It’s no secret that I am a music snob, and I’m ok with that. I rarely listen to the radio, and as a matter of fact, the only time I listen to the radio is when Mrs. Breazy listens to traffic and weather on news radio. So because I don’t really listen to the radio, I have no idea what’s new and hot. On the rare occasion that I do listen to a song or two on the radio, I have no clue what today’s artists are talking about or that they all have lost their damn minds.
I won’t bash today’s mainstream artists since the music that they are making is clearly not made for me. Even though I do have a somewhat critical opinion of today’s mainstream R&B and Hip Hop, I do feel there is a lot of good music out there, you just have to look for it.
Here is a list of artists, some who just signed a major label deal and others still grinding independently, that make the type of good music (Hip Hop and R&B) that I enjoy listening to. They prove that there are still true artists out there making good music.
BJ The Chicago Kid – If you are familiar with Topp Dogg Entertainment (Kendrick Lamar, AB-Soul, Schoolboy Q and Jay Rock) then you have heard BJ The Chicago Kid drop soulful hooks for TDE. This songwriter has written for the likes of Mary J. Blige, Anthony Hamilton, Toni Braxton, and Musiq Soulchild. His major label debut album on Motown will be out this year, but until it comes out you can check out his debut album Pineapple Now-Laters.
PAC DIV – Dismissing the seemingly ubiquitous hip-hop clichés, California trio Pacific Division was seen as a breath of fresh air when they surfaced from the underground in the late 2000s. The group, consisting of brothers Like (Gabe Stevenson), Mibbs (Michael Stevenson), and high school friend BeYoung (Bryan Young), are not intimidated by L.A.’s “gangsta” history, instead finding their place amongst Southern California’s hipster crowd.
Oddissee – The son of Sudanese and American parents, Oddissee is a Washington DC native who draws inspiration from accomplished singers, guitarists, and poets on his Sudanese side, and on his American side, from Gospel singers, Blue Grass guitar players, incorporating the Neo Soul vibe of Philly to go along with his eclectic sound.
Daley – All I can say is this cat is the real deal. He makes the kind of R&B that the mainstream radio stations here in America seem to shy away from. With his perfect range, Daley does not need the assistance of studio tricks or auto tune.
AB-Soul – Even though Schoolboy Q is next up to bat for TDE behind Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul is probably the glue that holds everything together. Because of Soul’s everyman persona and self reflective lyrics, Dr. Dre may have a hard time picking a mainstream friendly lead single to market to the masses. But it still doesn’t take away from Soul Brother # 2 substance filled lyrics.
Maimouna Youssef – “Mumu Fresh” is a Grammy nominated singer, songwriter, producer, and emcee. She received a Grammy nomination working with the Roots on their 2007 hit, “Don’t Feel Right” for best rap song. She’s worked with Common, Nas, Dead Prez, and Jill Scott, to name a few and made her movie debut in Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. Her soulful sound, production and introspective lyrics make her an all around threat who definitely needs to be heard.
Temika Moore – Using elements of Jazz, Soul, and Gospel music, Temika is a breath of fresh air for those that are “real music” starved.
These are just a few artists that I feel make good music whether it’s Hip Hop or R&B. Are there any you feel I missed or would like to add?
Talk to me, I’ll talk back.
Breazy Gordon, the narrator.