A couple days ago DJ Booth shared an article titled “Four Must-Hear Artists Under 1,000 Followers.” A series dedicated to promoting underappreciated artists, it was something I could easily get behind. I wanted to emulate the formula as I find it to be a commendable endeavor. That said, being a much smaller platform, priding itself on focusing on the little things of hip hop, I had to scale things down. So, instead of 1,000 followers, I decided to find five artists with under 100 followers. Which I thought would be easy at first, but I soon realized how few 100 followers really is. I myself have 245 Soundcloud followers and I don’t even make music.
Which brings me to another point, I misunderstood the article, thinking they meant Soundcloud followers when they meant Twitter followers. I’m not sure which would be more challenging. On one hand people, less concerned with their follow ratio, are more willing to blindly follow people on Soundcloud. So Soundcloud could be thought of as more challenging. That said, a lot of artists have more than 100 followers on Twitter before they even start making music as a result of it serving as a platform to interact with friends in addition to sharing their music. So using Soundcloud instead could be thought of as a cop out.
I don’t really know all the dynamics of social media, all I’ll say is that what I’ve done here is not a perfectly scaled-down version of DJBooth’s series. In the end, this is not a pissing contest, it’s a platform to put on those who deserve recognition. So, let’s get to the underappreciated!
Wiley Coyote (85 Followers)
Wiley Coyote is a 20-year-old British hip hopper who made his debut four months ago with the release of his project The Wasteland. 14-tracks long, the project uses the movie Love Jones (a romantic comedy released the year of Wiley’s birth) as scaffolding. Throughout, quotes from the movie guide listeners through the all too familiar, yet always fresh, tale of heartbreak. We start with the seed of affection which inevitably blossoms into a full-blown romance only to wither away from lack of attention.
The track I’ll highlight here comes in the first act of the project, when the fledgling love remains primarily characterized by hope. As waves of synth wash over listeners, we get passionate pleads for guidance: “Tell me what you want.” Soon, some short-lived, rapid-fire lines carry us from hook to verse. Once there, Wiley flows steady as he expresses his affection in an attempt to woo.
Again, this is just one track off of The Wasteland. If you dig it, be sure to check out the full project and throw Wiley a follow on whichever social media outlet you see fit. Hopefully, if I ever do this type of post again, he won’t be a candidate.
MAF Muses (19 Followers)
MAF Muses is someone I wrote a brief post about for OK-Tho. He, Like Wiley Coyote, is British. Perhaps that says something about how little recognition rappers outside the U.S. get. That said, I must admit his accent sometimes impedes my comprehension. Even so, he handles his own production, which on its own would be enough to earn him a spot on this list. It’s powerful, gritty, and unique. And also, the lines I do catch are fuego. I especially love “Only eight when I was seeing visions of the future and I saw the victims of the feuds in which I was the victor.” It should be mentioned that MAF Muses was formerly one half of London Soundklash but even so that account also has fewer than 100 followers.
Accordingly, “MAF Million Is Born” serves as an introduction to MAF Muses as a solo artist. He has since released two additional tracks and a remix of one of those two. “Summer Knights” similarly showcases a solid production proficiency while simultaneously offering some golden lines: “If I said I was sober I wasn’t.” Sadly, it’s over too soon, trailing off just as a heavy synth erodes into what sounds on first listen to be a turn in the track. “Golden” is too short too, but that’s one of the best problems to have as an artist. I love what he’s doing, I just want to hear more of it.
J U S T Y (94 Followers)
Considering how long NB has been up and running, we have covered J U S T Y a good amount. Well, as of tomorrow we will have as she is the focus of the second installment of our LOVEP interview series. While that interview is about her EP SAUDADE, the track I’d like to speak on here is “Can’t Trust It.”
I think this track properly showcases what J U S T Y has to offer. As a fan of hip hop first and foremost, I enjoy her singing most when paired with raps. Thus far, she has collaborated almost exclusively with Jaded. Which has been great, I am actually really impressed by Jaded, despite finding his moniker “Ugly Justin Bieber” to be rather bothersome. Even so, I would love to hear J U S T Y paired with other rappers. I think her lyrics and voice add a lot to what would otherwise be a track with a rather limited audience.
I do also appreciate her singing on its own, most notably on “God Is Good, God Is Great.” I enjoy how she chooses to navigate the beat and pepper in her airy, near ethereal vocals. What I hope to see next, in addition to a diversification of collabs, is original production. These things come with time, of course.
Josh Grant (49 Followers)
Okay, so this one is definitely cheating because the account I’m linking to is his second. His original account has 422 followers. I don’t know much of Grant’s independent work, I only know of him because he recently released Moody, a collaborative album with one of my favorites, Will is Chillin’. As a whole, I would describe the project as a return to the Chillin’s bread and butter – boom bap. Grant provides a quality soundscape for Will to make that return. I appreciate his ability to employ a classic style without sounding outdated.
Additionally, the beats are dynamic, a far cry from those 5 minute sample loops. As Drew Mantia is credited with additional instrumentation, I cannot say for certain how much of the production’s dynamic quality can be attributed to Grant himself. I’m sure someone with a better understanding of production could give credit where due. I suspect the dynamics were put in place by Grant, and live flourishes within that framework were added by Mantia. Also, it should be noted that Grant is no one trick pony. To illustrate that, I’ll pick a track disparate from the production found on Moody to introduce him to you.
Purpl Kael – (39 Followers)
I was going to write about four artists, to follow DJ Booth’s example, but then I couldn’t narrow it down past five. But that’s okay because Josh Grant is technically not under 100 followers. The last artist I want to mention is Purpl Kael. I find Purpl Kael interesting as a creative mostly because I cannot tell what her goal is. I think, realistically, she doesn’t really know either, she is just moving toward her dreams and waiting to see what happens.
The reason I say this is because she seems to be approaching fame from a variety of avenues. On her website the main page features her latest project, The Real EP. But there is another tab showcasing her capacity to act complete with head shots and clips of her doing various scenes. She even has an IMDB page. Granted, she only has one official credit, but we all start somewhere. So I guess I am left confused about which hustle is the main hustle. But, in the end, I don’t think it matters much. I hope she sees success in whichever avenue she so desires. Better yet, why not both? Check out the video for my favorite track from her, “De’Bocheree.” Fun fact, my dad advised I remove the post about this track from my blog because the thumbnail is “sexist.”