Five Local Rappers You Should Already Be Listening To
2020 edition.
Music 4w

It’s been a while since we last visited this local rap segment and with the new year/ decade well and truly underway, we figured it was time to look ahead at some of the country’s most exciting up and comers. Here’s a whole handful (+ change) of Australian hip-hop acts to keep an eye on in 2020:

Jordan Dennis

Melbourne rapper Jordan Dennis has been busy. Dropping his debut solo EP HDMI1 – an impressive concept project inspired by iconic cinema – and showing his lyrical skillset across a diverse mix of sounds with no less than four genre-crossing features last year, he closed out 2019 with a big hand in Tones And I’s Like A Version performance. We’re thinking he might even be on for a Hottest 100 debut this weekend via his verse on ‘Forever Young’. Let’s go. 

Nice on the mic and with a great eye for visuals, we’re really excited to see him carry that momentum into 2020. Catch Jordan Dennis live next month as he tours alongside New York rapper Kota The Friend. Follow the link for info + tickets. 

Rops1

Representing Macquarie Fields in Sydney’s South-West, Rops1 has earned plenty of admirers for his no-holds-barred approach to rap. Nods to OGs like Kerser and collaborations with Nter and Fortay have certainly helped cement his place as one of the most exciting voices on the scene. Blurring the lines between grime, drill, hip-hop, gutter and road rap, his catalogue of singles are a teaser to what we can only hope is leading into an extended play this year. Arguably one of his best tracks, ‘D.O.N.’ samples the same beat as J. Cole’s ‘Album Of The Year Freestyle’, with the young don’s bars measuring up to one of the living GOATs’. 

JK-47

Another rapper we’ve got tipped as a dark horse to pop up in this year’s Hottest 100, JK-47 could creep in for his slick feature on Nerve track ‘Sunday Roast’. The ECB and Gratis Minds rapper excels with razor-sharp wordplay whether jumping on a chill electronic-infused hip-hop-type beat or cutting through “smack you in the face” bass-heavy production crystal clear. If you’re in Sydney this long weekend, be sure to get down to Trust No.One at Crow Bar on Sunday to catch him on stage alongside a whole stack of underground and emerging kings. Event info via here

Youngn Lipz 

YL YL. Fresh from taking the FOMO stage by surprise with recent collaborator A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, 2020 is looking bright for the rising Cabramatta rapper. Bringing silky smooth r&b vocals to his melodic flow, Youngn Lipz has already attracted plenty of overseas attention with his debut single ‘Misunderstood’, amassing over 10M combined streams. And the numbers don’t lie; it’s a smash. His follow up single ‘Silent’ is cut from the same cloth and is even outperforming his noteworthy co-sign from A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie.

*Also featuring on A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s ‘Mood Swings’ Remix (and well worth keeping an eye on) is 16 year old Brisbane rapper Creed Tha Kid. Like Youngn Lipz, he had a breakthrough 2019 and has all the tools and potential to crack the US market this year. 

Rich Valentine

Having spent the back end of 2019 putting ticks on their wishlist, we’re looking forward to seeing what the 9-piece Perth hip-hop ensemble has in store for 2020. Made up of Saint Rich, Alien, Big Daddy Jorge, Blx Boi, Don Blanko, Lino Brown, P Jools, and the R155, the group ended the year on a high with a concrete A$AP Twelvyy co-sign via his feature verse on ‘Ricca Donna’, as well as their first festival slot on the Origin Fields bill alongside international rap icons Tyler, the Creator, Skepta, YBN Cordae and Gunna. Backing it up, the collective kicked off the year with ‘Cake’, a short and sweet club heater ideal for simultaneously sweating and drinking Dom Pérignon to. With big dreams and expensive taste, we’re keen to hear whatever else they’ve got cooking.

Hoodzy

We haven’t heard too much from the 17 year old Gold Coast rapper but if ‘Young Girl Steez’ and ‘Nightmares’ are anything to go by, she’s definitely a force to be reckoned with. With nods to Nadia Rose, Skepta and Giggs as influences, her hardened and uncompromising approach checks out. On those tracks alone, she’s made enough of an impression on our office that we couldn’t help but squeeze her into this originally five-strong list. Here’s hoping we get more Hoodzy in 2020.

Words by Declan Whelan January 24, 2020
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