One of my main goals for this blog in 2021 is to promote music from Milwaukee to the world even more than I have the last year and a half. I know that last year I did promote a lot of artists from Milwaukee and I did talk about a lot of the great music coming out of this city, but I want to push this music even more this year than I have. As I have continued to write, there is so much awesome and unique music coming out of Milwaukee right now. Until recently, it felt like local media did not care about the music and art being produced by our city’s artists as much as they should be; now that local newspapers and news channels are talking about it more, I want to make sure I am doing my part to help these artists reach as many people as possible. From Punk music to Synth-Pop to EDM to R&B, etc, the music that is coming out of Milwaukee right now is so eclectic and diverse. I promise that you can find any kind of music you like by some good Milwaukee artist if you just look online. Speaking of the internet, because of social media and apps like Spotify and Soundcloud, quite a few cool Milwaukee Hip Hop artists have started to gain a ton of traction over the last couple of years. Below, I created a list of some Milwaukee Hip Hop artists who I think will be able to make a big splash in the music world during 2021. Because of social media, these artists are already starting to pop off, and I believe they have a chance to do something very big this year. Please let me know in the comments below if you like any of these artists, and also please tell me about more artists from Milwaukee that I should write about in the future.
Out of all the artists on this list, Wave Chapelle is the one that has gained the most popularity within the music industry to this point. He was originally signed by Yo Gotti all the way back in 2014, and it seemed like he was destined for superstardom while under the tutelage of this rap legend. Unfortunately, that relationship eventually dissolved, and Wave Chapelle has had to reset and go back to his roots over the last couple of years. One thing that is so attractive about Wave Chappelle’s music is his variety of flows. A lot of his flows sort of have a retro feeling that reminds me a lot of early Drake and J. Cole songs; paired with the R&B tinted Trap instrumentals he likes to use, Wave Chapelle’s rapping style is so fresh and addicting compared to a lot of the other music being made today. Check out his new singles ‘Send It Up’ and ‘The Biz’ to see what Wave Chapelle is doing these days and to see why I think he is going to blow up again really soon.
Big Wan is the youngest rising star in the Milwaukee Hip Hop game right now. The Milwaukee drill rap scene has become very competitive over the last couple of years, with quite a few artists going semi-viral and starting to gain traction among music listeners outside of the city. At only 19 years old, Big Wan is already rising to the top of the crop; he has had multiple tracks pop off over the last year and a half online in a big way. Big Wan is becoming such a hot commodity in Milwaukee that all of the hottest DJs in the city have been wanting to make music with him. with multiple songs of his having been produced by RichieWitDaHitz and MeloDroppin30. Most of Big Wan’s instrumentals have that dark and tough kind of Milwaukee Drill instrumental that has been made popular by artists like Chicken P, Gwapo Chapo, and Solowke. Big Wan has a similar flow and rapping style to these Milwaukee greats as well. His voice and cadence are very reminiscent of a lot of other Milwaukee Drill Rappers that have become popular in the city over the last several years. Big Wan is a rapper built for and by Milwaukee that has the ability to push the Milwaukee sound out into the mainstream. People who are fans of heavy and intense Drill rap music will love Big Wan. Check out his newest tracks his new song ‘Can’t Stop’ or his new mixtape ‘Dog Slayers Vol. 2’ to see why Big Wan is so great.
Mike Mike is an artist that has burst onto the scene over the last year and a half or so in a big way. Most rappers from Milwaukee seem to have to slowly grind their way up, but Mike Mike has shot to the top of the Milwaukee Rap game very quickly. This is because Mike Mike has a sound and energy that makes him stand out among other Milwaukee rappers in a big way. He does have the Milwaukee Drill sound that is so popular among Hip Hop artists in this city, but Mike Mike completely makes this style of music his own. Even though he does use flows that are similar to a lot of other rappers in the Milwaukee Drill Rap scene, his voice and cadence make him stand out. Mike Mike also has funny and goofy lyricism that draws the listener in. Mike Mike has a tongue in cheek way about the way he delivers his verses, and the fact that he sprinkles in humor adds a layer to his songs that is not that prevalent within Milwaukee Drill music in general. Lately, Mike Mike has been experimenting with more of a Melodic Trap sound. His unique energy shines through on this kind of track as well, and his dabbling in this kind of music shows that he is not a one trick pony in any way. If you want to hear why Mike Mike is one of the hottest new rappers coming up in Milwaukee, check out his songs ‘Go Down’ and ‘Can’t Shoot Back’ featuring Rah.
Meechlo is an up and coming Hip Hop and R&B artist from Milwaukee that I believe in poised for a big breakthrough very soon. Even though Meechlo has a sound and flow that are very unlike what is big in the Milwaukee Hip Hop scene right now, his sound still fits in very well and his instrumentals are still able to incorporate Milwaukee Drill rappers smoothly. Meechlo is an artist that puts a lot of emotion into the way he writes and sings, and this emotion bleeds through the track and affects listeners in a very real way. His sound reminds me a bit of PartyNxtDoor mixed with 6lack. Meechlo takes all of the best and most popular sounds in R&B music right now and puts them together in a super interesting and eclectic way. Meechlo’s sound is so fun to listen to; I feel like his music will be perfect to play in the clubs now that things are opening back up in Milwaukee. Check out his singles ‘Living Good’ with Chicken P and ‘Her Box’ with Shonn Hinton and Zu$e to see why Meechlo is one of the next big things to pop off in the Milwaukee music scene.
Zed Kenzo is easily one of the diverse and eclectic artists in Milwaukee right now. Zed Kenzo not only makes music, but she also makes clothing, jewelry, paints, and draws. Zed Kenzo seems to excel at every type of art she makes, and she is easily one of the most talented and most distinct artists in Milwaukee right now. Her music is just as genre-bending and different as the other forms of art she creates. Although her music is based in Hip Hop, Zed Kenzo does not limit herself to creating music in one genre. She tends to incorporate elements of Rock, Metal, and Electronic music into her music. She also has some music that incorporates R&B into the sound as well. Because of her willingness to fuse so many genres and sounds, there is not any else in the Milwaukee area making music like her. Zed Kenzo is easily one the most alternative artists in Milwaukee, and it makes her stand out in a great way. Check out her latest single ‘Racist’ to see why Zed Kenzo is so cool and so unlike anyone else you are listening to currently.
Eli $tones is another artist who is trying to pave their own lane, and who I think will blow up because of it. Eli has been gaining traction little by little since the release of his mixtape Elsewhere, which came out in 2016. This project was covered by Elevator magazine, which garnered a solid level of hype for Eli $tones in the underground rap community early in his career. He has been slowly continuing to build this hype around him for the last few years, and I think he is poised for a breakthrough soon. Eli $tones has stated that he loved Heavy Metal and Rock music when he was growing up, and these genres do influence the sound of his Hip Hop music. Eli $tones makes super gruff and distorted and bassy heavy Trap music that reminds me a lot of some of the stuff Rico Nasty and Kenny Beats have made; other artists I think are somewhat similar to him are IDK and Brockhampton. One thing I enjoy about Eli’s music that I think can take him a long way is his ability to create melodies. A lot of his songs have really catchy melodies that draw the listener in despite the intense levels of bass and distortion, which give them such an interesting sound and feel. Check out his songs ‘Jump Force’ and ‘Talk It Out’ to see why Eli $tones is one of the most interesting artists coming out of Milwaukee right now.