DRIP DROPS of HIP-HOP from CHATTANOOGA
The Eye Test
Here I’ll be picking 20 tracks and videos that released in the last month that caught my eye, in no particular order. I’ve got 20/20 vision so there should be a few slappers in here somewhere.
1. Kemosabi– “Chirp!” [Nashville]
Well I don’t think this pick is much of a surprise to anybody. Kemo has been one of the hardest working and fasting growing artists in the state this year. The amount of organic buzz he’s accumulated is insane, and thanks to his stellar debut project, ‘Booyaka!’ there’s no doubt that’s only going up from here. ‘Chirp!’ is my favorite track off the new project, and all you gotta do is press play and I promise you’ll know exactly why.
2. Brian Brown – “Ghetto’s Hymn” [Nashville]
Now let’s talk about a staple of the scene we all know & love. A true pioneer and forever competitor are just a few ways to describe Nashville’s Brian Brown. We’re all still not-so-patiently awaiting Brian’s long-awaited project, Journey, but until that day comes he’s continued to bless us with fire single after single. The latest comes in the form of ‘Ghetto’s Hymn’, a soulful and inspiring rendition that can get anyone in their feels.
3. Skitty – “So Froze” [Knoxville]
Knoxville native Skitty definitely hit a different tone than his typical style of turn-up deliveries. However, don’t let that deter you, this shit is niiiiiice. It’s refreshing to catch another side of Skitty as he delivers a crispy sing-rap that is both melodic and dreamy. The smooth guitar sample mixed with flavorful kicks provides a perfect backdrop for Skitty to really let it out. Don’t miss this one.
4. TERRENCE615 – “Small Town Sick” [Nashville]
Nashville artist TERRENCE615 has one of the most polished sounds on this list, and it shows more than ever on his recent project The Purple Room. Top to bottom this outing is a full display of Terrence in his fuckin’ bag. Smooth beats riddled with clever rhythms and exasperating melodies saturate this project from the front to the back. ‘Small Town Sick’ is my favorite for sure, super catchy but a deep cut ,with a meaning behind this one that hits me right in the feels. Enjoy.
5. Gray Jackson – “Straye” [Knoxville]
It seems like everybody is letting the heat out the vault with new projects, and Gray Jackson finds himself sniffing around the top of that list. His newest project Think Like a Wolf is a perfect snapshot of the vibe that waterfalls out of Jackson’s sound. Heavy lyrics that weigh on you like the burdens in his own life he raps about , he finds a perfect blend of production and unique cadence to effectively deliver his rants. ‘Straye’ is probably the most on vibe record here, and so it’s one of my favorites. Don’t stop there though, there’s a lot of fire wrapped up throughout this project.
6. PermaVibe & Skitty – “Dreamin” [Knoxville]
Knoxville trio PermaVibe have flashed onto the scene and ascended quickly, and yeah that’s a fuckin’ pun cause their debut project is called Ascension; but I’ll be damned if it isn’t a perfect fit. The whole project does its due diligence to show you that PermaVibe may not be the most seasoned artists out here yet, but they’re ready to compete on the level of anyone. This track, ‘Dreamin’ definitely shows exactly the kinda spark they’re playing with over there. And yeah, that’s the hardest Skitty verse I’ve heard in a hotttt minute. Good shit guys.
7. Ukamea & Lamont - “12 AM” [Knoxville]
Although he may no longer live in Tennessee, Ukamea will always be a Knoxville artist to me. This latest project Before I Go is one-hundred percent my favorite he’s released, and I’ve been listening for several years. An open letter to where he’s from, it’s almost like a note in a bottle left behind for us to open when it was already too late to say anything back. 12 AM feels like listening to a Polaroid of good times and memories, especially with Lamont’s contribution. Careful, you might end up in your feels after this one.
8. Tre Stoner – “Best High of All Time” [Nashville]
Shit it must be Stoner SZN. Nashville native Tre Stoner is getting ready to crack open an ass load of new content on our heads, and if it’s anything like this latest single ‘Best High of All Time’, please keep that shit coming. The wavy production from Loud Tempo finds itself morphed into a hit as Tre effortlessly glides over the beat to deliver what feels like an evolved form of the Tre Stoner of old. Don’t sleep on this one, and what’s soon to come!
9. Keem the Cipher – “Dummy Gumbo.” [Chattanooga]
When it comes to this rap shit, or music shit in general there is nothing like a producer that can craft creative and soothing jams out of thin air all by their damn selves. Keem the Cipher has been doing this for years and has clearly no intentions of pumping the brakes any time soon. His latest full-length release, Pseudoscience, is pure escape from the second you turn it on. Journey through spacey beats filled with rhythms and sonics to tune all your frequencies to just where they need to be. Mix in the funky flavors of Keem’s creative genius and there’s no way you won’t find yourself effortlessly moving your body to the beat. ‘Dummy Gumbo.’ really got me, let me know which track you’re fuckin’ with the most!
10. PeeZman – “10 Deep” [Knoxville]
Knoxville has been putting out some of the hottest music the most consistently as of late, and PeeZman is pushing onto the scene harder than most. After years of collaborations with Thelodaboi & other prominent Knoxville names, it seems like Peez is finally stepping into his own light and ’10 Deep’ shows us that more than ever. Turn up the speakers and prepare to have to buy some new ones cause this shit, HITS.
11. Young Soul – “Off Top Freestyle” [Memphis]
Memphis is its own planet when it comes to the Tennessee music scene, and usually tends to keep to itself when it comes to the underground of our state. Young Soul is the exception to that and has broken down more barriers throughout Tennessee than a lot of artists I’ve been following for a long time. His debut project Summer on South Parkway is an ominous blend of the traditional Memphis sound and the sonics that are more akin to the eastern part of the state. ‘Off Top Freestyle’ is my favorite amongst many heavy-hitting tracks on this tape. Its hard bass combined with Soul’s bouncy delivery just keeps me coming back for more.
12. Walt Flames – “Safe Drugs” [Nashville]
Nashville has definitely been on some shit lately, and Walt Flames is the perfect example of someone really making waves. Heavily covered in the blogosphere, its evident that Walt is fucking with some sounds that are gonna really shake things up. ‘Safe Drugs’ is an exotic drop. Walt’s hum-like flow is such a fuckin’ mood it’s impossible to not find yourself humming along to his smooth delivery over the downright gorgeous production from Bradley Carter. If you needed a new go-to track, this is it.
13. OZ.M Boomlord – “Shooting Stars” [Nashville]
Boomlord is undoubtedly known for taking the level to 10 and beyond, but on this latest drop (also produced by Bradley Carter), he switches it up in a refreshing way. The level still is matched and the energy is all there, it’s just in a much different tone than what we may be used to. He finds himself crooning over the dreamy beat and soon enough the listener will find themselves in that same lost, dreamy headspace. Turn this one on and tune the world out.
14. Junia-T & Elijah Dax – “Ooowee” [Chattanooga]
Alright I may just be a sucker for this soulful shit, but I’ll be damned if this isn’t a JAM. Chattanooga native Elijah Dax partners with Junia-T to deliver such a groovy, head-nodding work of art. On “Ooowee” the duo delivers what is sure to be one of the most replayed songs out of this state in some time. Anytime, any setting, any room, this shit will still slap. Next time you don’t know what to play, make sure you remember this one.
15. Swerzie & ZOTIYAC– “CROW LIFE, ROTTEN WORLD” [Chattanooga]
Finally, the lord of the underground himself, Swerzie, has blessed us with a fresh new outing. This time hopping back on the track with Vegas-native ZOTIYAC to deliver a bumpin’ new outing from two of my favorite collaborators. The Shrub-produced track is that perfect eerie, heavy dropping canvas for Swerzie to let his energy rip through. Turn this to 10, and yeah, headbanging is encouraged.
16. Caysen Skies– “Ain’t Good” [Kingsport]
One of the brightest young stars on the Tennessee scene has got to be Caysen Skies from Kingsport. Every time he drops he perfectly calculates his deliveries and is truly developing a meaningful persona at such a rapid pace. His vibe perfectly captures what it’s like to be 17 and makin’ shit pop while still dealing with the demons of approaching adulthood. This latest release, ‘Ain’t Good’, is just another step on the way to seriously making an impact. Check it out below and you won’t be disappointed.
17. Payday & Tre Infinite & Bobby Kritical– “Astounding” [Chattanooga]
This isn’t a full Tennessee lineup on this track, but I couldn’t resist including it. I got put on to Tre Infinite back in my early days of whipping up articles for Daily Chiefers. The Toledo, OH artist is a unique gem full of flamin’ hot tracks that I promise you’ll find yourself replaying if you take the time to listen. He hopped on a sizzling beat from Chattanooga power-producer Payday to bring us this latest drop, and that’s why we find it on this list. Co-produced by Bobby Kritical, this isn’t a track to be missed so give it a spin below.
18. Rooftop Collective & Zara Bash – “From the Start” [Knoxville]
Another cross-pollination between two different states, this is definitely a biased pick but if you give it a listen I promise you won’t argue with the decision. The latest exclusive release from Knoxville-founded Rooftop Collective comes from Portsmouth, Virginia native Zara Bash. “From the Start” isn’t going to let the summer die just yet, it’s filled to the brim with the bright vibes needed to be the backdrop of your late-night summer antics. Bash gets in his bag and delivers an ode to all relationships everywhere, by providing some of the smoothest verses all sewn together with a perfect hook. Be sure you don’t sell yourself short and give this one a spin!
19. Thelodaboi & Banx– “Gutter Snipe” [Knoxville]
Gahhhdamnit, it’s that time again. No one really ever delivers quite the punch I need like the boys over at the A-Frame. Thelo & Banx unite to end the hiatus of music we’ve had to endure on ‘Gutter Snipe’. That exotic, gut-wrenching, heavy-duty production coming from the mindspace of Thelo sets the tone early and is quickly matched by his own delivery of some dreary bars. Banx comes in after a beat flip to ensure that the energy doesn’t even begin to fall off by the time the beat flips for a third time and sends you straight out the muhfuckin’ stratosphere. Damn, buckle the fuck up lol.
20. The Master Player – “Sharingan” [Knoxville]
Let me just preface this next one by saying that if you start your day with this shit, prepare for a wild ass ride lmao. This beat saws through whatever mood you’re in and instantly you gotta turn the fuck up. One of the members of Knoxville based collective Utopia, The Master Player really cranked it up for this one. Let me tell you, when he played this at our last Rooftop Takeover Stage in Knoxville, the energy was SET. So yeah, spin it at ya next function or something’.
Tha Milk Drop is a site focused on highlighting the hip-hop culture in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but also taps into hip-hop worldwide. Each week we drop exclusive and new content from artists. Also catch the profiles and interviews of hip-hop artists and creatives.
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