One of the best things about the structure of the music world in 2020 is that it seems like there is pretty much no structure to the music world. It seems like nowadays that literally everyone can do anything when it comes to music; for so long, there seemed to be a bunch of unwritten rules about who could make music in certain genres, and people who tried to break those rules typically did not make it very far. But in the streaming age, it seems like everything has changed. There are no boundaries about who can do what when it comes to the music world, and so many people are taking advantage of this. This week, I tried to focus on artists that are making their own way in the music industry and breaking the typical rules that people had been following for so many years. All of these artists are completely pushing the boundaries when it comes to their sound and aesthetic, and this ability to go above and beyond what is expected of them is what makes them so great. With all of that being said, let us just get into the music! Please let me know if you love any of these songs in the comments below, or if there are any other boundary-pushing artists that you know of that I should look up myself!
TRUE COLORS – NEKOMIMI FEAT. BABY PINK
Nekomimi is an underground trap artist that I have liked for quite a while; I have meant to write about her before and have just never gotten the chance yet, and I honestly I apologize to her and to y’all because you guys deserve to hear her awesome music. Nekomimi is an Anime-Trap artist that sounds a lot like if Sailor Moon(the main character of the hit Anime series Sailor Moon) decided that she wanted to become a rapper. Nekomimi’s sound is so cute but fierce at the same time; she seems like she is typically very kind, but is definitely not the kind of person that you want to mess with. I love how trippy and spacey the instrumental for ‘True Colors’ is, and the flows that both Baby Pink and Nekomimi rap with goes so damn well with the sweet and happy sounding melody and instrumental. This song just makes me want to drive around with top-down in the summer and smoke up; it is just so fun and chill and makes me want to dance. If you love spacey Cloud-Trap music, I know that you will really dig this track
HOW MANY – KAYLEE CROSSFIRE
Kaylee Crossfire has easily become one of my favorite artists from Milwaukee in the last year or so, and I am very confident that I am not the only person to state this. Kaylee has been making waves in Milwaukee for a while, known for her infectious vocal performance and killer flows. She garnered some international attention last year for making a mark on the Netflix Hip Hop TV show Rhythm and Flow; in fact, when TI voted her off, I saw quite a few people online complaining that he made the wrong decision and that they should have kept her on the show. Anyways, her new single, which is called ‘How Many,’ is a Trap Banger that has just as much energy as her music always has. One of my favorite things about her music is how her sass and attitude just oozes all over every track she is on, and this song is no different. ‘How Many’ is just another example of how great and talented of an artist Kaylee Crossfire is. I love how dark and sinister the beat of this awesome track is; it reminds me a lot of some of the other super dark Drill-Rap music that has been coming out of Milwaukee for the last few years. I also love her rapid-fire flow on this track; one of my favorite things about all of Kaylee’s music her rapid-fire flow. She has always had this killer, high-speed rapping ability that sets her apart from other rappers, and this ‘How Many’ is no different in that regard. If you are into Hardcore-Trap or machine gun-style rapping skills, I know that you will love this track.
RASCAL – RMR
If you have not had the opportunity to hear this blessed piece of work yet, I feel so sorry for you. ‘Rascal,’ the viral smash by the very mysterious new artist RMR, and its music video are two of my favorite things related to music in the world right now. The aesthetic and look of the music would indicate that is song would be hard as hell and cold as hell Trap banger; the video consists of RMR and his boys flaunting around and pointing their guns at the camera(all of which look like they have been heavily used frequently), all while looking scary as hell and like they mean serious business. But RMR is so much more than meets the eye, as is evident from the actual song that goes along with this video. RMR’s ‘Rascal’ is sort of a remix of the Rascal Flatts song ‘Bless the Broken Road,’ albeit with a trap/gang banger twist. This track has the lyricism of a deadly and hardcore trap song but has the style and vocals of a country ballad. RMR has one of the most beautiful voices that you are going to hear, and I promise that it will totally catch you by surprise when you listen to this track. RMR’s ‘Rascal’ is one of the coolest, most interesting, and genre/style bending songs that I have heard in a long time, and I am so excited to hear and see what he does next.
XS – RINA SAWAYAMA
Rina Sayayama is another up and coming artist that I have been writing about for a while and been trying to get people on to. In fact, Her debut record, Rina, which comes out in April, is one of my most anticipated to come out this year. Rina has always been on the cutting edge or new and futuristic R&B and Pop music, similarly to Charli XCX and Grimes, so one could say she has a lot to live up to with this new record. If the album is as good as the first few singles have been, I know that it will be great. ‘XS’ has a heavy metal guitar riff that pops in and out of the song that dictates the melody and raises the energy of the track that is super cool and unique, but for the most part, this one sounds a lot like a Y2K R&B song by an artist like Jewel or Kylie Minogue. This song could have definitely come out in 2003 with the it sounds and is structured. Rina’s voice is absolutely perfect for this kind of music, and listening to ‘XS’ will definitely take you back to a simpler, non-corona-virus affected time. If you are a big pop music fan, you have to check out this track.
TANTRUM – ASHNIKKO
Any chance that I get to write about Ashnikko is a great time. This queen has been a rising star since she went viral on TikTok last year, and I am so happy that she is finally starting to get some of the success and notoriety that she deserves. I actually reviewed her debut EP which came out last summer and gave it a very high grade because it is very good, so if you have not read that one yet, please do so after finishing this article! ‘Tantrum’ once again has an overall sound and vibe that one would probably not expect from Hip Hop song in 2020. This track has a bass-heavy and synth-driven EDM vibe that sounds a lot like the Festival Trap music that was popular in the early 2010s. This is not a sound that one would expect to hear in 2020, but I am totally here for it because I love this kind of music. Because this song is by Ashnikko, a lot of attitude should be expected in the lyrics and vocal performance, and the fact that it is called ‘Tantrum’ multiplies that fact by 10. This song has so much sass and attitude and it just makes me want to mosh and dance and break shit. Once again, Ashnikko is able to capture feelings and emotions in her music that is not very common in trap music. This is not a song you want to miss because it is just so cool and different, so please stream it below and tell me how you feel about it.
SINK – MAYA B FEAT. SAINt JHN
Every time this Pop-Trap queen drops a new track, I am always excited, because I know that it is going to be very lyrically sophisticated and that it is going to be a banger. Maya B’s ‘Sink,’ which features SAINt JHN, is no different in that regard. ‘Sink’ has that totally perfect blend of pop and trap that Maya B excels at; one of my favorite things about this track is how she rap-sings in a way that blends these two genres so perfectly. On ‘Sink,’ Maya B and SAINt JHN are proving to their rivals and haters that they have the juice and that their adversaries do not. They are explaining every way that they are accomplishing what they are trying to accomplish, as well as explaining every way that their rivals are not accomplishing these goals. I really love the attitude that they are displaying on this track; it is easy to tell that both of these artists are passionate about this, and it really adds to the excitement of the track! If you are of Hip Hop and Pop-Trap, I guarantee that you will love this track!
LIGHTNING – RICO NASTY
If you have not been able to figure it out by now from how much I write about her and how much I talk about her music in person and online, Rico Nasty is easily one of my favorite artists. She has such a unique and chaotic energy that literally no one else making music has; her infectious flows; introspective and sometimes dark lyricism, and willingness to try any sound and rap to any style of music possible. On her latest track, ‘Lightning,’ Rico Nasty sort of goes back to the roots of what originally made her blow up; ‘Lightning’ has the auto-crooned “Sugar-Trap” sound that sounds very similar to her hits like ‘Key Lime Og’ and ‘iCarly.’ ‘Lightning’ a very atmospheric and spacey trap melody that reminds me a lot of some of Lil Uzi Vert’s greatest hits, with a super hard bass-driven beat that will shake any room or car that you listen to it in. On ‘Lightning,’ Rico busts out all of her attitude and sass and spews facts in the face of her haters; this song is very braggadocious, with Rico stating all of the reason she is great and talking about all of the wealth she has earned. I love hearing Rico rap with this kind of confidence and hearing her tell us how great she is, because it is this kind of confidence that is so inspiring to so many of her listeners. If you somehow have not heard this banger and love melodic trap music, please stream it below and let me know how much you love it!