As I have stated many times in the several weeks on this blog, the end of one year and the beginning of another is not the easiest time to be someone who writes about music. For one, up until an immediately after Christmas, people are still listening to Holiday music or listening to nostalgic stuff with their families, and they are not really looking for new stuff to listen to or looking for articles to read about new music. And due to the laws of economics, because there are not many people looking for new stuff to listen to, there are not a ton of artists releasing new music. Fortunately, the dead time for the music industry that I am describing is pretty much over, and the amount of music being released is starting to ramp up again. Because I love writing about local stuff and there have been a few awesome local songs that have come out lately, I thought I would make local music the focus of my new songs that I love list once again. I have decided to include some Chicagoland artists into my category of ”local” as well since there are so many great artists from that area who don’t get recognized like they should since Chicago is so big. With all of that being said, it is time to jump into the list! Let me know if you like any of these songs in the comments below, and let me know about more great local (Milwaukee/Chicago) artists you like in the comments as well!
CAPPIN – HOOD MVP
The first song I have for yall on this list of awesome music that I love from some great local artists is ‘Cappin’ by Hood MVP. ‘Cappin’ is the first song that I wrote about in my new series where I do a comprehensive review of a new single from a local artist, and I am glad I got to do that review because this song is hard as hell in the best way. I love how Hood MVP jumps on the beat immediately like Dababy, giving the listener no time to prepare for the next three minutes of trap intensity that they are about to experience. Hood MVP raps with a quirky flow that reminds me a bit of a combination of Maxo Kream and E-40 that is so unique; it is so weirdly sporadic and smooth at the same time and is unlike the flow of any other rapper that you will listen to today. If you need a new hype ass song to turn up to, or if you need something new and great to work out to, you should stream ‘Cappin’ and then save it to your playlist.
SUBLIMINAL – KING MYLES
The boy King Myles is back with another hard and lyrically great banger that I know I will be bumping quite a bit in the foreseeable future. If you have been paying attention to this blog for a while, you should definitely have heard of King Myles because I have written about him quite a bit lately. He is one of the best rising rappers in the city for sure, with a flow that is super unique and addictive and introspective lyricism that really draws the listen in. ‘Subliminal’ is King Myles latest joint; it actually came out at the end of 2019, but I saved it for this list because I wanted to put it in an article about dope local music. ‘Subliminal’ has a bit of a different tone to it sonically that some of King Myles’ stuff in the past; he usually seems to be more into old school Madlib style jazz-fusion type of instrumentals, but this one is more traditionally new school trap. In fact, I could see Gucci Mane jumping on this instrumental. I love the fact that even though he is hopping on these new kinds of instrumentals, he still is rapping with his same introspective and sophisticated style. If you love deeper rap music, I know you will love King Myles.
SAW YOU WITH SOMEBODY ELSE – REYNA
Speaking of artists that I tend to write about a lot, another one of my favorite local artists, Reyna, just released ‘Saw You With Somebody Else.’ This track is off of their debut EP, which comes out this Spring. Although I have always really been into Reyna’s sound, I really love this new direction that they have taken with their last couple of tracks. They have seemed to take their classic sound, which sounds a lot like the alternative rock that was popular in the early 2010s(artists like Neon Trees, Phoenix, Grouplove, and Tegan and Sara are some of the more popular artists that have this cut), and added a modern/futuristic synth-pop element to it. In fact, this track reminds me a lot of Carly Rae Jepsen, who is definitely one of the best pop stars out there right now. I really hope that they continue with this more pop-tinted sound because I think that they sound really good with it. Regardless of whether they continue to go more pop or go back to the alternative sound that they have made in the past, I know that I will always be into Reyna because they are just really good.
NEW SOUND – MAYYH3M
Mayyh3m is the other Milwaukee rapper that I ended up writing about quite a bit last year, as he is another really talented lyricist with a unique and different sound and flow. Mayyh3m seems to love embracing melodic R&B and adding a hard trap element to it, and this track is no different in that regard. The song is called ‘New Sound,’ though, so I have to acknowledge the fact that this track is a little different from the last few songs that he has released. ‘New Sound’ has a lot more of an upbeat tempo and tone than a lot of his other music in the past; it honestly seems like he is really diving into that R&B sound that he loves wholeheartedly. I love this up-tempo old school R&B vibe that the instrumental for this song has, and I would love to see him embrace the sound even more by singing over a type of beat like this. If ‘New Sound’ really is the new sound for Mayyh3m, I am even more excited to hear what he has coming next that I already had been.
LOVE LIES BLEEDING – ROSE OF THE WEST
Rose of the West is not the kind of artist that I have typically written about on this blog. Besides for the occasional piece of indie rock like Clairo’s Immunity, I feel like most of the music I have talked about on this blog so far has been mainly more upbeat styles of music, such as hyper-pop, EDM, and hip hop. I wanted to try to highlight different kinds of music in 2020 than I am used to covering that I still think is cool, and Rose of the West is a perfect place for me to start with in that regard. Rose of the West is a local Milwaukee music project spearheaded by Gina Barrington, who’s deep lyricism and dreamy vocals create this awesome otherworldly atmosphere that you will not really feel outside of her music. ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ actually came out last August, so obviously I have been sleeping on Rose of the West, but I can now say that I am definitely a fan of theirs. This song has such a weird and cool production style; the melody and riffs have this really pretty dream-pop vibe, and the beat has a strange EDM trip-hop vibe to it that is so trippy and cool. If you need something new and chill to listen to while doing homework, or while under the influence of psychedelic drugs, ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ is a song that I think you need to download.
21ST CENTURY – LIZA JANE
From what I have gathered off her Instagram, Liza Jane has not been doing this music thing for very long, at least as a career, that is. This is honestly amazing to me, because her sound is so unique to her, and it sounds so developed. ‘21st Century’ is my favorite song off of her debut EP Internet Girl No. 1, which came out near the end of 2019. I really wish I had heard this song and EP sooner because I definitely would have included her as one of my favorite Milwaukee artists of the year. Liza Jane is a rising star with a style and swagger that is completely her own. If I had to describe the sound of ‘21st Century,’ I would say is sort of reminds me of Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book and Mac Miller’s Divine Feminine. Liza Jane’s unique and interesting vocals really emphasize the sound and make ‘21st Century’ really great. I think that Liza Jane has a sound that is super cool and individual to her, and she is totally one of the top artists to watch from the Milwaukee area at the moment.
OFF MY CHEST – CHICKEN P
Chicken P has become one of the top rappers over the last year due to his viral success. The rapper that is formally known as Lil Chicken has had quite a songs rack up the hits on SoundCloud and YouTube over the last couple of years, having multiple songs ranging between 500,000 to 1,000,000 views on Youtube. Chicken P has always had a brash and in your face drill style that is popular among a lot of rappers in Milwaukee over the last several years. This style of music is very dark and heavy, and it honestly does a very good job of providing a depiction of how it feels to grow up in the hood of Milwaukee. ‘Off My Chest’ has a similar vibe to most of Chicken P’s music in the past when it comes to that hard and heavy drill aspect; his delivery on this track though is way more cutthroat and in your face than some of his stuff in the past has been, though. I love how he jumps on the track immediately from the first second and gives the artist no reason to breathe. If you love drill music or new horror core trap artists from Detroit like TeeGrizzley and Teejayx6, I know you will love this new song ‘Off My Chest’ by Chicken P.