Mandalay Freshman Class of 2018

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By Tristan Chandra & Pete Schuyler

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YUNG BANS

I first found Yung Bans on Soundcloud a little over a year ago when I was scrolling through and came across a song called “4tspoon”by Yung Bans featuring Playboi Carti. From the second that 808 hits in the beginning to the last of the damn near 50 Trapaholics tags that are ejaculated all over this song, I was in love. Bans sums up his sound best on his newest tape, Yung Bans Vol. 4 when he says that he’s “from the street, but they love me cuz I’m wavy.” Bans takes what most other “trap” artists talk about but presents it in a way that only now people are trying to copy. Listen lyrically, he says a lot of shit that a lot of rappers would naturally present in a violent or aggressive manner. But, with Bans it’s so natural it’s as if it just rolls off the tongue with no effort. He can easily switch up and give us lighter lyrics that at times are even more quotable than Drake w/ his best ghost-writers. Bans' demeanor and presentation is so natural and real that he hops on so many different beats that differ musically, but absolutely none of them feel out of place. Since I first heard Yung Bans I knew it was only a matter of time before he became a household name and I’m glad to see that slowly starting right now.

-       CHECK OUT: MOOD SWINGS 

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SMOKEPURPP 

In a world where trends and history continue to repeat itself in new innovative patterns, we relive the resurgence of punk music with the come-up of Smokepurpp. The rapper/producer’s songs rarely see over 2 minutes in length and it’s all thanks to him our generation was blessed with Lil Pump. Purpp’s songs are loud, they’re aggressive, and they’re to the point. It’s safe to say that all these new rappers on Soundcloud putting out 90 second songs with 808’s so loud and distorted you’d think you were under airstrike in Afghanistan, would not be getting any of the worthless clout they have if it wasn’t for Smokepurpp.

-       CHECK OUT: BLESS YO TRAP

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RETCH

One of my personal favorite artists in the game right now. Retch makes me want to do one of three things every time I listen to him. Trap, go on a crime spree, or violently throw weights around in a gym for 90 minutes. Luckily, I tend to go with the latter of those three. There’s a certain genuineness that comes from Retch’s music that a lot of other artist’s lack. I don’t feel like I just snorted a rail of pre-workout because he talks about violent shit. It’s because I feel like I'm in the thick of it all with Retch beside me. Sure, pretty much every rapper claims to have come up from some type of tough situation. But, with Retch not only do I believe every word, I feel like I’m reliving these moment with him. Retch has a natural ability to story tell, not only with his words, but with his presentation as well. From the production, to his delivery, then finally to the lyrics, Retch takes you out of wherever you are and places you in a section of his past. Not many artists can do what Retch does so stop sleeping on him already.

-       CHECK OUT: BAD LUCK

LIL SKIES

Lil Skies is probably one of the more dynamic artists coming up this year. While a lot of artists have one certain thing that defines them, Skies has a few tools under his belt that help him grab fans from all sides of hip-hop. He has the kind of range that could be compared to Drake or Big Sean. Skies debut album has songs ranging in moods and styles, where he almost arrogantly toys with the different styles and naturally makes them his own. He's one of those artists who can hop any type of beat and be able to still make it unique to him. Skies dynamic skillset is going to get him far in this industry. Beware parents of children born in the 2000's, your kid will prob end up with a face tat if Skies turns out to be only half as influential as I think he will be.

-       CHECK OUT: CLOUDY SKIES

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SKI MASK THE SLUMP GOD

Ski is the perfect concoction of carefree and complex. He's one of the driving pioneers in bringing back that really loose and carefree flow, but Ski never stops. While a lot of artists today have bouncy flows, it’s usually followed by a solid 4 bars of ad libs. While that's cool and all, it’s definitely worth acknowledging artists like Ski who ride their flows almost breathlessly for bars on end. Unlike most artists today, Ski could be teleported to any era of hip-hop and I think regardless of where he was, he would thrive. There’s a timeless quality that comes with the constantly innovative, new flow patterns he brings to each song. Maybe, it’s just the raw talent that he has that gives him this quality, but either way, Ski Mask is bound to be a staple and life-long influence on all future waves of hip-hop.

-       CHECK OUT: DOIHAVETHESAUSE?

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LIL PEEP

As a kid who pretty much grew up strictly listening to blink-182, New Found Glory, and then later all the younger bands who named themselves after songs by those bands, Peep’s music was something that immediately caught my attention. While, I wasn’t necessarily fond of it at first, because of how strangely different it was, it slowly grew on me and I started recognizing his music for what it is. It wasn't just some emo kid rapping over blink samples. It was the beginning of a natural evolution of a genre that's very near and dear to my heart. Frankly, had Peep been born 20 years earlier he probably would be on the Pop-Punk Mount Rushmore standing alongside Billie Joe Armstrong, Tom Delonge, and Jesse Lacey. His music encompasses all the aspects of pop-punk that really captivated me. The catchy lyrics and guitar riffs used alongside trap drums was the evolved version of a genre that came to notoriety from songs about dicks, butts, and getting fucked by your grandpa. (all courtesy of blink-182). As I grow older and see how culture and its trends continue to evolve, I gained a much deeper appreciation and admiration for what Peep has done. Because, to put it simply, he wasn't just influencing and changing one genre, but multiple genres. It's a shame we won't be able to see all that Peep had to offer to music. RIP.

-       CHECK OUT: BEAMER BOY

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FAMOUS DEX

AH WHAT?! UH YEAHHH! AH DEXTERRR!! Famous Dex is the epitome of positivity in hip-hop right now. Besides Lil B, Dex brings nothing but positivity to the forefront of his image. After serious, in-depth field research, our hypothesis was correct. It is actually physically and cognitively impossible to not laugh or smile when listening to Dex. Being in an industry that’s predominantly grounded in it’s “hard-ass” roots, Dex isn't afraid to talk on the dark moments of his life, but he finds a way to turn it all into something positive. One of my favorite quotes from Dex perfectly summarizes his image and vision for his music; “A lesson is a blessing.” He’s not here to paint you incredibly descriptive pictures of the dark moments, but to move past it and live for building a better present and future for yourself regardless of what the past may hold. AH DEXTERRRRRRR!!!!

-       CHECK OUT: JAPAN

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YUNG PINCH

I would be willing to bet that anyone who has grown up by the beach at some point in their life is going to absolutely be on board with Yung Pinch. It’s a refreshing change of pace to have an artist who not only is lyrically discussing refreshing subject matter, but to have the music to back that up as well. I personally don’t know any other artists who have created a name for themselves in the hip-hop industry by being a beach bum. But, if you guys know of anyone else please feel free to share them with me. We live in a time where artists are bringing so much influence from other genres and lifestyles into hip-hop we don’t know how to react to it. I’m pretty confident in saying I think Yung Pinch is going to be a driving force in opening up hip-hop to more eclectic influences into the mainstream. Especially for beach boys like us.

-       CHECK OUT: SAIL AWAY

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COMETHAZINE

When I first came across Comethazine I immediately thought “this dudes looks fucking crazy.” Then I saw the Deathwish video and thought “Ok, this dude’s definitely crazy.” But, for the last week and a half I can’t seem to listen to anything else but Comethazine. While lyrically and aesthetically he carries a lot of the same qualities as other artists out right now, he has a naturally loose flow that reminds me of what Kodak Black might sound like if he came up from St. Louis. Songs like Bands and Piped Up are the perfect example of these uniquely bouncy flows that Comethazine loves to work with. Within every sub genre of hip-hop that takes the MainStage, there's deeper sub-sub genre's. Comethazine is rocking his own lane within that new Soundcloud mumble rap sub-genre and he's coming up fast. His reign on the new wave of hip-hop is only just beginning. Pipe up.

-       CHECK OUT: PIPED UP

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Joyner Lucas

Joyner is the future of conscious rap. He is able to use many kinds of flows to stay unique and not repetitive. Lucas also incorporates themes and topics that aren’t exclusively about sex, money, and drugs. A great example is his song Ross Capicchioni, where he tells a 3rd person true story of how a man tried to murder another man to try to get into a gang. He is a criminally underrated artist, who has the talent to blow up at any point. I highly recommend listening to his album 508-507-2209, which is my favorite album since “good kid, m.A.A.d city”.

-      CHECK OUT: WINTER BLUES