ROUNDUP: New Names, New Sounds

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Last week on The Facebooks, I put out a call for new names…artists that have been slept on. That happens, and that happens a lot. More than half of that is sheer felony negligence on my part, of course. But it’s also true that many local artists make themselves easy to sleep on. The promo grind is a shitty, thankless part-time job — it’s also non-negotiable. The 802 is not a huge scene, but it is competitive.

So: a quick roundup of artists, old and new, who deserve more shine than they’ve gotten here.

Madscatta is an old school spitter from Southern VT, all tongue twisters and internal rhymes. He had a standout appearance on the debut Jibba “The Gent” LP, The Broccoli Tree, and he’s released a few solo projects on The Soundclouds, too. Some of his recent work shows him stretching out into new flow pockets and feels over THEN WHAt production, but it’d be great to see him come back with a straight-up boom-bap throwback album of just wall-to-wall bars. Not that anyone asked me.

M. Rich is one half of the Bar None The Best team, a hardcore rap crew from Barre who’ve been on a successful underground run for awhile now. They’re not exactly slept on — not many 802 acts are debuting their singles on The Source’s website — but M. Rich’s next move is a solo project, Malcolm, with “Lord Forgive Me” serving as the lead single. This is some sharp writing and great delivery. An LP of cuts this nice would be monumental.

Juni is a new name for the emcee formerly known as Trips, who did some show-stealing work on recent Minds Eye Tribe projects. His cadence and content have always been more Bone Thugs’n’Harmony than Jedi Mind Tricks, though, so I’m looking forward to hearing what comes from this second wave of solo material. Also check out “Hecka Faded", his new single from an upcoming project with Kishawn.

Jay Jerz was a new name to me, but he’s currently in the SkyLab cooking up new material…and his demos from last year are pretty flames. Check out “ADRENALINE” — the mic quality might be iffy, but that flow shines through: dude is a natural. Looking forward to whatever comes next.

Finally, we’ve got RyCoon, with “Turn It All Around,” a big-ass, dynamic single about staying motivated. His craft is still rough around the edges, sure, but this ain’t a demo — it’s a well-paced song with a real-deal hook. It sounds like this cat has a great deal of potential to grow into, and he’s definitely working with a good team. Props.

Justin Boland