Hi guys, it’s discovery time again, lucky you. This week will feature artists from Canada, the U.S.A and the U.K- Derek Wise, Ajey and Che Lingo are three rappers that I have been listening to frequently for some time now.
1. Derek Wise
Spotify Listeners: 24, 255
Most Played Song: Free Up
My Personal Pick: Ready 2 Go
Being one half of 88GLAM, and a member of the XO record label, Derek Wise is definitely not one to skip over. Having said that, Wise’s solo music speaks for itself enough for those two things not to matter. Bringing menacing beats with a just as menacingly confident delivery, Derek Wise means business. The best words I can think of to sum up Wise are seriously solid. Seriously solid beats, seriously solid vocals and rapping, seriously solid lyrics and style, there’s nothing flimsy about Derek Wise’s music and it sounds like he clearly knows that. Wise brings vibes similar to that of Future, Travis Scott and Kid Cudi all in one, creating a heavy sound that packs a punch, yet has the ability to send you somewhere else through unique, interesting melodies that lurk in the background. One to both vibe out to and make you feel like a serious badass. My personal favourite ‘Ready 2 Go’ twists and turns throughout. With a simple hook backed by a mean melody, reflective of retro ninja game tunes, to a crazy beat drops and vocal effects. Mad, mad track.
Spotify Listeners: 21, 326
Most Played Song: Fuck My Ex
My Personal Pick: Rick & Morty
Super honest and raw lyrics from Ajey make the Brooklyn-based rapper’s songs super relatable, often talking about the issues and intricacies of love and relationships. Ajey’s introspective and matter of fact lyrics are of often paired with melodic, bright yet relaxed beats to make for fun and easy listening. Ajey manages to take common situations or feelings, bottle them up and turn them into highly infectious, catchy and enjoyable tunes with next level amounts of relatability. My personal favourite Rick & Morty brings lighthearted lyrics with a matching beat that makes it almost impossible to stand or sit still. How could a song including the best cartoon duo not be good anyway?
3. Che Lingo
Spotify Listeners: 85, 918
Most Played Song: Black Girl Magic
My Personal Pick: Kind of a Love Song
I hope all of you that started reading are still here now, because I’ve saved the best till last this week. The first I heard of Che Lingo was just minutes before I saw him live. I was at the O2 Institute in Birmingham to see Leicester based band Easy Life when the warm up DJ Jacky P shouted out to the crowd “Are you ready for me to bring my good friend Che Lingo onto the stage now!?” – everyone shouted back and after more and more build-up out he came – looking cool as fuck as always. He then proceeded to absolutely kill the show and make me and every person in that room an instant fan. Che Lingo’s musical style varies and varies and varies; from smooth, funky bops like ‘Circles’ to gritty, grimey tracks like ‘Zuko’. Impressive and intelligent lyrics with heaps of charisma make for an engaging collection of tracks from start to finish that make it near enough impossible to pick a favourite. Lingo caters to such a range of moods that to pick one song as number one is a crazy difficult task. Che manages to get the balance between confidence and humbleness perfectly, with clear self belief combined with a super-likeable, human quality. It was a joy to discover such an artist live in the moment, and to see straight away what a genuine guy he is. My ticket for his gig in Leicester was booked the moment I heard about it, can’t wait.
All numbers / stats are as of 12.06.2019
Cover design by Ellie-Jean Lloyd