, Thundercat, and Korean media in-general. A 20-year-old Korean-American raised in New Jersey, Audrey Chu left New York University to pursue a career in music. Since 2019, she has found incredible success with numerous successful singles, accompanied by creative visuals that showcase Chu’s true colors – she’s an incredibly serious artist.

She can effortlessly spit double-time flows alongside rappers like Jack Harlow and Saba, or sing with a deeply beautiful, aching tone that shifts in texture to resemble a modern Sade, except with a lot more swagger. She has been praised for challenging diversity in hip-hop, and her music, for many fans, is incredible for representation of Asian-Americans in music. She sounds like the future of soulful coming-of-age, artistic, R&B rap. She is very cool and you will like her.

Originally born in Nigeria and raised in Chicago, IL, Tobi Adeyemi (AKA Tobi Lou) is a rapper, singer, & producer who initially had dreams of playing Major League Baseball. He retired from baseball after suffering a series of hamstring injureies, moving to L.A. to pursue a music career. He began releasing music in 2015, almost immediately finding success with his single “Troop” featuring Smino. He has since released his debut album Live on Ice, two EPs and numerous successful singles. His signature vibe is vibrant and colorful, complete with a custom, cartoonized version of Tobi and animations that are reminiscent of Pendleton Ward and the Adventure Time series.

His music is very much inspired by his soulful Chicago roots. He’s normally got a super playful vibe, check out “Buff Baby”, but that doesn’t mean he can’t transition into more contemplative tracks like “Lavender Town Pt. 1” and “I Was Sad Last Night I’m OK Now”. His songs are vibrant, nostalgic, and fun. He’s the future of bubbly, cartoon-influenced, feel-good pop rap. It’s really good music and your kids will like it in 2035.

Professionally known as Deko, Atlanta-based rapper and music producer Grant Decouto has been producing platinum records for a number of major rappers including Gucci Mane, K Camp, Ski Mask the Slump God, and importantly, Migos, producing numerous tracks for the group, including the hit singles “One Time”, “Slippery”, and “Walk It, Talk It” featuring Drake. However, his production credits are only a piece of what he has to offer. As Deko, he releases music that blends elements of Trap, EDM, and Animé culture into his production, delivering vanity bars about designer clothes, foreign cars, and playing Nintendo Switch. It all blends seamlessly to create a unique fusion of nostalgia-inducing, auto-tuned harmony. He takes the production a step further by releasing music under a second persona, Yameiionline, a female, Animé vocaloid character that essentially works like text-to-speech on a keyboard.

However confusing it sounds, he has recorded several tracks featuring his female alter ego that have received crazy success – “Phantasystaronline” currently sits at over 12 million views on Youtube. There’s even lore for Yameii. He and his alter ego literally sound like the future of a whole new genre – Twitch rap.

Founded in San Marcos, TX before relocating to Los Angeles, BROCKHAMPTON is a hip hop collective and self-proclaimed “boy band” that was formed by artist Kevin Abstract after networking on a Kanye West fan forum. It currently features 13 members who have released six albums since 2017. They initially found fame in their Saturation trilogy of albums, all released in 2017. The group has a very personal sound, due in part to the group, comprised of in-house producers, graphic designers, singers, and rappers, sharing a house in South Central, LA when not on tour. They live together, experience hardships together, and make music together. Following the widely-publicized expulsion of former member Ameer Vann, the group’s sound took on a more introspective and personal tone, respective of the hardships they’ve endured together.

The heartfelt formula of the self-proclaimed boyband and their unique take on the modern group-rap dynamic has proven wildly successful (especially after the release of their hit single “Sugar”) and their consecutive releases continue to show progress from each and every member. They sound like the future of indie boyband pop group rap, and you will 100% hear more good stuff from them.

Until recently, Hykeem Jamal Carter Jr., the man behind Baby Keem, chose to avoid being directly in the spotlight. Remaining relatively-elusive, Keem rose to major success following the release of his single “Orange Soda”, which proved to be incredibly infectious. His musical craftsmanship was apparent, and his self-directed visuals always maintained the sort of cinematic artistry one might expect from someone like Kendrick Lamar. Then he revealed to the world that they’re cousins. Keem has songwriting and production credits Kendrick’s Black Panther: The Album, as well as other TDE members Jay Rock and ScHoolboy Q. However, after an announcement for Kendrick Lamar’s pgLang featured Baby Keem, fans started to question their connection.

He recently released his debut studio album The Melodic Blue to critical acclaim, featuring the aptly-named “Family Ties” with Kendrick Lamar, amongst other features from heavy-hitters like Travis Scott & Don Toliver. His music is crafted with the same careful precision as a Stanley Kubrick film, and his visuals are equally impressive. His music is sonically wide-ranging and confident, constantly flexing his versatility and ability to create unique flows. This is what the future of lyricism and artistry in rap sounds like.

Raised in South L.A., Jared Lee, known professionally as Duckwrth, grew up during the height of the West Coast rap boom in a family that considered rap music to be at odds with Christian values. He released his first mixtape in 2012, and has consistently been crafting music that blends genres and influences into what Lee considers “missionary work”. He desires to reveal the emotional reality around him through his music, and seeks to defy the trend of men being unwilling to show emotion in hip-hop.

He has recently returned home to South L.A., and has likewise found his own voice and perspective as an artist. Likewise, his recent releases feature a confident rapper who can seamlessly blend melodic moments of emotional expression into music that feels almost like good photography. His music sounds like the future of emotionally expressive, sometimes-melodic hip-hop.

Known for her brash delivery and overall “punk” aesthetic, Maria-Cecilia Simone Kelly rose to prominence as Rico Nasty following breakout hits like “Smack a Bitch” and “Poppin”. She began rapping and releasing projects in 2014 while still in high school, and has since received commercial success and critical acclaim for her full length projects like Anger Management, produced by Kenny Beats, and her debut studio album Nightmare Vacation.

 Stylistically, her music is brash, synth-ridden, hyper-pop influenced trap instrumentation combined with her trademark bratty punk delivery. She’s a real force, and her music just makes you want to run terrible drivers off the road. Her music sounds like the future of punk rap meets Bratz fashion.

Following the trend of hyper-pop influenced rappers, Edgar Sarratt III, also known as Midwxst, has become one of the genre’s most promising young talents. Sarratt is a charismatic, expressive vocalist and producer that has found a unique fusion of Juice WRLD-esque emo rap crooning and bass-busting, hyperpop instrumentation. Though he’s super young, he’s also SUPER slept on.

His persona is presented as a nerdy, bedroom artist, however his songs, blends of teenage-angst rock and melodic electronic hip-hop, never fail to showcase his genre-bending talents. He is always treading the fine line of stylistic influence, however Midwxst is always careful to insure that his sound remains varied and distinct. His music sounds like the future of emo pop rap.

Hailing from Grape St. in the Watts neighborhood of L.A., 03 Greedo, born Jason Jamal Jackson, is a rapper, producer, & singer who first began to gain recognition in 2016 after releasing his Purple Summer mixtape series. This success expanded into mainstream attention after the release of his mixtape The Wolf of Grape Street and his debut studio album God Level in 2018. These projects included features from modern rap heavyweights like PNB Rock, Rich The Kid, Yung Bans, and a notable remix to his track “Never Bend” by Lil Uzi Vert. Unfortunately, he was sentenced to 20 years for a drug conviction, however because of how proactive he was before serving his conviction, there hasn’t yet been a shortage of new 03 Greedo albums.

His music is raw ghetto rap, infused with West Coast flair and self-described by Greedo as “Creep Music”. It’s all downtempo fare, infused with modern drums & 808’s, as well as the gliding synths characteristic of West Coast production. Greedo’s music is raw, and his distinct raspy timbre successfully deliver his gritty depictions of life in Watts, L.A. His music sounds like the future of West Coast gangster rap. Free 03.

Growing up as a first generation Nigerian-American, Tobe Nwigwe became a starting football player at the University of North Texas before suffering a career-ending injury that brought his dream to a screeching halt. After starting a non-profit called TeamGINI dedicated to educating those unsure of their purpose and providing services to underprivileged individuals, Nwigwe began his campaign of “making purpose popular” and started to take music seriously.

Since then, he has been collaborating with his wife, Fat, and his sister and fellow producer/rapper Lanell “Nell” Grant to deliver powerful songs that convey his Nigerian musical roots and celebrate the essence of black culture. His music is inspired by artists like Black Thought and the Soulquarians. His songs are powerful and cultural, and his music sounds like the future of Black culture and social justice in hip-hop.

Originally releasing music under the anonymous pseudonym brakence, Randall Todd Findell of Columbus, OH is a rising-star in the bedroom Soundcloud indie-pop circuit, receiving his first glimpse of success following the release of his debut EP hypnagogia. After releasing several prominent singles and his sophomore EP bhavana, the self-proclaimed “self care punk” would begin work on his debut studio album punk2. The release of his debut album featured a rollout of visuals by Overcast, the first of which, “fuckboy”, finally marked the reveal of the face behind brakence. His album would later receive praise for it’s complex songwriting and idiosyncratic production, with the single “dropout” receiving recognition and a remix by singer-songwriter blackbear.

His music blends ethereal guitar playing with hyper-pop synth use, all coupled by Findell’s wide vocal range and soft tone to deliver incredibly personal lyrics about mental health, emotional disconnection, and being misunderstood for his goals. His music sounds like the future of indie-rock/rap & coming-of-age anti-pop.

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