If you are from Milwaukee or the Milwaukee area, you are definitely used to not getting love from the rest of the country. It seems like most people on the East and West coasts of the country hardly know that we even exist, and those who do know of our existence either think we are very ghetto and gross or that we all live on farms and are not in tune with what is going on outside of our world. This is so far from the truth, though. There is so much to love about this city. One thing I have always thought is cool about the city is all of the nature. We are one of the only big cities in the countries that has trees everywhere; there also are not any other big cities in the country with as many parks as we have here. Milwaukee has so many cool bars and music venues and places to socialize that you will only see in this city. One thing that a lot of people who live here do not even know about is the fact that we have a very vibrant music and art scene. There are so many wonderfully talented artists in this city. Unfortunately, it seems like the majority of the city treats its own art the way that the rest of the country does. Most people in our city do not know about or acknowledge all of the wonderful art and music that is produced by its residents. This is a sentiment that I would love to change. I hope that one day soon, Milwaukee embraces its music and art as Atlanta and Chicago do. We have so much great content we can push out into the world if we just force the world to look at it. Here is a list of songs by Milwaukee musicians that I have been loving a lot recently. Please let me know in the comments how you feel about these tracks, and let me know if there are any other songs from Milwaukee musicians you know of that I should write about next!
BIG FLEXHER – LAKEYAH FEAT. 42 DUGG
Milwaukee has not had a Trap artist garner as much hype as Lakeyah has garnered in quite a while. Similar to K Camp, who was the last Milwaukee trap artist to blow up, Lakeyah felt like she had to move from Milwaukee to Atlanta to help her career move along more quickly. This move has already paid off for her, as she just got signed to Quality Control Music(home of the Migos) and has become of the most popular underground/up and coming rappers in the game over the last couple of months. ‘Big Flexher,’ which featuring another rising star in the Hip Hop game, 42 Dugg, is the latest banger from Lakeyah to blow up online. Lakeyah has that tough and grimey demeanor that most Milwaukee rappers have, but she has a pop sensibility that a lot of them do not possess. On ‘Big Flexher,’ I can hear a lot of influence from the City Girls; particularly, her flow and presence of the microphone remind me a lot of JT. ‘Big Flexher’ is super catchy and fun, and it would not surprise me if it blows up online very soon because it is just so fun to listen to.
LONELY GIRL – REYNA
Every time I hear a new Reyna song, I immediately love it and have to put it in my playlist. They have mastered their sound, and everything they put out is just so catchy and makes me want to dance. Reyna has been one of the best and most popular artists from Milwaukee for a while. They started with an Alternative Rock sound that sounds similar to artists about Grouplove, Phoenix, and Tegan and Sara, which was popular a few years ago. As they have evolved, their sound has kept this 2010s Alternative Rock feeling to it, but the feeling of their music has gotten softer and brighter. Similar to their last song, ‘Coachella,’ ‘Lonely Girl’ has a melody and vocal pattern that reminds me a lot of Carly Rae Jepsen. I like the juxtaposition between the lyricism and the tone of this track. ‘Lonely Girl’ is about screwing up a relationship and becoming single and lonely again. Even though losing a lover and becoming single can be sad, Reyna seems to want to embrace the loneliness and make the best of it. This optimistic feeling about being lonely is heavily assisted by the super fun and catchy melody. If you a fan of Alt-Rock music or Power-Pop music, ‘Lonely Girl’ is a song you need to download.
AND I – BISCA RAE
Bisca Rae has quickly emerged as one of the most eclectic and interesting artists in Milwaukee over the last year or so. She formerly went as Liza Jane, and her project Internet Girl No. 1 was easily one of my favorite projects in 2019 to come from a Milwaukee artist. She draws from a wide variety of influence, mixing Cloudy and Atmospheric Hip Hop music with Jazzy Alternative R&B in a way that is unlike most other people making music right now. In the past, I have thought elements of her music remind me of Chance the Rapper, Erykah Badu, Corinne Bailey Rae, and BJ the Chicago Kid; also, her voice sort of sounds like if Amy Winehouse was and Indie-Pop singer(when you listen to her yourself, you will know what I mean). Her latest track, ‘And I,’ is a moody and dreamy R&B cut with a bit of a rock feeling to it. The song has a super funky melody that excellently compliments Bisca Rae’s voice. The tone of ‘And I’ is super groovy but also chill; it makes me want to dance just as much as it makes me want to kick back and do nothing. If you want to hear a cool and fresh take on modern Alt-R&B, ‘And I’ by Bisca Rae is a song you need to hear.
SUBLIMINAL – KING MYLES(KNOCKRATEZ REMIX)
Over the last couple of years, King Myles has become one of my favorite rising rappers in Milwaukee. In a city that is mostly into and thrives on Hip Hop music, it can be tough to distinguish yourself, and King Myles does that in a huge way. Most Hip Hop artists in Milwaukee used a tough Drill rap sound. This sound is super harsh and tough, and it is mostly based on the feeling that the sound gives you. Typically, this kind of music is not known for great lyricism, though. Lyricism and flows are where King Myles shines in his music. He does not have to really on the instrumental making the listener feel a certain way, because his actual rapping skills can give the listener any feeling that he wants them to have. His latest release, ‘Subliminal(Knockratez Remix)’ is a song with a crazy instrumental that highlights the awesome flows that King Myles uses on this track. I wrote about the original version of this song when it came out, and I have to say that I like the Knockratez version even more. The beat is punchier and has a smoother rhythm, and it matches up really well with the tempo that King Myles is rapping with. I would love to hear King Myles rap on these kinds of beats more in the future, as it will highlight his skills as a rapper. Until that moment comes, I will be bumping ‘Subliminal(Knockratez remix)’ quite a bit.
SUMMER FREEZE – LORDE FREDD33 FEAT. TRAVIS MENDEZ
Lorde Fredd33 is another artist that has been making waves in the Milwaukee Hip Hop scene for quite a while. He is another Milwaukee artist who recently decided to move to Atlanta to take his career to the next level. Even though he is not staying in Milwaukee right now, he has always shown love to the city and continues to respect his roots. Lorde Fredd33 has always had a very eclectic sound that has made him stand out from the rest of the artist in Milwaukee; in fact, his sound makes him stand out among all Hip Hop artists in general. His sound is very atmospheric and encompassing, and it draws the listener into the world he is creating is a super cool way. ‘Summer Breeze,’ which features Travis Mendes, is one of the most popular songs of Lorde Fredd33’s new EP Folklorde, and it is a song that shows off Lorde Fredd33’s unique traits as an artist super well. This song is super bold and smooth and funky, and it is unlike any other Hip Hop that you will hear in 2020. It is the kind of song that can transport you to another world for a few minutes, with the vocal and melody blending in a way that is super other-worldly and astonishing. If you are sick of typical Trap music and want to hear a Hip Hop song that stands out in a awesome way, ‘Summer Breeze’ is a song that you will like.
LIVIN’ GOOD – MEECHLO FEAT. CHICKEN P
One theme I have seemed to follow in regards to all of the Milwaukee Hip Hop on this list is the fact all of the artists have a bit of a different sound and style to what is typically made by rappers in Milwaukee. Meechlo is another artist that tends to veer away from the Drill sound that is expected from Milwaukee artists; he tends to go with a more R&B infused Trap sound that makes him stand out among artists in this city. His latest track, ‘Livin’ Good’ featuring Chicken P, is an upbeat Melodic Trap joint that has a bit of an old school R&B flair to Meechlo’s vocal performance and flow. I really love how the vocals on this song remind me of 6lack or Earthgang at some points and Omarion or Mario at other junctures in the track. ‘Livin’ Good’ is a joyous track about finally starting to come up and being able to move his family out of the hood. This song is super catchy and fun to listen to, and if you are a fan of R&B or smooth Melodic Trap music, it is a song you need to download.