Since February is Black History Month, it is important that as music lovers we celebrate black artists and acknowledge the significant contributions and influence of African-Americans throughout musical history. This week, I’m giving attention to some of my all-time favorite alternative hip-hop artists.
My favorites: I Was Sad Last Night I’m OK Now, Darlin’, Troop, Txt Me
Listen if you like: Potsu, Doja Cat, BØjet, KYLE
Tobi Lou is a triple threat of rapper, singer-songwriter, and record producer. Many of his music videos feature vibrant animation and his album covers display bright cartoon characters. Lou has produced three critically acclaimed EPs. Tobi Lou creates sounds reminiscent to me of Anime Beats, and he utilizes different adlibs and funky beats to create music unlike most other hip-hop artists.
My favorites: California, Grey Luh, Lucky Strike
Listen if you like: Frank Ocean, Mac Ayres
Amain Berhane, stage name Berhana, released his first album HAN in 2019, three years after the release of his EP Berhana which first gave him traction in the R&B/alternative scene. HAN is a beautiful continuation of the dreamy, melodic music he previously put out. Most Berhana songs follow an in-depth narrative, sung soulfully, paired with subtle electronic influence that reminds me of Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE.
My favorites: Only Child, Pet Cemetery, Waze
Listen if you like: Noname, BROCKHAMPTON
The most notable thing about Tierra Whack is her voice and output of creative and unique tracks. Her sound is unlike most other female rappers/singers and there is an underlying sense of humor and fun found in most of her songs. Her album Whack World reflects this with tracks like Dr. Suess and Hungry Hippo. I definitely recommend listening to her music.
My favorites: Lowkey, No Small Talk, IN THE AIR
Listen if you like: Princess Nokia, Noname, Justine Skye
I first found Kari Faux in 2016 after she was remixed on No Small Talk with Childish Gambino. This led me to finding her 2014 mixtape, Laugh Now, Die Later. Her solo version of No Small Talk was recently featured on HBO’s Insecure. As an artist, she has exhibited continuous growth, but is most known for her sultry, nearly-monotone rapping and vocal harmonies. Her latest release is a feature on Amindi’s new single, Love Em Leave Em. Her iconic vocals and always-fantastic wordplay are truly stunning, definitely give it a listen.