It’s summertime, so let’s change up your playlist with some great indie hip-hop, especially stuff released by independent artists on their musical journeys and who are doing a great job.
Finding high-quality, independent hip-hop albums can be hard to come by. I, for one, enjoy listening to the genre. It is music that I grew up with and will continue to listen to for the rest of my life.
However, it is difficult for me to find some hip-hop that doesn’t sound like it came straight from mainstream media. I don’t want my listening experience to be filled with jingles and talking that doesn’t relate to me or my life at all.
This is what inspired me to make this list of hip-hop songs which you need in your life if you are searching for some energetic and atmospheric hip-hop.
This playlist isn’t meant to promote the top 40 charts or artists who have exclusively started working with major record labels, the is because they have changed their sound due to the pressure of trying to reach success within a short period of time.
Let me show you a few tuneful and pleasant albums and tracks I’ve listened to this summer. You can listen to our full playlist which contains the artists’ music, and know more about the artists by scrolling down the page.
1) PROKLAIM – No Doubt
PROKLAIM is an artist from Namibia who recently released his single, “No Doubt”. It’s a song that combines US Rap influences with Emo Rap and Trap to create something that’s super catchy, anthemic, and just plain awesome.
The song opens with some slow-motion rapping that sounds like it could be straight out of an early 2000s rap video. Then it switches over to a more traditional trap beat while the vocals remain smooth but faster—it’s this juxtaposition between styles that really makes the song stand out.
The lyrics are super catchy and tell the story of how Proclaim doesn’t care about social norms and “is not here for debate”. There is a protest here but not a fight. It’s his personal expression based on his experience of life.
The rest of the album follows suit: it’s a mix of slower sounds with more traditional hip-hop beats. Altogether, it creates a nostalgic atmosphere that feels like something you’ve heard before but can’t place—which is exactly what makes it so great! Check it out, visit their YouTube channel and follow them on Spotify.
2) BECCA STARR – Speak No Evil
BECCA STARR is a singer-songwriter whose music is heavily influenced by spoken word, LoFi hip-hop and R&B. Her new album, Speak No Evil, was released the last week and is full of songs that are equal parts political and personal. The album is 10 tracks long and features a great example of modern Scottish pop culture.
The album opens with the track “Intro (Warm Up)” which features spoken word and rap style, sweet vocals with a delicious Scottish accent. It’s not an upbeat song as expected, it’s sweet, easy listening and about her personal emotions—a theme that appears throughout the album.
Our favourite track is actually the last one, “Speak No Evil”, which is just as upbeat but has a more sombre tone than the first track. In this song, BECCA STARR sings about wanting to escape from her reality in order to avoid facing its challenges head-on. It’s possible to feel some pain in her voice, her truth.
The other tracks follow this same theme but take it one step further: here BECCA STARR sings about how she doesn’t care what people think about her because she knows who she really is inside. Overall it’s innovative, a bit orchestral in instrumentation, poetic and still very modern. Check it out, visit her Facebook and follow her on Spotify.
3) J CRU – Blue
J CRU is a hip-hop dup who recently released a single called “Blue.” This song is an anthem that will get you moving and singing along. The melody is super catchy, but what makes it so great is the way that J CRU’s voice meshes with his female counterparts in perfect harmony.
It’s like hip-hop music with a pop twist, featuring Tiktok’s Carrington on chorus duty and Boston’s Lil Hazy on guest verses, this is a powerful hit-driving ballad.
Producers from PopHits.Co positively commented about their sound being influenced by artists like Drake, Kanye West, and Justin Bieber—all of whom are popular in the United States. There are also strong US pop influences in this track specifically big beats and soaring vocals from both male and female artists.
The duo is very inclined to the Comic side of music, but it’s serious business here, with high-quality production and an amazing feeling for viral sounds in the era of “social networks influenced music”. With about half a million plays on Spotify, we can see that they know what they are doing. You can also check out more information about them on their website and follow him on Spotify.
4) JOE STU – Across Waters
If you’re looking for a 5-track EP that’s straight from the boom-bap era, this is it. JOE STU has created an album that’s both relaxing and energizing, which is a rare feat. If you’re into classic hip-hop beats and lyrics that are political without being preachy, give Across Waters a listen.
The EP starts out with “Crashland” which features a relaxing bass line over glitchy vocals—it’s perfect for unwinding after a long day and revive that Snoop Dogg style. Track 2, “Prey4us,” is much more smooth, starts with a spoken word fashion and goes to a proper rap, it features some amazing beats and male vocals that will have you bobbing your head along before you know it!
There is a lot to explore but our favourite track is “Across Waters”, which is the last and features some truly classic sounds with a touch of modernity: the beat is crunchy but warm, like caramel corn with just enough salt sprinkled on top to make it perfect.
The vocals are pretty mellow too—they sound like they’re coming from an underground club somewhere in New York City (or maybe even Atlanta). We mention underground in a very positive way, it means the real roots of hip-hop culture, the black community and protest-style music.
Generally, the full EP got a fantastic old-school hip-hop vibe to it; now check it out, visit their website and follow them on Spotify. We loved it!
5) TWIVEE – Living Reckless
This is the smooth, relaxing hip-hop single that you’ve been waiting for. If you’re into neo-soul, R&B beats, and a little bit of trap, this track is for you. Living Reckless by TWIVEE has got an edge to it, but it’s also super pleasant and super relaxing at the same time—even if you’re not listening to it on purpose.
We were intrigued by UK pop culture when we saw the artist’s location was Redhill in England, and then we checked out their website. It turns out TWIVEE has been around since 2018, but with more than 10 years of experience in the music industry, there is a very explorable portfolio here.
They have been mixing different music styles, hip-hop is the essence but features some EDM elements and also a tropical hint with strange but good – perfect for the project – percussion in the background. Give it a try, you will not regret it!
If you’re looking for some new music to listen to while winding down after work or school or whatever else is going on in your life right now, take a listen to TWIVEE’s Living Reckless, visit their Youtube channel and follow them on Spotify today!
6) DEANO – Detroit Gangsta
Detroit Gangsta, a single by DEANO, is an example of the fusion of pop and hip-hop music at its very best. The single features R&B and pop rap elements while also mixing in Latin pop commercial music.
The Detroit-based artist has been making music for some years and has recently started to gain popularity across the US Latin community too.
The lyrics are catchy and fun, but they also tell a story about life in the city of Detroit as we can see. We have to mention that Detroit is a place with mixed culture, so Deano’s music reflects it. Checking his portfolio you will find an incredibly versatile artist. He surfs any wave, already released hip-hop, pop, rock and even country.
DEANO has released several other singles that have done well on Spotify’s charts, including “Detroit Gangsta”, which reached 30 thousand plays on Spotify only, where you can see songs with more than 300 thousand plays too. if you are curious, check it out, visit his website and follow the artist on Spotify!
7) PAPI SENSEI – Double Cup
PAPI SENSEI is a rapper from Chattanooga, Tennessee. He released the single Double Cup months ago. The song is an upbeat trap song that features a catchy beat and an intense rap flow.
The chorus sounds like a chant for a gang of thugs, we feel the gangsta vibe, it’s contagious, and the song has been getting rave reviews from critics and fans alike. Producers from PopHits.Co described it as “the most gangsta rap song ever”, and it’s positive as they loved it.
PAPI SENSEI definitely has a unique sound that will appeal to anyone who loves gangsta rap or hip-hop culture in general. If you haven’t checked out this song yet, do yourself a favour and check it out on Spotify today!
Visit his website and you can also follow him on Spotify to keep updated about his next releases.
8) LOVEXLIES – Blackout
LoveXLies has released a new single called “Blackout.” The song is an anthem for the hip-hop community, featuring fantastic beats and electrifying vocals. LoveXLies’ lyrics are about empowerment and self-love, and they’re delivered with so much intensity that you’ll want to listen to this one on repeat.
It’s interesting that the lyrics do not mention the Internet, but start with a little piece of one of Charlie’s brothers’ iconic speeches from a Youtube video that received around 1 billion views in 2007. It was one of the first internet viral videos in the world, but it was removed from YouTube because the owner sold it as an NFT.
LoveXLies is an independent artist from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is a great example of US pop culture at its best. He uses not only Internet references, but includes also EDM electronic features in his productions, to create fantastic beats. His songs bring perfect rap, but the bass line opens the doors for pop too. It’s modern and very danceable.
We can say the beat is electronic and minimalist, with a strong focus on the vocals and lyrics. The song features an incredible rapper with a phenomenal voice that makes you want to listen over and over again.
This track is perfect for those who want something lively and energetic without sacrificing lyrical quality or content. It’s also perfect for any occasion where you want to get pumped up! I highly recommend checking it out—you won’t regret it. visit his website and follow the artist on Spotify.
9) BC ROADZ – B00!
BC ROADZ is a hip-hop artist based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. His latest single, B00!, is a quirky, male-vocal-driven piece that’s sure to get your head bobbing and your toes tapping.
The song’s opening is cinematic and pulls you into a story before you even realize it. The lyrics are metaphorical and a little comic too, with an avant-garde twist that keeps you guessing what’s coming next—it’s like watching a movie where the director keeps changing things up on you.
It’s a great listen for anyone who loves hip-hop or rap music but wants something different from the typical male vocals and lyrics about money or cars. This. is one for those who like to explore the indie hip-hop scene. Check it out, visit his website and follow him on Spotify!
10) CLAY JOULE – Nothing
CLAY JOULE‘s single, “Nothing,” is a perfect example of a hip-hop artist who knows how to fuse rock and R&B into a rhythm that’s all his own. This tune is the perfect blend of hip-hop, pop culture and rhythm and blues, with a soulful touch that makes it just plain fun to listen to—and it’s also a little bit rock and roll at the same time.
The key to this song is its use of male vocals with a 70s style, which gives it an old-school feel that makes you want to dance around your living room like you’re at a concert in 1975. The lyrics are simple and direct, which makes it easy to sing along.
The track is a perfect example of why people love the independent music scene: it’s packed with passion and creativity that stands out from the crowd. It reflects in the music video as well, where you can see an indie production alternating with footage of the artist playing his guitar. There are no rules, no recipe for indie productions, indie artists are the kings of freedom like CLAY JOULE do.
And what makes this song even better is that it’s so different from other hip-hop tracks out there right now—it doesn’t sound like your usual pop music or traditional rap beats. If you want to check out more of what this artist has to offer, visit his profile and follow him on Spotify!