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6 Great Hip-Hop Projects Of 2023 (So Far) That Flew Under The Radar

Three and a half months into 2023 and we have a lot of exciting hip-hop releases to cherish. Some caught the listener’s ears and others, not so much. We bring to you 6 of those hip-hop projects that failed to catch the attention they deserved

1. Full Moon – Darcy

Full Moon is the second mixtape of Mumbai trapper Darcy after his much acclaimed first outing with ‘HYP3R’. The artistic vision that he carries and the intricacy with which he is building up his discography is something that deserves to be lauded. Even if we keep aside the actual project for a second and talk about the roll out and detailed packaging of the album, Darcy with the help of YungWuz has managed to build a world which engulfs the listener completely enhancing the experience of listening to the album many folds. With ‘Full Moon’ he unleashes his aggressive side and dwells into the rage/hypertrap sound thanks to the producers, Fatboi Racoon, Sohunnid, Babywxve and Eyepatch. Throughout the project he is having an internal tussle, a fight to stay away from the ‘trap lifestyle’ he was thrown into early in his life. He is looking back on his missteps, regretting them, embracing them and hoping to come out of it all as an improved individual.

Click HERE to listen.

2. Gulmohar Greens – Oof.

Oof. is a trio of singer/rapper Raztaan, singer and producer Bro-G and rapper Mazdoor who released their long due debut album Gulmohar Greens earlier this year. The project showcased their potential as a group and as individuals but went fairly under the radar. Thematically, it is an abstract coming of age story of three boys from Delhi NCR which dabbles sonically around the vibrant and laidback alt pop soundscape. The project is divided into two halves ‘Lost Cause’ and ‘Arrival’ representing the group’s mind state at the time of making the album. Each of the featured artist (Gravity, A. Roy, Malas, Vasudev and Bharat Arora) has given their absolute best and has helped in uplifting their respective tracks and the project as a whole to greater heights. Though released in spring, the album has a soul of a perfect summer album.

Click HERE to listen.

3. Trials And Tribulations – Scoolboypax

Noida’s very own Scoolboypax has been rising through the ranks one project at a time. In a music scene where releasing singles is preferred over projects, Pax stands amongst the few who think otherwise. Despite dropping EPs so consistently through out the past year, he has never compromised on the quality of his music. Trials and Tribulations stands as a testament of the same. Just like his previous projects, this one also sees Pax journaling his comeup and how the streets of Noida have shaped him as an individual. Throughout the 5 track EP, he pulls off both the melodic as well as the grittier ‘bar’ heavy tracks equally well and reaffirms his prodigy status, flexing his immense versatility and great song writing skills. With each project that he drops it is becoming clear that he makes music for no one but himself and his future self to look back and realise how far he has come. I wouldn’t miss this one if I were you!

Click HERE to listen.

4. Dukh Dard – AVOILA

‘Dukh Dard’ is sophomore project of Raipur based singer, rapper, music producer and DJ AVOILA. Bringing his electronic dance music sensibilities to hip-hop, he has joined the ranks of artists who are making experimental music in the scene. While his debut album ’17-21′ layed the ground work of this fusion of dance and rap music, ‘Dukh Dard’ takes it ten steps further and brings us an amalgamation of the same and much more. The first half of the EP carries a rage/trap-metal inspired sound showcasing his existential anger and social and political resentment. As we approach the second half, the project takes a more melodious and sombre turn, tackling the same existential issues in a much calmer and poppier way. With this EP, AVOILA cements his name as one of the freshest voices to come from the indie music space.

Click HERE to listen.

5. Bina Puche Bina Dasse – JASKARAN, H4$HT4G

The collaborative 3 track EP by Punjabi rapper JASKARAN and producer Hashtag (stylised as H4$T4G) is a strong declaration of their arrival in the scene. With those fiery flows and that powerful delivery it feels as if Jaskaran has channelised his inner Rocky Balboa for this EP. He is taking shots on his contemporaries, mocking the ones who didn’t see his vision and doing all of it while being technically grounded. The intensity of his emotions doesn’t take away the stronghold he has on the the lyrical aspect of his tracks, which makes him a force to be reckoned with. He is complimented equally well by Hashtag and the only feature artist on the project ‘Spartan Rage’, who manage leave their respective marks in the mind of their listeners really efficiently.

Click HERE to listen.

6. Rog – Lil Kabeer

Cloud rap has been a fairly untouched side of trap music in India, more so if we talk about it being in Hindi language. Lil Kabeer latest 9 song venture ‘Rog’ fills up that deficiency pretty well. The self produced mixtape (along with Faichan and BlissEnlightenUs) owns a very gloomy emo aesthetic built up by the spacy, ethereal vocals and slow tempo beats which is also represented aptly by the red and black album art. Kabeer’s characteristic ‘casual yet poetic’ style of writing fits here perfectly as he sings and raps about being smitten with love. The short run time of 19 mins plays an important role in a sonically consistent project like this one and prevents in from getting repetitive and stale. ‘Rog’ can be considered a significant milestone if we talk about Hindi Trap music and deserves a lot more attention and appreciation for trying something completely new and yet keeping the artistic integrity and originality intact.

Click HERE to listen.

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