It can be argued either way that 2018 was a strong year or disappointing year for hip hop, either way there were some really good tunes that went under the radar, unfortunately not reaching the masses in a big way.
However, here at Music Umpire we believe that these tunes shouldn’t be overlooked and that you should add them to your playlists for your hip hop needs.
Enjoy our list of underrated hip hop tunes that deserve more recognition below.
1. Dreezy – “Where Them $ @”
If you need motivation to make more money or you’re in the mood to hit the strip club, this tune by Chicago rapper Dreezy is the one for you. This tune is all about the money and has the energy to direct you to where the money is at.
2. Ro Ransom – “Wraith”
This tune by Ro Ransom takes on darker vibe that could easily feature in a blockbuster action movie or video game such as Assasin’s Creed. Ro Ransom has made a plethora of good music over the last few years, but this one definitely stands out
3. Flatbush Zombies – “Headstone”
Flatbush Zombies have steadily made hip hop bangers over the last few years, but never seem to get similar recognition to groups such as Migos, probably due to their more traditional style. However, if you are a hip hop enthusiast you will truly appreciate their music and definitely this tune from the New York lyricists.
4. Powers Pleasant & Joey Bada$$ & A$AP Ferg – “Pull Up”
2018 was quiet year for New York rappers Joey Bada$$ and A$AP Ferg, however they still managed to drop a dope tune by teaming up with Pro Era producer, Powers Pleasant for an entertaining tune that sounds like it should be in the next Fast & Furious movie.
5. IDK – “Star”
IDK really should be on the radar on all major outlets as one of the next big hip hop stars. He believes that he is a star, which is evident in this tune and we think you believe in his stock to become a star because his music bangs hard.
6. Ocean Wisdom ft. Dizzee Rascal – “Revvin'”
Repping the under rated UK hip hop record label High Focus, Ocean Wisdom has built up a loyal fanbase of real hip hop heads who appreciate his ability to body any type of hip hop tune from grime to boom bap. Teaming up with grime legend Dizzee Rascal was a match made in heaven because they delivered probably the best non-afro influenced hip hop tune in the UK of 2018.
7. Ms Banks – “Chat 2 Mi Gyal”
Rising UK emcee Ms Banks really knows how to drop bars and she certainly did it on this high energy Toddla T production that brings back Missy Elliott vibes. We definitely expect more heat from here in 2019.
8. Madeintyo ft. A$AP Ferg – “Ned Flanders”
Madeintyo downfall is that there are many rappers in his lane stealing his shine, namely Lil Pump, however that doesn’t mean that his music should be ignored in an over saturated market, if there is any tune that you shouldn’t ignore from Madeintyo it is definitely this one.
9. Pouya – “Void”
Pouya is easily one of the most overlooked lyricists out there, because if he was on the TDE label for example, he would be a big deal by now. He definitely deserves a Kendrick Lamar cosign as mentioned in this dope song by him.
10. YBN Cordae – “Scotty Pippen/Alaska”
This guy is the young lyricist you need to know about in 2019, if you are looking for a rapper to kill mumble rap. He has the flow and swag to make big waves in the hip hop scene and this song certainly demonstrates that.
11. Nessly & Yung Bans – “Wolverine”
Producer Kennybeats made some serious heat for many up and coming rappers in 2018 and “Wolverine” which features Nessly and Yung Bans (both underrated as well) is one the fire tunes he produced in 2018. Even, though the Nessly and Yung Bans do their thing on this tune, the beat is too hard to ignore Kennybeats brilliance.
12. Anik Khan – “Big Fax”
Music Umpire has already given recognition to this tune by making one of our TUNE OF THE DAYS’ in 2018, however, it deserves more props because it is definitely underrated, even with the Fat Joe cosign it received on Genius. If Fat Joe likes it, you probably should as well.
13. Denzel Curry ft. IDK – “Uh Huh”
Denzel Curry is definitely one of the most versatile rappers in the game, he can go from doing an aggressive scream rap tune to spitting bars on prototypical hip hop tunes easily. Denzel one to two tunes away from blowing up and this tune is testament to why he is probably going to breakout in 2019.
14. Wiki ft. JJ (Jesse James Solomon) & Obongjayar – “Elixir”
The trend in this post is that New York hip hop was really under appreciated in 2018. This tune by New York rapper Wiki was released in the latter part of the year with him reminding us that he one of the dopest rappers in the game with his unique cadence.
15. Kadiata – “On Tap”
This tune is very catchy but very different what from is currently hot in the UK rap scene and probably the reason why it was over looked in 2018. The talent is definitely there in Kadiata’s case but it’s just a matter of timing, once the UK rap scene get use to his sound, maybe GRM Daily will give him a premiere that this tune deserved.
16. A2 ft. Octavian, Yxng Bane & Suspect – “Flair”
You would expect with the artists such as Yxng Bane, Octavian and Suspect on this tune that it would receive more attention. However, that wasn’t the case, even though the tune is really good with each individual performance meshing well to form an entertaining and creative tune.
17. Rico Nasty – “Trust Issues”
Rico Nasty isn’t your ordinary female rapper and this tune “Trust Issues” demonstrates her hard hitting sound and wild personality to its core. The beat is produced by her frequent collaborator Kenny Beats, who together she has made many dope tunes with. Their pairing is akin to the Missy Elliott-Timbaland collaboration and hopefully it will provide us with the big bangers Missy Elliott and Timbaland shared to the world when they worked together.
18. Brockhampton – “J’ouvert”
Brockhampton are one of the most unique and authentic rap collectives in the last few years who have built a solid worldwide following on an under radar scale. It’s surprising that they haven’t had a tune that has gone super viral yet and it’s only a matter of time for that to happen if they continue they keep on releasing more good tunes like “J’ouvert”.
19. Skizzy Mars – “Jugamos”
Skizzy Mars has a serious talent for making really catchy tunes, but for some reason his music hasn’t been able to garner exposure to reach the millions of people it deserves to reach. “Jugamos” is feel good tune that is perfect for your summer BBQ party.
20. Aziz The Shake – “Stacks In The Bathrobe”
This tune is underrated because the artist Aziz The Shake is relatively unknown. However, he seems to know some very music producers, Teeko and B. Lewis who have both built a solid music production career through delivering their own hits on SoundCloud. If you love to dance or you are in a hip hop dance crew to this tune is for you.
21. Lil Skies – “World Rage”
It can be argued that this tune is better than a lot of the big tunes Lil Skies has dropped in his career so far, however it hasn’t managed to garner the attention it deserves compared to his other tunes.
22. Pac Div – “Stoked”
After a 6 year hiatus, rap trio Pac Div came back with fire and energy on this tune. However, the music scene has changed a lot since they last released music with people moving onto new sounds in hip hop, but for those who appreciate the late 00s and early 10s sound this tune is banger.
23. IDK ft. Joey Bada$$ & Russ – “Lil Arrogant”
Lyricism in hip hop is no longer the same and old hip hop heads will argue that it is lacking in this new era of rap. However, this tune from IDK, Joey Bada$$ and Russ showcases that there are still a few rappers in the scene right now still holding the torch for traditional lyricists at a high level.
24. Lil Gnar ft. Lil Skies – “Drop Top Benz”
This tune did better numbers than Lil Gnar and Lil Skies other collaboration “Grave” on SoundCloud, however it didn’t get as much media attention even though it is clear banger that would do a madness in the club.
25. Wize – “On Me”
Known more prominently as music producer, Wize often likes to demonstrate that he his bars as well and “On Me” is one of those tunes from him that showcases his awesome talent for rapping. If you are grime or UK rap fan everything about this track is dope.