In August 2017 Lil Uzi Vert and XXXTentacion were number one and two on the billboard 200. This was a massive indication that the rap game was changing once more. Their style is fresh and it appeals to the millennial audience in a big way. More people are jumping on Soundcloud and more than ever people are gaining mainstream exposure from it, but will these Soundcloud rappers take over the rap scene in 2018.
The production is heavy and it’s really cool to listen to Soundcloud rappers because of it. Not everyone needs to listen to deep conscious rap all the time, millennials just want to listen to something out there and different. For every Kendrick and Cole song on my playlists I’ve got the likes of Uzi and Peep. It’s likely that at least half of this years XXL Freshmen list will consist of Soundcloud rappers, and the accolade will likely shoot them into a new found popularity, something that XXX, Uzi benefited from massively.
The popularity of Lil Pump’s Gucci Gang cannot be ignored, and the mass love for the late Lil Peep cannot be ignored either. Lil Peep in particular has appealed to millennials and inspired many, it makes this sub genre of rap increase in popularity and it makes many teens turn to Soundcloud, and the sky is limit for each and every one of them. You might not like it, and they might not be the worlds most talented rappers, but they are huge in popularity, bigger than they’ve ever been, and it’s getting bigger. Expect Soundcloud rappers to be in the charts on the regular, expect them to have big festival slots and increase in popularity further. The rappers below are the ones I expect to pop in 2018.
18 year old Ohio native began to pop big at the end of 2017. He charted a couple times featuring on tracks with XXX and Travis Scott as well as dropping two mixtapes of his own. He’s more than likely set to be on the XXL Freshman list and his trap style can appeal to the masses well. Expect a busy year from him, potentially another mixtape and some big features, he’ll be one of the biggest up and comers of the year.
Ski Mask The Slump God
Ski Mask, for me, is the number one Soundcloud rapper at the moment, his flow is unmatched by many. He’s one of Soundcloud’s most listened to artists with millions of listens for each of his tracks. He’s pretty much the most likely of the Soundcloud guys to get on the XXL list and with good reason. He’s going to pop this year in every way.
It’s fair to say that Smokepurpp had a top quality 2017, his mixtape Deadstar did well in the charts with some big features, after which he signed to Travis Scott’s label Cactus Jack Records. I’m becoming a broken record when I say this man will be a Freshman, but he will be. His trap vibes appeal and the production of his tracks is somewhat better than your average Soundcloud rapper, it’s going to be a big 2018 for him.
There’s a big story surrounding Tay-K, a 17 year old who has been accused of being involved in a murder. Legal issues aside, people listen to his music and he popped big last year with his viral hit The Race. Depending on how the accusations go he might not be around the music scene for long, but he probably has enough time to get some more music out there, which brings back the age old question Viberant ponder over so much, can we separate the art from the artist?
A friend of 21 Savage, Young Nudy has started to make waves and will likely be one of Soundcloud’s biggest attractions by the end of the year. If I were psychic I’d predict his place on an XXL list at some point, if not this year then next year. His work with Pierre Bourne cannot be ignored, because no work with Pierre should be ignored, it’s incredible stuff.
With the rappers mentioned along with work from Ugly God, Playboi Carti, Lil Yatchy all becoming apparent, it’s clear that Soundcloud rappers will have a big part to play in 2018’s rap scene, and what an exciting scene it is.