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Look Back: Indie Rap in June (Top 50 Playlist)

I went through all the rap music uploaded to Audiomack in the month of June, picked out the 50 best songs, and created a playlist that flows from start to finish. Don’t let them tell you that Hip Hop is dead. We got beautiful genre-blending records, work from overseas in Africa, Europe and Latin America, a few throwbacks to the golden era, and even some protest music. Some of the artists, like De La Soul, Snoop Dogg and DMX, have been around for years, and some are new — proof that all hope isn’t lost. The top 10 highlights for me include:
  1. Young Lito and Troy Ave’s off-key singalong, “I Love This Game”
  2. The soulful “Don’t Forget ‘Em” remix from OLD Kanye and his former Chi-town collaborator Consequence
  3. The rock-influenced song of protest “Say When” from THEY. 
  4. Skyzoo’s genius response to Jay-Z’s “Friend or Foe ’98”
  5. Some non-violent rap confrontation from Diabolic and Talib Kweli, as well as Hus Kingpin and Rozewood talking to their (former) friends from Griselda
  6. The triumphant return of YC the Cynic, as Kemba (2 tracks)
  7. A bold effort from Vic Mensa, with Le1f, Lil B, Halsey and Malik Yusef
  8. More work from my “I Am” cohorts in Nigeria and Zambia, Modenine and Holstar
  9. New, classic ILL BILL
  10. My song of the month, the “1st” remix from Torii Wolf and DJ Premier, featuring Dilated Peoples

  1. De La Soul ft. Snoop Dogg – “Pain”
  2. Russ – “DiMaggio” [prod. by Russ]
  3. Young Lito ft. Troy Ave – “I Love This Game” [prod. by Robbie Nova & Yankee]
  4. Consequence Kanye West – “Don’t Forget ‘Em (Remix)” [prod. by Kanye West]
  5. JAQUEBEATZ – “N.A.S.A.” [prod. by JAQEBEATZ]
  6. THEY. – “Say When”
  7. APSPDR+ ft. SZANemo Achida & Moruf – “Bed (Reenacted)” [prod. by APSPDR+]
  8. KoS [Ghana] – “Certainly” [prod. by Bliz]
  9. Torii Wolf ft. Dilated Peoples (Evidence Rakaa Iriscience) – “1st (Remix)” [prod. by DJ Premier]
  10. Vic Mensa ft. Le1fHalseyLil B & Malik Yusef – “Free Love” [prod. by Papi Beatz]
  11. Kutt Calhoun ft. The Jokerr – “Alive” [prod. by DJ Pain 1]
  12. Modenine [Nigeria] ft. Maka [Nigeria] – “No Matter What” [prod. by Black Intelligence [Nigeria]]
  13. Holstar [Zambia] ft. Jane Jonazi [Zambia] – “Nipempako” [prod. by Kati [Zambia]]
  14. Jon Connor ft. Ali Vegas – “It’s Gonna Come (Remix)” [prod. by Jon Connor]
  15. Reek Da Villian – “Trouble Waters” [prod. by Sarah Jay]
  16. Donte Peace – “D.R.U.G.S.” [prod. by MaxTrax]
  17. Hussle Crowe – “B.L.A.C.K. Unity” [prod. by Ear 2 Tha Beat]
  18. Kemba (FKA YC the Cynic) – “Already” [prod. by Frank Drake]
  19. Kemba – “The New Black Theory” [prod. by Frank Drake]
  20. Napoleon Da Legend – “Time is the Enemy” [prod. by Quantic]
  21. Thelonious Martin ft. Joey Purp – “Bomaye” [prod. by Thelonious Martin]
  22. DMX – “Blood Red” [prod. by Divine Bars]
  23. Bishop Lamont ft. Ryu Apathy – “Un-American” [prod. by Paul Cabbin]
  24. ILL BILL – “Make Them Die Slowly” [prod. by DJ Skizz]
  25. Superanfor (Colombia) ft. Planet Asia – “Respeta”
  26. Diabolic – “IneKwelity” (Talib Kweli Diss) [prod. by Junior Makhno]
  27. Talib Kweli – “You Tried It” (Diabolic Diss) [prod. by J. Rawls]
  28. MindsOne (KON Sci, Tronic, Noumenon & Slim Deluxe) & DJ Iron – “Follow The Light” [prod. by DJ Iron]
  29. Ugly Heroes (Verbal KentRed Pill & Apollo Brown) – “Today Right Now” [prod. by Apollo Brown]
  30. A-F-R-O & Marco Polo ft. Shylow – “Long Time Coming” [prod. by Marco Polo]
  31. MC White Owl – “Pickle Juice” [prod. by Jakk Wonders (South Africa)]
  32. Kuna (Italy) ft. K-Squeez – “So Cold” [prod. by Kuna]
  33. Oun-P ft. Styles P – “Fake Niggas” [prod. by The Cratez]
  34. Troy S.L.U.G.S. – “Under the Street Light”
  35. Aaron Cohen – “Off The Ground” [prod. by Kemal]
  36. Kembe X – “Excellence” [prod. by Hippie Sabotage]
  37. Black El ft. Black Josh – “Getaway” [prod. by Durkin]
  38. Gensu Dean & Denmark Vessey – “The Meek” [prod. by Gensu Dean]
  39. Maffew Ragazino – “Snowing in Jerusalem” [prod. by Sebb Bash]
  40. Cousin Stizz – “500 Horses” [prod. by Lil Rich]
  41. Napoleon Da Legend – “Fist of the North Star” [prod. by The Alchemist]
  42. PhybaOptikz ft. Daniel Son & SmooVth – “Fools Gold” [prod. by Giallo Point]
  43. WestSide Gunn ft. WestSide Pootie – “SummerSlam 88” [prod. by Your Old Droog]
  44. Ras Beats ft. Roc Marciano – “Wit No Pressure” [prod. by Ras Beats]
  45. Killer Ben & DirtyDiggs ft. Phil the Agony & Roc Marciano – “Cristal” [prod. by DirtyDiggs]
  46. Planet Asia – “SciThug” [prod. by BudaMonk]
  47. Big Twins ft. Planet Asia – “Last Man Standing” [prod. by Twiz the Beat Pro]
  48. Big Twins ft. Rozewood Hus Kingpin – “Power” [prod. by Twiz the Beat Pro]
  49. Hus Kingpin & Rozewood – “Love Day”
  50. Skyzoo – “Friend or Foe Pt. 3”


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