Tuesday 16th April 2013 

Today’s daily is a spotlight on Brooklyn, New York.


Spotlight: Brooklyn 

Brooklyn sports an impressive alumni when it comes to hip-hop. Jay-Z, Mos Def, RZA, Talib Kweli, GZA and of course, Notorious B.I.G, all spent their early years in Brooklyn’s many suburbs before becoming pioneering hip-hop artists. The sound of two generations, these artists changed the hip-hop game forever. Many saw the death of Biggie as a cataclysm for hip-hop, yet it kept developing, immortalising the sounds of Christopher Wallace into the music. They put hip-hop into the limelight, gained mainstream success, all whilst retaining what they learnt as youngsters growing up in Brooklyn.

Now that these artists are nearing the latter stages of their careers, it is time for a new batch of Brooklyn boys to break through. And wouldn’t you just know it, it just so happens that there is an impressive collection of Brooklyn artists just coming through. Here is just a short selection of artists you can expect to see doing big things in the coming year.

Joey Bada$$

Joey Bada$$ is one of our favourites here at H&B. Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott is only 18 years young and undoubtedly one of the biggest up and coming talents in hip-hip.  He writes with a maturity to suggest that he has been schooled by some of Brooklyn’s most noted alumni, yet he hasn’t. He remains an independent artist, not wishing to sign to any one of the major labels that are desperate for his signature until the time is right. His debut mixtape ‘1999’ was released in June last year, subsequently backed up by ‘Rejex’ three months later. Both mixtapes possess class and style that make them seem the work of an older man, yet they retain the youthful exuberance that make Joey what he is. His yet to be named debut album is close to completion and set for release this Summer.

The Underachievers

Don’t let the name fool you, Marlong Fung and Akeem Joseph are anything but underachievers. Better known as Issa Krishna Dash and Ak, they have only been making music for few years and have already found themselves signed to Flying Lotus’s label, Brainfeeder. Lyrically they ooze class and maturity that just is not found in people with their lack of experience. The real beauty of their music is the deep introspect housed within a message of spreading peace. With a few tracks already released from ‘INDIGOI.S.M.’ which is set to drop soon, one thing is for sure, The Underachievers are set to achieve.

Flatbush Zombies

Originating from the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, Meech, Juice and Erick Arc Elliot gained notoriety for their video ‘Thug Waffle’ , with no label support they were suddenly propelled into hip-hop consciousness from nowhere. They are an interesting concept, there is heavy influence from drug culture, particularly Marijuana, yet they possess a real social consciousness. For example, Juice stands by  his responsibilities as a father and wants his son to see him positive moves and being a father figure. This attitude is reflected in the way they produce their music, nothing is rushed or forced but there is a definite understanding that they need to produce music of a quality that will enable them to leave the streets they were raised on. They are something different, something new and definitely something to keep your eyes on in the future.

Stann Smith

With the aid of a Harmonica, Stann Smith chronicles real life experiences in a way that reflects the significant influence old school hip-hop has had on him. He delivers songs with refreshing soul, something that has been vacant in hip-hop over the last few years. The buzz created from his internet release of the song ‘Never About Winning’ allowed him to release the ‘2nd @ race America’ EP and subsequently ‘The Bootleg Sides’. He even has a sub project trying to bridge the gap between commerical music and Art entitled ‘#EKOET (Every King Over Every Thing). Stann’s debut LP ‘Spirit and Opportunity’ is set for release in the coming months.


The Brooklyn hip-hop revival take II is well under way. Take note, these names are here to stay.