SK Supreme is a rapper and producer born in Port Shepstone and raised in Pietermaritzburg, both of which are cities in South Africa. With a decent sized commercial hip hop scene in South Africa, but nearly no cohesive underground scene, it would be a next to impossible case to come up in as a hip hop artist. But if necessity is the mother of invention, struggle is the mother of ascension; SK is on the rise, regardless of what it takes to make that happen.
The beat is somewhat following the trap influence in it’s all consuming, deeply resonant low end and it’s use of sub bass and 808 layering, but it is decidedly omitting the style-standardized hallmark of incessant trilling high hats at breakneck bpm’s
He has just released an EP, called “Broke Heart” (available on Soundcloud for now, and to be officially distributed sometime in mid-June). The first track on the album, called “Pharaoh God” which he also did the production for, has a needlessly long, spoken intro to this song, which is very well done and sets the menacing, ominous tone of the song very nicely, but at a full thirty seconds in length, it’s just a little too long for today’s audience and our ever-dwindling attention span. However, that is probably the most pronounced point of constructive criticism I can even give to a song like this. If you haven’t played it yet, prepare to be completely surprised by it. Every region and every nation needs its own personalized take on music forms, its that kind of variation that allows music to remain truly individual and speak to us on a personal level. If you have heard Grime before, you know what it sounds like when a rappers accent becomes the most predominant focus of the verse. So if you’re expecting to hear Trevor Noah as a rapper, sorry to disappoint. The accent here is nothing even remotely that pronounced.
With a flow that can be, at times, somewhat reminiscent of Future (think “Mask off” and “Redlight” (Featuring NGHTMRE) and sounds eerily like A$AP Ferg. Ferg’s vocal intonation and flow tendencies on the song “Lord” off his 2013 album To Strive and Conquer is a particularly good vocal match to SK’s vocal orientation. It also mirrors the stylings (vocal and otherwise) of Ferg’s song “Nando” from his 2018 release, Still Striving. SK even adds the A$AP trademark “UGH” ad-lib at the beginning of his song before the down beat drops and the first 808-layered kick happens. Which A$AP Rocky, most frequently of all, also does. If he went a little harder with his vocal stylings, he’d probably land somewhere in the realm of 2 Chainz or Juicy J. If he went a little softer in style, he’d probably end up in that stylistically prodigious niche of artists like Jidenna or Aminé. I don’t think he could wrong, even if he were to totally switch stylistic gears.
MY EARS NEED A BANDAID
New Wave artist lilbootycall, (too cool for spaces or capital lettering, apparently), is blowing up on social media. The way the industry has had to adapt to the influx of independent, SoundCloud-made rappers, is by using social media status as proof of concept that an artist can command a following, and so, now, the fact that this kid is blowing up on social media, unfortunately, means something. Lilbootycall (I’m just going to capitalize the first letter of his name here), reports that he began his musical ambitions when he got hit by a truck while riding to work on his bike. Is it going too far to say that I wish the truck had finished the job? Probably. In any case, Lilbootycall apparently had a spiritual awakening with this incident, and his subsequent epiphany was that he was destined to be a famous rapper. His words. Ok, fine. Not his words. But they easily could be. “JUDGING BY THE DM’S OVERFLOWING FROM HIS INBOX, IT’S CONNECTING.”
VERY FEW TROUBLES WITH “TROUBLE”
Lucid, who also goes by his given name Demonte, is an artist out of Joliet, Illinois. Currently in the studio trying to perfect that first release, this self-reported perfectionist hasn’t gotten anything to the level where he feels it’s ready for official distribution yet, but he has been dropping tracks on SoundCloud in the meantime. The most recent of these SoundCloud drops is a song called “Trouble,” which had two principal producers involved, namely Cxdy and Josh Petruccio. It makes sense that there are two producers at the helm here because the song is literally divided into two parts, almost like two different songs fused together. But it works. The production was well done, giving it that song-with-a-Kanye-feature effect (he always seems to rap on a switch up in the beat) or like that Eminem song, “Bad Guy” where the end of the song is suddenly just a whole different instrumental. So, Lucid is definitely in good company when it comes to this choice, if not in the popular majority.
I’m never worried my wrist is Curry 3 shots to your dome, my teeth are shinning these karates grinding I’m chewing on Gold…
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