50-Plus St. Louis Hip-Hop Artists You Should Know
Fresco Kane One major record deal and a name change later the artist formerly known as Gena still stands. Every city has a guy that has set the standard for indie hits in his respective market. Fresco has done this year after year after year without fail. He can perform at Super Jam and Cicero's both in the same night without losing applause. He now has Jermaine Dupri backing him as a member of So So Def records. His latest single with Busta Rhymes is on a set course to own the summer. He reps East Saint Louis and is one of our cities brightest up and coming stars. He has fought for every ounce of respect his name carries and I believe he deserves our full-fledged support.
Vega His latest project Small City, Big Dreams is a bonafide classic to me. Most people only know him for the rally song (which truthfully did ridiculous numbers). But you didn't know he has produced for the likes of Young Jeezy. You also didn't know that he is the younger brother of R&B sensation Bradd Young. This kid is money in the bank and might be on the brink of an insanely large career. Some things need zero explanation and Vega is poised to be a household name at any given moment.
Adult Fur One of my favorite humans on the entire planet. The thing is, I know he's not a hip-hop artist, but similar to Teresa Jenee, he one of those artists who doesn't necessarily fit into a particular genre. He's fluid collaborator with people like FarFetched founding members Scriptz 'N Screwz, Rockwell Knuckles and myself among many others.
Doughyboy An extremely hardworking young cat affiliated with Huey and Young Rhome. This guy is always working as evident by his presence on YouTube. His music videos are very dope and his music offers you approachability without sacrificing his skill level as a emcee. Nelly set the standard for St. Louis as a city that gives birth to marvelous hip-hop entertainers. I can easily see Doughboy becoming a poster child for St. Louis hip-hop in a light which we've never seen. He can make records like the St. Louis greats, yet he does so with the hunger and wit of a new artist stepping into the limelight.
Meru The wise monk at the top of the mountain must've showed Meru how to rhyme. He is a member of the 3 Kingz collective and has worked with the Trackstarz. If Morpheus was a rapper he would be Meru. His crew's music is carried by deep messages and poetical references the average listener won't catch on the first play. He rhymes alongside one of my favorite people in the world, the guy that caused me to change my rap style when I was a teenager running around in the U-City Loop: B-Fari.
Buff N Chubb Buff N Chubb are one of the best duos in the city and this needs to be known. They make street music with an edge to it yet I think they have definite crossover appeal. They are proud representatives of the Southside. BNC are capable of dropping flawless hooks and raps that describe the ghettos of STL like none other. They feed off of each other in a way that reminds listeners of Scarface, UGK, Eightball and MJG. They are capable of delivering smash singles and high energy street anthems. Their new single "Jealous" actually features yours truly. Be on the lookout for their all the acts on their Best Out Ent roster.
Ray Goss A very humble and down to earth brother for starters. Ray makes music for real people. He doesn't try to portray himself as the most gangster, hardbody cat alive; his music isn't necessarily conscious rap but it is very honest and revealing about his actual real life. He doesn't put on a mask and fill his rhymes with unhealthy imaginary folklore about Nino Brown and Al Capone. Ray Goss is one of those rappers we actually need. His presence is one I embrace with open arms as you should.
DerrtyBoi Montanna I'll be honest I don't know if he's technically from St. Louis but I know he has close tidings with Adam Murphy a.k.a. Jesse James so he might as well be from here even if he isn't. First thing that comes to mind when I think of this guy is perseverance. I know he's been doing his thing for a while, and he's dropped several mixtapes. I respect artists that have a back catalogue that can be researched. He's more so about the complete project versus the temporary club jam that will get him temporary attention. I agree with this approach to the game. Every time I come across him or anyone he's affiliated with they are in full promotion mode.
Gangsta Gritz Repping Pine Lawn Missouri I respect this guy for being a lyricist when it wasn't the trend. He came out the gate creating a very powerful buzz with DJ Charlie Chan Soprano and has an ear for dope production. His debut mixtape Murder Lou is a few years old at this point but stands the test of time as an underground classic. His partner in Sosa is also a favorite of mine -- these guys make the kind of music I enjoy listening to.
Teresa Jenee Money in the bank. I love this woman -- she is ridiculously talented. If you haven't listened to her music you are cheating yourself. She is a very amazing vocalist with a remarkable songwriting ability. Her stage show is designed for the big leagues. She is also one of my favorite people to collaborate with. She reminds me of Aaliyah so much it's scary - she's an all around beautiful person who makes beautiful music. In an era where women have been objectified and originality is lacking, TJ is a breathe of fresh air. One of the most creative musicians from this city ever: point-blank, period.
Richie Stacks I'm a fan of this cat. I see the posters, I see the flyers, I see the energy surrounding his name growing on a constant basis. I think in the Bay Area he would be huge. His stage show is sick as hell, full of energy and dope props. I respect grinders, people who come to the table and don't ask for a hand out. Richie Stacks has a serious grind about himself, and in my opinion he totally understands what being indie is about.
Steddy P This guy has formed a movement that stretches from STL to KCMO. He organizes his own tours and pushes his own merch. His crew and label go by the name Indyground and from the looks of things they do the name very much justice. I saw him destroy the stage at the Slaughterhouse concert with zero remorse.
$FAME$ A very ambitious youthful hip hop collective capable making records that can compete with most of your favorite top 40 jams. They have a quality mixtape available for download and are always in the process of promoting themselves. Their debut full length album is titled We Are The Fanbase and I'll most definitely check it out when it drops.
Kash One of my favorite rappers and a forgotten hero of the local scene. He recently dropped a new project entitled Rebel Sound System which is currently available for free download. He may be the Missouri version of Jay Electronica. In a marketplace that often lacks creativity Kash is a standout lyricist from St. Louis now residing in Arizona. His brand of positive messages and hardcore metaphors is a true treat for the listeners.
Jonezy The guy next door turned rapper. Jonezy reminds me of the likes of Slug from Atmosphere yet he spits from the perspective of a true indie artist awaiting national exposure. His beat selection is dope and he's capable of crafting some pretty amazingly solid cadences. He's known for paving his own path and is the host of a monthly hip-hop event in the Central West End.
ChalkBoyz The official party starters of Webster Groves. These guys are known for crashing shows, throwing super dope house parties, and refreshingly offering the game something you can't find everywhere else. Thier shows do numbers, and with the right coordination they might be able to pimp the suburbs and sell a few records. Be on the lookout for CBs affiliate Timmy Stallone.
Preach When Tech N9ne features you on one of his albums you deserves a mention in a post like this. Preach had a crazy year, from touring with Bone Thugs N Harmony to snatching a Slum Fest Award. His flow is ridiculous and he may be the fastest rapper in the metro area. I have nothing but respect for this cat solely off the strength of his grind and positive persona. His music is high quality and very energetic.