At least once every blue moon, I want to highlight a few music videos that have crossed my path. Sometimes when we hear of a new artist, the very first place we go is Youtube, which typically either makes us a fan or a hater in short order. I decided to pass along a few interesting videos from underground, indie and unsigned hip-hop artists. These are not big-budgeted videos. They don't have well-known directors. You won't see any of them on MTV. Enjoy.
Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis city. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. His project The Hero Killer was released on January 21 and was followed up by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For the Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get The Hero Killer here.
Akilah Jae "On Top"
Akilah Jae is a breath of fresh air. Her voice is original and soulful, yet her spirit, on display in the video, is very youthful. She reminds me of vintage Mary J. Blige, prior to the fame. In every impoverished neighborhood there's a girl down the street who can sing just as good as any singer on television, but she's a victim of circumstance patiently waiting for her opportunity to change the world. I absolutely love this song, and I hope we hear a lot more from this young songstress. I've listened to it three times in a row and I could probably get away with keeping it on repeat for the next 30 minutes.
Cheech Forreign "Midnight"
Cheech Forreign was raised the belly of Jacksonville, Florida, but her producer and close collaborator Average Jo is from St. Louis. She often carries the vibe of a female version of Big Krit, but her sound and approach to the music can't quite be compared to anyone else. This song is deep and tugs at your heart. Cheech specializes in making her insecurities sound beautiful. Perfect title, perfect song, alongside an awesome video and feature from Just Will.
Riley B. "Real Rap"
Riley B. tore the stage down at SXSW. Prior to his performance, I didn't realize how dope this record actually is. I went back and looked at a few of his music videos and ran across this hidden jewel, directed by Rob Ruger and Darrone Calvin. I usually hate when people use terms like "real rap," but in this case the descriptor is apt.
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