There’s a near-constant stream of quality music coming from the Minnesota rap scene. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to pick a few highlights from the past week in new releases and videos.
Here are 5 that are definitely worth your time.
TVKRS – “GHOST & GORDAN”
In advance of the SPVCE showcase at Icehouse this Saturday, founding members Good Karma Niles and RP Hooks team up under the collective moniker TVKRS over a beat produced by the latter’s alter-ego, Savage Randy. In a video as murky and menacing as the plodding sound of the track, the pair threateningly ask for what they deserve and no more: “Don’t make me shoot, I’m just here for the loot / Open the safe and we cool, women keep your purse and jewels, I’m here for my dues.” It’s chilling and effective in its blunt minimalism, and a perfect representation of SPVCE’s sound.
GP jacob – “Deplorable”
GP jacob puts our current historical moment of overstimulating pandemonium in a broader perspective in the “Deplorable” video. He’s flanked by the spray-painted words “love,” “resistance,” and “solidarity,” and distorted by the glitchy, frenzied feed of international news clips, marches and protests, and Donald Trump getting trounced in the World Wrestling ring. Directed by #Artbymixie and produced by Afrokeys, the video ends with a live verse that denounces white supremacy and corporate interests that are environmentally harmful. It’s a quick and punchy song that manages to do justice to a myriad of revolutionary issues.
Sti-Lo Reel – “I Get It Now”
Over a beat that centers a solemn reverberated guitar and empty space, Sti-Lo Reel builds and breaks down the energy of his flow to represent the steady growth of his goals and his mindset. By the time the beat switches mid-song, he’s fine-tuned his approach and honed his message of individuality and focus: “See, a lot of times it’s like cats are scared to be the person that they need to be, they want to portray somebody else, they want to live in somebody else’s skin,” he states plainly ahead of the second verse, as he lets his determination shine through in the message and the maneuvers.
M.anifest – “B.E.A.R”
If the City of Minneapolis can dedicate a giant mural downtown to New Yorker Bob Dylan, I can claim M.anifest as a Minnesota artist for the purposes of this list. With this stylish, vibrant video for the single “B.E.A.R” (which seemingly stands for “Best Ever African Rapper”) off his latest album Nowhere Cool, the Ghanian rapper carries much of the same unshakable swagger and confident bars that earned him accolades locally when he was honing his skills as a rapper in the Twin Cities scene in the late aughts, while rightfully bragging of the strides he’s made since returning home.
A video posted by Drelli (@damndrelli) on Jan 19, 2017 at 10:12am PST
Drelli – “Chiquita”
Drelli keeps his chartreuse color scheme theme going with “Chiquita,” dropping banana references and flexing a shimmying flow over a jaunty, piano-driven beat provided by Blanda. Dropped along with a preview of the soon-to-be-released tennis-themed video, Drelli shows off a goofy, playful side, rocking wacky glasses and no socks as he shows off his trademark carefree attitude.