1. Black Milk
Long expected to make it in to the mainstream world. Black Milk has become one of the largest names in the indie rap scene. It’s such a shame because with the music that Black Milk makes the world needs to know.
2. Buck 65
In his native Canada, Buck 65 is widely admired for blending folk and blues with detailed character sketches, and has been nominated for multiple Juno Awards, the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy Awards. Yet despite an ever growing U.S. following and a long friendship with avant-garde collective Anticon, much of his work hasn’t been issued here.
Rhyming himself into knots and crooning like a madman, Busdriver is more likely to find common ground with freak iconoclasts like Deerhoof, Ceschi and Open Mike Eagle than your standard underground rap star.
4. Rob Sonic
These days, Rob Sonic is best known as sidekick to Aesop Rock, who together (with DJ Big Wiz) formed Hail Mary Mallon and 2011’s quirky Are You Gonna Eat That? But in the early 2000s, he was part of Sonic Sum. The group’s 2000 meditation on urban malaise, The Sanity Annex, and Sonic’s 2005 solo album Telicatessen are worth checking out.
5. People Under the Stairs
Thes One and Double K celebrate the good life – L.A. weather, listening to old vinyl, and smoking a doobie drinking a beer. Their sunshine raps are deceptively simple yet sticky and infectious, you’ll being humming for weeks, and they’ve built an indie empire out of gems like 1998’s The Next Step, 2002’s O.S.T. and 2006’s Stepfather
See another story by Matthews Smith “Rap Music: Not Just For The Mainstream Artist”