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> R&B and Urban Recommendation Page, May features: Ella Mai, Mahalia, Khalid, Saweetie
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ML Hammer95
post Jan 9 2018, 01:35 PM
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As a feature for 2018, I hope to keep this regularly updated with what's bubbling under in the world of urban music. This space will be primarily for songs not yet big enough to support their own discussion page and will hopefully introduce people to artists and sounds they may not have considered before.

Geko - Likes That


This caught my attention immediately. Geko has been around for a few years now and has worked with Chip, Wretch 32, WSTRN and had an underground smash hit 'Darlin' last year. Confident bars and a beat that sounds like old-school Hip-Hop alongside a hook that sticks in your head... with the advantage of sounding fresh in the context of the UK scene. Also a nice reference to 'In da Club' too. laugh.gif

For fans of: Chip, J Hus, Not3s

Mahalia - Hold On


Leicester based artist Mahalia is being widely tipped for success this year - making a deserved appearance on the 1Xtra 'Hot For 2018' list. This has been A-listed by the station, a very smooth R&B track with a soulful vocal.

For fans of: Jorja Smith. Mabel
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Botchia 💡
post Jan 9 2018, 10:16 PM
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I do like Mahalia! Hopefully she can be another urban female to break out soon!
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Dexton
post Jan 10 2018, 09:09 AM
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Likes That isn't bad but it's not something I'll be going back to kink.gif I do like Hold On though, reminds me a bit of Finders Keepers but I prefer Mahalia to Mabel dance.gif
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ML Hammer95
post Jan 17 2018, 10:01 AM
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Octavian - Party Here


This is my biggest recommendation of the week, a song that is getting so much throughout the underground scene right now! This stands out from other typical UK rap tracks, primarily because of the instrumental - contains elements of trap, hip hop, a horn section and a breakbeat chorus. Octavian is just starting to make a name from himself, and this could potentially allow him to blow up as an artist.

Famous Dex ft. ASAP Rocky - Pick It Up


Just outside the Top 10 on American Spotify, this has been picking up hype for a few months now. Slightly off-kilter beat but a definite party starter. Sounds almost like there are Indian influences in the music, which makes it more interesting than your standard rap track. Keep an eye out for this!
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ML Hammer95
post Jan 28 2018, 10:24 PM
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Life has been busy just recently, but here is the next selection of what's hot in the world of urban music!

Avelino ft. Dave - U Can Stand Up


Avelino has been releasing great music for a while now, and after R1 playlisted '1 In A Million', this fan favourite from his 'No Bullshit' album has been given the video treatment. Featuring Dave, this sounds so anthemic and uplifting! Definitely need more music like this, recommended for fans of Wretch 32.

One Acen ft. WSTRN - Vice Versa


Heavily hyped by 1Xtra this January, this collaboration dropped on Friday and the video just today. A very melodic track, with an interesting beat to match too - you may remember One Acen for his feature on huge 2017 song 'Unsigned' with Hardy Caprio and this latest offering shows he is an artist with lots of potential! Recommended for fans of J Hus, Lotto Boyzz and the like.

SL - Tropical


The UK drill scene is just starting to get mainstream recognition and the artist with the most crossover potential, SL, has been getting rave reviews for this one. Garnering 3 million views in just over a month, this is less harsh sounding than much of the drill scene and has been playlisted at both 1Xtra and Capital XTRA. For fans of AJ Tracey.

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ML Hammer95
post Feb 5 2018, 10:44 PM
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Here's my selection of urban music that deserves exposure this week...

T Mulla - Dollar Pound Cake


Recently added to UK Hot Hits on Spotify, this looks likely to become the next UK rap song to be pushed... this has been floating around for a few months now but was recently signed. Decent listen, I think it sounds very similar to 'Unsigned' which was a tune and bodes well for this.

Lil Xan - Betrayed


Another song added to UK Hot Hits and another song that has been floating around for a few months. This has really grown on me, I like the melody and vibe of the song and wouldn't surprise me to see this do well. Someone said this would prove very divisive on Buzzjack, but I honestly think there are worse offenders than this!

Mahalia ft. Little Simz - Proud Of Me


Second song of Mahalia's to appear here, she reminds me of Lily Allen vocally for some reason. She's linked up with Little Simz on this one, which has a laid-back feel and another sign of a potential breakthrough artist.

Capleton ft. Chronixx - Help The Weak


We finish with a little bit of reggae this week, a real sing-a-long track that epitomises the best of the genre. Chronixx has been on top of his game for years (remember Who Knows?) and provides a solid verse and melody to this one that makes me yearn for the warmer months to come.
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Dexton
post Feb 6 2018, 05:05 AM
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Quite liking that Mahalia & Little Simz song! I loved Little Simz when she was on Gorillaz's Garage Palace last year and she sounds just as good here dance.gif
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ML Hammer95
post Feb 12 2018, 09:56 PM
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Here are this week's recommendations from the urban underground:

Ms Banks - Come Thru


Fresh from her hit remix of 'Yu Zimme' from Stylo G that drew attention from Nicki Minaj, London rapper Ms Banks has come through with this one. Already playlisted by the big urban stations, this is the perfection introduction to the artist for many. Slick raps and a slick beat, this reminds me of Stefflon Don. Recommended.

H.E.R. - 2


My favourite discovery this week - I cannot get enough of the beat on this! The vocals from R&B artist H.E.R. are really on point too and I will definetly be keeping an eye out for more of her music in the future. Reminds me of Jorja Smith on a track with more interesting production.

Tom Misch ft. Loyle Carner - Water Baby


Both already firm festival favourites and considered 'cool' artists by the uni crowd, this is a song that belongs to the warmer months to come. Loyle Carner has been critically acclaimed for a while now and offers something different to the current crop of mainstream UK rap around right now. He does justice to a typically well-constructed Tom Misch instrumental.
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ML Hammer95
post Feb 22 2018, 09:11 AM
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NSG ft. Not3s - Pushing Up


There's been plenty of hype for this track, a collaboration between one of the hottest UK artists around and NSG - a group who had a big underground hit last year with 'Yo Darlin'. It doesn't disappoint, Not3s provides an uplifting chorus and the reaction has been strong as expected. Made small waves on Spotify already, so keep an eye out for this.

Shakka ft. AlunaGeorge - Man Down


Shakka is back and this time he links up with AlunaGeorge for a surprise and welcome collaboration. Produced by Jae5 ('Did You See', 'Bouff Daddy'), this sounds like a song perfect for the early summer. Could see this getting playlisted by mainstream stations and doing well on Spotify given a push.

Taya ft. Lotto Boyzz - Skin


Liverpool singer Taya has been bubbling under for a while now, but this is her most mainstream effort yet. Teaming up with Lotto Boyzz, this is a typical Pop/R&B effort that almost sounds a little like Ariana Grande vocally.
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ML Hammer95
post Apr 7 2018, 10:31 PM
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Here's a bumper update for April!

ASAP Rocky ft. BlocBoy JB - Bad Company


Different direction from ASAP but upbeat, funky and catchy!

AJ Tracey - Mimi


London rapper AJ Tracey returns with a more melodic offering to his previous output. Feel this is leaning towards the mainstream more and not as strong as 'Buster Cannon' or 'Blacked Out' but still rate this!

Col3trane ft. Ebenezer - Language


A smooth R&B track from Col3trane, this has been receiving heavy support from 1Xtra and considering the infectious melodies here it's not hard to see why!

dvsn - Morning After


Signed to Drake's OVO Label, Canadian R&B duo dvsn recently dropped their debut mixtape, from which this was the standout track. Recommended for fans of Majid Jordan or Roy Woods.

mishlawi - All Night


One of my favourite songs right now! Got an Amine/GoldLink vibe to it, it's got a real earworm beat and smooth lyrics. Mishlawi seems like an artist to keep an eye on.

Rich the Kid - Plug Walk


In the Top 10 on US Spotify (no mean feat these days) is this offering from Rich the Kid, who's debut album was released a few weeks ago. Spaced out beat and simple, but catchy lyrics. Probably won't be a hit here, but will in America and already playlisted on 1Xtra and Capital Xtra.

WSTRN ft. Tiwa Savage and Mr Eazi - Love Struck


Finally, we have the latest single from WSTRN which features a strong African flavour. Their sound has evolved since 'In2' and the choice of Tiwa Savage and Mr Eazi as feature artists seems inspired considering their status in popular African music right now. This feels like it'll be a Spring favourite in the underground scene.
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ML Hammer95
post May 1 2018, 09:50 PM
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A new month, a new set of recommendations! Again, this thread is primarily for songs that wouldn't support their own thread but are worthy of bringing to your attention:

Ella Mai - Boo'd Up


This is blowing up on American urban radio and the video for this smooth R&B track premiered last week. Ella Mai has been on my radar for a number of years, but this looks like being her breakout song and sounds perfectly suited for summer! For fans of female pop-R&B.

Khalid ft. Ty Dolla Sign & 6LACK - OMW


People may have already heard this, seeing as its been hovering just outside the Spotify Top 50 since release, but this is the most instant Khalid song to date for me! Simmering production and an infectious chorus, I wouldn't be surprised to see this catch on over the coming months.

Loski - Forrest Gump


Loski is a British rapper currently making big waves on the underground scene. 'Cool Kid' was on heavy rotation by 1Xtra for two months and the follow-up sounds even bigger. On Hot Hits UK, this doesn't sound as afro-influenced as his peers but equally catchy. Keep an eye on Loski, he seems a perfect candidate for a crossover hit.

Swarmz - Lyca


'Barking', 'Jumanji', 'German'.... this song by Swarmz sounds like a solid bet to emulate the success of the aforementioned songs! Not heard anything from him prior to this song, but the video has already received high viewing figures and has even broken the Top 100 on Spotify. Liking the vibe to this, sounds like something Kojo Funds would release.

Mahalia - No Reply


Already a favourite on this thread, Mahalia has come through again with her latest release. Chilled, mellow R&B sounds good at any time of the year and this latest song doesn't disappoint.

Saweetie - ICY GRL


If this was a minute longer, it'd be one of my favourite songs of the year. 'ICY GRL' has been out for a while, but only came to my attention after hearing it on the radio and there is something about this girl's flow that grabs your attention. It's not a slight to label this 'Cardi B-lite' and the production is on point too.
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Cody💧Slayberry
post May 1 2018, 11:54 PM
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I remember Icy Girl because I follow Brooklin from React and she featured this in one of her videos, but it was her rappin over the My Neck My Back instrumental that sold me.
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Frowdow
post May 3 2018, 05:24 AM
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New RnB songs?
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Dobbo
post Jun 1 2018, 11:37 PM
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Not exactly an underground artist but didn't know where else to put this. Anywhere else heard the new one from Fetty Wap? It's INCREDIBLE! heart.gif

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Dexton
post Jun 2 2018, 03:59 AM
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Boo’d Up and OTW both deserve to be huge dance.gif
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