We’re pleased to have teamed up with the fantastic writers over at music website The 405. With a shared passion for discovering new music, they’ll be making the most of the Last.fm Hype Chart by doing a weekly exploration of the latest rising artists, based on the scrobbles of Last.fm music lovers. So without further ado, it’s over to The 405′s Larry Day:
We love finding new music at The 405. It’s pretty much the main thing that gets us out of bed in the morning (that and breakfast). However, sometimes it’s a bit of a slog to trawl through the Internet’s vast offerings – if only there was an easier way. That’s where Last.fm comes in. They’ve got some brilliant, intuitive Hype Charts, allowing you to search by genre or region (or both) for the sounds making waves at any given moment. Here’s some of the treasures we found from those charts. This week in our trend-hunt, we scrutinised Norway’s rising hip-hop.
The Hip-Hop Hype Chart In Norway
Up North in the Nordic realms, amongst the frigid, whirring maelstroms, is an artist who sits on the border between common Norse weather phenomenon and wonderfully crap ’90s hip-hop. That’s right, Snow – most famous for his reggae/hip-hop track, ‘Informer’. If you’re still not quite sure who he is, you might remember the phrase ‘a licky boom boom down’ – at some point, Snow had that pop into his head, and instead of shrugging it away, he somehowfound a way to monetise gibberish. Norway’s recent penchant for sounds of this ilk are well-represented in the charts this week – Vanilla Ice, The Sugarhill Gang and Sir Mix-A-Lot all rate highly.
NYC-based rap duo The Doppelgangaz, featuring Matter Ov Fact and EP, are interesting prospects in the world of high rollers and lavish lifestyles. The twosome, friends since first grade, embrace a seedier way of life: “We don’t have kids and we don’t have any responsibility. We’re just reckless nomads,” says EP. Known for wearing cloaks and dumpster-diving, the pair aren’t just mangy gimmicks – their first record, Lone Sharkspainted soundscapes reminiscent of classic East Coast vibes, and saw many outlets showering plaudits. Now on their fourth record – Peace Kehd (recently released) – they show no signs of letting up their underground personas, mysterious shrouds or skeevy mannerisms.
Mr. Probz – AKA Dennis Princewell Stehr – is a Dutch rapper/producer. As a youth, he was into graffiti and spent time on the streets; these experiences are what drove him to become a successful musician – it was an escape. Nowadays, after surviving a shooting in 2010, he’s gone on to achieved his goals, becoming a wildly successful artist across continental Europe.Apparently, he’s turned down lucrative record deals in the US in order to focus on his own creative integrity in mainland Europe.
Chi-town-born, Seattle-based Benjamin Laub’s alter-ego – Grieves – is an essential cog in the Rhymesayers roster (of which MF DOOM is alumnus). Over the years he’s forged a reputation for blistering live performances, full of intensity and lyrical honesty. Frequently dealing with topics such as addiction, loss of identity and self-reflection, Grieves may not sound on paper like he’s got the ingredients for a valuable rap talent, but when he’s mixing stellar production with raw themes, it’s evident that the blend works.
Craig Mack (pictured)
Another mid-’90s gem, Craig Mack saw fame as a member of Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy records, mingling with many high profile names of the era. His track ‘Flava In Ya Ear’, got a pretty substantial remix, featuring LL Cool J, Rampage, a young Busta Rhymes and the breakout performance from Notorious B.I.G. Unfortunately, Biggie’s meteoric rise cast a large shadow over Mack, and he faded into obscurity, and has scarcely been seen since the advent of the millennium.