The Come-Up: Twin Cities Hip-Hop to jam all summer '18

Ness Nite
Ness Nite (courtesy the artist)

It was a long winter, and an even longer time since I've written a Come-Up article. With summer finally here, it's time to share with you all new Hip-Hop from our great state of Minnesota.

In the past, I've shared new artists (or new to me) that were on the come up, but this time around I want to shed light on some of the dope projects that have been released during and after my hibernation.

Ness Nite - Dream Girl

In March, Minnesota's own Ness Nite released Dream Girl, an R&B and Hip-Hop blend tailor-made for driving around Minnesota in the summer. Known for her melodic features, Ness showcases that she can hold her own bar for bar. She can hit you with a high note on the chorus and she'll swiftly woo you with her rap skills on the next verse.

Arnaud - No More Excuses

Arnaud is an up-and-comer in the Cities' Hip-Hop scenes. His debut album, No More Excuses, is about a young man reconciling life lessons post-adolescence. Arnaud explores the lost faith in the concept of love as a whole, illustrating the emptiness that contemporary love brings to the psyche. Sonically, there is a song for every type of Hip-Hop listener — a lil Cudi influence meets a lil trap fusion, with a dash of lyricism. I guarantee your head will be bopping by the second track.

Shanell McCoy - Live and Love

The humble and soft-spoken podcast host of Ask A Guy Podcast, released an R&B album that you'll be jamming to all summer. Live and Love showcases Shanell's personal growth — a tale about love, heartbreak, and embracing independence. In a year where there's been so many trailblazing female artists releasing dope music, Shanell is adding her name to the list.

Destiny Roberts - Moon Melanin Mami

In April, Moon Melanin Mami, also known as Destiny Roberts, released her self-titled album. Everything about the 13-track album is ahead of its time. Destiny straps you into a rocket and after the first track, you're launched into space. Moon Melanin Mami is an afro-futuristic album that features Destiny searching for her place in the galaxy.

Nsikak - The Lost Generation

The Lost Generation — released on Nsikak's birthday (May 25) — is a Twin Cities classic in the making. Through 12 tracks, the highly respected conscious rapper spits knowledge on the daily trial of black Americans. Nsikak narrates his life from high school, college, and why he's out to beat the odds. If you're looking for a soulful album this summer, check out The Lost Generation.

Best of Minnesota, Vol. 1 - Curated by DJ Tiiiiiiiiiip, Dolo and FreeWifi

Three of the biggest names in Twin Cities Rap got together to produce a mixtape showcasing the best of Minnesota's rap scene. I recently met up with DJ Tiiiiiiiiiip and J Plaza (feature coming soon), who explained to me that the Best of Minnesota mixtape is an attempt to promote Minnesota's Hip-Hop talent. The album is a trap fusion, featuring snippets of the varying sounds in the Twin Cities. If you weren't excited about Minnesota rap before, summer 2018 bout to change that.

I'm excited for Twin Cities Hip-Hop, so I'm already looking ahead at future music expected to drop this summer…

Sole.. - Misfit

Misfit will be released in August, but I got a sneak peek at the album. I spoke to Sole.. about his creative process, and he told me that he wanted to take this album in a new direction. Misfit is very different from his first EP, ZonedOut, but the entire album is filled with some amazing tracks. I'd hate to spoil it for you, so here's my take: Expect insightfulness and lyricism, with a flirtation of trap. I'd hate to leave you empty-handed, so here's a teaser:

This isn't an album (hopefully there's an album coming soon), but I have to give Nazeem & Spencer Joles some love for this dope Naruto inspired single, "Rock Lee":

If you got a local artist or album you think I should absolutely check out, DM me on Twitter @jeffembiid, or email me, bissoymattisj@gmail.com.

Much love, Jeff.

Jeffrey Bissoy-Mattis is a Twin Cities native by way of Yaoundé, Cameroon. Outside of reporting Hip-Hop for The Current, he's the host of Maintainin' and co-host of the NBA podcast, The Come Up. Got a suggestion or wanna leave a comment? Follow him on Twitter, @JeffEmbiid.

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