Five new names to know in Michigan rap – Rolling Stone

STAX GMO

Looks like : The hunger and drive of a first draft pick rapping fervently about life in the fast lane

For fans of: Tee Grizzley, G Herbo and teen Lil Wayne

Madison Falconer/@mattrollthatback

Why should you pay attention: For such a young artist, GMO Stax has many lifetimes of experience behind him. His songs are filled with dense imagery and careful detail delivered in a measured cadence that exudes a hunger and intensity that far exceeds his 18 years. Her 2021 single “Lockdown” is a gripping tale of what it takes to survive — from ski masks in the back seats of cars to dodging would-be snitches — every day around the corners of her native Detroit. “It’s just things I go through and go through,” GMO says. “It’s a life experience, for real. Not everyone is good with storytelling, but it was just something that was inside me. These fascinating stories are all over GMO’s 2021 album America’s Youngest Pit. The video for “Back From the Dead”, whose Pooh Shiesty-assisted remix features on this album, has, to date, 1 million views on YouTube. The teenage blacksmith acknowledges that Detroit has its eyes on her right now. And he intends to prove that his youth and his experience keep him all the more in tune with what is bubbling in the streets.

He says: “I think what sets me apart – I started young, you know? I feel like no one has gone through what I went through. I just had a story to tell earlier than everyone, you know?

Listen for yourself: “By the Gun” is a heartbreaking style hit with an aggressive trap tempo, screaming synths, booming 808s and real talk of karma.

Chalmaine the God

Courtesy of Chalamaine Le Dieu

CHALMAIN THE GOD

Looks like : The chic soul of Motown embodied in a demure rapper with a penchant for thoughtful, sweet-sounding bops

For fans of: Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Kim and the contemplative Cardi B

Why should you pay attention: Chalmaine the God is the epitome of a survivor. Raised in crime-ridden east Detroit, the single mother of three sings that she was sexually abused at the age of seven by a family member and lost his father and his cousin following a murder in “Chalmaine”. To heal her trauma, she picked up the pen at age 13 and hasn’t put it down since. His beginnings, Maine’s Reason, is a heartfelt collection of ballads, bangers and introspective gems heralding a fully formed MC representing Detroit to the fullest. Boasting a smooth but no less emotional flow, virtually every bar Chalmaine spits conveys authenticity and reveals his inspirational journey.

She says: “I really went through everything I talked about in my music. It’s not faked; my story isn’t made up. A lot of people there [are] like me, hiding behind aggression, abuse, peer pressure. I am an open book. I don’t mind talking about it because it’s part of my breakthrough. It’s a part of overcoming things and becoming who I am and pushing my music. Maybe I can help one or two people. But I know that when they hear a song like “Chalmaine”, it can relieve a lot of people who are holding things back. »

Listen for yourself: “Tap In” is a two-step anthem about staying true, all deep bass and ’80s-inspired synths anchored by Chalmaine’s crisp, confident delivery.

RiskTaker D-Boy

Courtesy of RiskTaker D-Boy

RISK TAKER D-BOY

Looks like : A battle-tested hustler with a biting sense of humor

For fans of: Rick Ross, Beanie Siegel and Benny the Butcher

Why should you pay attention: Detroit Risktaker D-Boy specializes in high-key motivational music that gives you poignant insight into his struggles, aspirations, and how he coped in the mud. But he’s also got the humor of a seasoned stand-up comedian: On his 2021 cut “2am witt antt,” he chuckles, “I beat so much on a brick that shit should be abused / I’ve fucked with them Blues, they’ll never have a clue. That sets Risktaker apart from the jaded coke rappers who only hustle on social media. The 31-year-old lyricist, whose song “Take Risk” was released last fall and already has 213,598 Spotify streams, is not just a virtual presence; he’s put in his fair share of outside work.”I’ve been through a lot, bro,” he says. I might have hit the road, driven somewhere without a license, and the plate expired – everything. You feel me? It’s over if they arrest me. Before, I was really wild.

He says: “When you make music and you start making people feel like they can relate to you, people feel like they know you – it’s never met you. Because you’re talking about This shit they’re going through. This is real life. Everybody’s going through the same shit. As crazy as it sounds, I don’t think about people when I’m making songs; I think about myself – what I’m crosses over. And it’s just crazy that it concerns so many people.

Listen for yourself: “Switches” is a grind-till-you-die anthem driven by hypnotic keys and a titanic 808 thump.

Kookei

Courtesy of Kookei

KOOKEI

Looks like : A punchline-loving evil genius has absorbed Netflix’s entire ‘Horror’ category by osmosis

For fans of: Eminem, Draeko the Sovereign and the Yin Yang Twins of the “Whisper” Era

Why should you pay attention: For a rapper with some of the toughest, goriest bars, Kookei has a ridiculously “sweet” name. The Detroit native, whose sweets evoke pseudonym was inspired by a childhood stint as a bake sale maven, raps in a hushed, almost joking tone, which makes his lyrics dark – about pissing on opposition graves, when ‘they don’t outright blow their heads off – seem both seductive and scary. Inspired by the carnage-heavy one-liners of early Eminems, Kookei decided two years ago to turn himself into a rapper. After posting a few loosies on YouTube, he posted Psychopath, his excellent debut – with 20 macabre but melodious songs – earlier this year. No need to have a cast iron stomach to digest it: Psychopath is fun, provocative and wildly inventive. “A lot of things you can’t take seriously. You gotta laugh at this shit,” he said. “It’s just me. And I’m high as hell.

He says: “I just dropped a little video and put the words in it. It’s called ‘Chris Brown.’ He made a hundred K’s in two weeks – it had the words on it. But I did it because It’s so many metaphors, I just knew it was going to go over people’s heads. I’m gonna start doing it from now on, though. Because I know it’s kinda hard. I’m not gonna not lie: a lot of things I say, I only realize later. I will listen to it again.

Listen for yourself: “Straight Jacket Flow” is a bonkers bombardment of swag and dark bars worthy of any skull emoji.

JaiFive

TandBFilms/Youtube

JAIVE

Looks like : A windy summer party you have to go through a metal detector to attend

For fans of: Jeremih, Ty Dolla $ign and Drake around more life

Why should you pay attention: JaiFive creates lush, impeccably produced atmospheric songs with big, tasteful hooks that split the difference between bedtime ballads and block-approved trap mantras. Indeed, the artwork for the Detroit native’s 2021 song “Pack Heat,” is an uzi with a rose sprouting from its barrel — there’s no clear distinction between ardor and lust. anguish of the streets in the world of JaiFive. He had a difficult upbringing, became poor – with seven siblings – squatting in houses and even briefly running with neighborhood gangs. It makes sense that the former high school athlete sought multiple ways to express his passions and pains. JaiFive’s single “Tell Me You Get It” is a hypnotic hit in the making, dedicated to deliberate compromise. It leans more towards R&B, perhaps, because the melodic frequencies open up more possibilities for conveying raw emotion. The multi-hyphenate seeks to draw listeners in with its smooth inflections and expressive lyrics.

He says: “If you can get a crowd or a person to play with your song, emotionally, then I feel like you have that person. Because a lot of people relate through tone, you know.

Listen for yourself: “Tell Me You Got It” is a rose petal-approved slow fire to the door, with a soft, soaring chorus that speaks of ecstasy.

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