Meet the Underground Rap Scene

Meet the Underground Rap Scene

Dylan Delay

Starting around sometime in 2020 a new wave of rappers started to form. Since then, each of the artists in this wave have gradually built up a fanbase revolving around them and the groups they associate with. Some of the biggest names to come out of this new era include Lucki, SoFaygo, Ken Car$on, and Slayworld members Summrs and Kankan.  

At this point, Lucki is a household name to the underground scene. Although he has been releasing music since 2012, Lucki remains generally unknown to a mainstream audience. 10 years later he has built himself a very solid discography consisting of albums, mixtapes, and EPs. His debut album, Freewave 3 was released in 2019 and contained songs such as “More Than Ever” and “Peach Dream.” In late 2021, the Chicago native released his collaborative tape with producer F1lthy titled Wake Up Lucki which received positive reviews from audiences. He has a current 1.4 million monthly listeners on Spotify. 

SoFaygo is one of the biggest artists to come out of this wave, accumulating a large fanbase and being signed to Travis Scott’s label, Cactus Jack Records. His breakout single was “Knock Knock,” which released in 2019 and became used as a sound on TikTok, where much of his fanbase discovered him and his music. His most recent project is called After Me which released in 2020 and had songs like “Everyday” and “Off the Map.” Currently he has 2.8 million monthly Spotify listeners.  

Ken Car$on is another big name in the underground wave and is even named as being influential to the sound of other artists even though he’s comparatively to the music industry. Ken Car$on’s rise to popularity was aided by being signed to Playboi Carti’s label, Opium, which consists of several other up-and-coming artists. —who many listeners can hear the clear influence Carti has had on his sound. Gaining a following through releasing two 2020 EP’s, titled Teen X and Teen X: Relapsed, Ken had all the fans he needed to release his debut album, Project X, which released mid 2021 with songs like “Rock N Roll” and “Who’s Next.” Currently Ken Car$on has 907,491 monthly Spotify listeners. 

The first member of Slayworld I’ll be covering is Summrs. Summrs is one of the most prolific rappers in the Slayworld group and gained attention after a video went viral of an OnlyFans model who threw a brick through his window, threatened to stab him, and fought another girl in his apartments parking lot, ending with the arrest of the model. Since then, the Louisiana rapper has gained a fanbase through his release of various mixtapes and EP’s such as Intoxicated and Nothing more Nothing less. He currently has 326,098 monthly listeners on Spotify. 

The next member of Slayworld I’m covering is Kankan, an artist who gained notoriety for producing tracks for artists like Lil Pump, Smokepurpp,, and Yung Bans back as early as 2016 and 2017. Along with fellow rappers Autumn! and Summrs, he joined the Slayworld collective in 2019, where he first began rapping over his own beat production. Since 2019, Kankan has seen massive growth in popularity with the release of projects like B4 AMG’s & SRT’s and ##RR. His upcoming release Way 2 Geeked is scheduled to be released within the next couple months. Kankan currently has 790,467 monthly Spotify listeners. 

Many of the artists previously mentioned all have a clear and distinct sound based on who has influenced their sound and career path. The clearest influence on them are artists like Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert, and Travis Scott, all artists who utilize autotune to inflect and distort their vocals. They have also influenced the type of production they use; that being beats that are fast and choppy, or sounding like they are from space, almost always with heavy bass added.  

Although it’s too early to tell if any of these artists are going to be superstars, it seems like they are all going to have successful careers considering the cult-like fanbase they all have. Regardless, these artists are leading the new generation of rappers and it will be exciting to see how they influence the next generation after them in some years.