The Twin Cities hip-hop community never sleeps or stands remotely still. Here are five local talents from both sides of the river to watch this fall.
Destiny Roberts (pictured above) is a St. Paul MC who also uses her sing-rap style and platform to shine a light on not only black power, but female empowerment too.
She recently released a visual for “Wake Up,” the powerful interlude to her latest project called Just a Reminder.
The video includes a montage of news stories covering recent killings of young black men. The news clips are sandwiched between original imagery that turns from color to black and white, as Roberts recites lyrics like, “I need my brothers, we need each other. Coming from your sister, we can do much better.”
Drelli is a South Minneapolis MC and self-proclaimed creator of SwagBop, according to his Soundcloud page. His sound is sometimes uptempo and other times chill, but the electronic vibe makes the songs all hard not to dance to.
Drelli’s most popular tracks are collaborations with Minnesota’s own Allan Kingdom and Warhol.ss, another midwest artist who reps Chicago. In the chorus of their joint track, “Exotic,” Kingdom proposes taking his lady and closest friends somewhere warmer. The track is the perfect getaway from the cooler temps that are upon us.
Last month, Drelli got the opportunity to open for internet sensation and rapper Ugly God at the Cabooze.
Dwynell Roland is one-fourth of the rap and production crew formally known as The Rotation. Other members include rappers Finding Novyon and Devon Reason, and producer Travis Gorman.
Roland’s sound is nothing short of fierce. He has a flow that is raw, classic and consistent. In each track and feature he does, his bars are stacked with space for only short, yet aggressive breaths in between.
Roland recently announced that that he will be dropping his next project, The Popular Nobody, on October 24. The tape includes an all-star lineup of features from fellow Rotation members, Dem Atlas and P.O.S.
Rich Garvey is a Liberian-born Minneapolis rapper who released his Man of the People mixtape in late August. The project’s electronic sound takes your mind elsewhere, and was produced entirely by Travis Gorman, of the aforementioned Rotation crew.
The topics on the tape range from partying and taking over the rap game to racial profiling.
Garvey told City Pages that his track about getting pulled over for no apparent reason. “Then They Gotchu” is something he wrote a couple years back before stories of several racial profiling incidents turned deadly and some even got caught on camera.
His first single off the EP, “I’m Taking All That,” is his most popular track off the project. On it, Garvey raps fluidly over what he describes as an eerie beat containing 808 drums and trunk shaking. The video adds to the eerie mood of the song as it follows Garvey through an abandoned, vandalized home and freshly falling Minnesota snow.
Over the summer, St. Paul rapper Why Khaliq dropped his latest project, NO TITLE, in a series format that he explained to Mr. Peter Parker in a recent interview.
In the interview, Why Khaliq also broke down the fifth track on the EP, “Makeda,” which features Madison rapper Ra’Shaun. Makeda is also the name of an Ethiopian goddess, and Why Khaliq said the track is all about viewing women as goddesses and beyond physical traits as opposed to objectifying and degrading them.
Overall, if you are looking for smooth, steady beats, that Why Khaliq seamlessly spits over, then NO TITLE may just be the perfect soundtrack to long drives past the changing leaves. He’ll perform live at Go Show #4 as the opener for Russ on Halloween.