VTHH SUMMERSLAM 2019: New Names, New Sounds


We’re not even 24 hours into the first annual VTHH SUMMERSLAM and things are already insane. I’ve been suspended from Facebook (“too lit, too viral, too trill”) and we’re past the 200 mark for nomination submissions so far today. We knew this would be big, but we were amazed to find out this would be huge. Huge.

Nominations close around 5 pm on Thursday, June 13th — tomorrow, in other words — and we’ll be dropping some big announcements that night. Now, some critics have said this is moving too fast, and that’s absolutely true. I promise you, though, next year will be every bit as sloppy and frustrating.

Meanwhile, I’m spending my evening catching up on dozens of new names. Here’s a quick overview of some of the artists VTHH will be featuring this summer.

Wap Bleu caught a wave after opening for Jay Critch last year and his name came up a lot in the past 24 hours — spelled differently every time, too. There’s no finished product yet, but his singles are proof there’s a lot of energy on tap and a talented ear in development.

At first I thought “Sobe” was a nomination for Somba, but SoBe is a whole separate animal. The entire catalog on his Soundcloud there is worth a dive, this is calculated, playful stuff, and full of melodic ideas. I will be keeping a close eye out for this cat in the future.

The team at Savvy Row Records got a number of shouts, but none more than Blaze Ryan, who released his solo debut Demons back in May. This is introspective, lyrical rap — and this also a work in progress, a young team worth checking back on.

Instinct is an 802 producer who has been working with Dokowala for awhile now, been prolific for years now, and keeps his mixing and design game on point, too. Despite all that, I’ve still been sleeping. So while he’s not strictly a new name, the man deserves some shine and he’s gotten a number of nominations. Also, “Libations” bangs.

Kurt Stewart has come up under a few names, all of which were familiar. That’s because this young fellow distinguished himself with some excellent entries in the regular, Flip Physics hosted, VTHH Sample Challenge. Turns out, he’s been on a long streak of dirty, tasty work. Again, I was slept.

And again, there will always be more. I apologize in advance. This is just a quick mix — VTHH SUMMERSLAM has introduced a huge new wave of talent, and proven a lot of older, senior citizen type heads haven’t been forgotten. Props to the creators and hustlers.

In closing, seriously, all jokes aside, I am suspended for a week over on Facebook there, so please keep sharing The Nomination Link so we can get some numbers & awareness. NOTHING WILL STOP THE SHOW.

Justin Boland