5 On It is a feature that looks at five of the best under-the-radar rap findings from the past two weeks, highlighting new or recently discovered artists, or interesting obscurities.
For this week’s edition of 5 On It, I enlisted the help of celebrated Los Angeles rapper, battle rap champion, songwriter, and casual hip-hop historian Nocando. The idea for him to take the reigns for a week came during a night of cheap Thai beer and curry, as we discussed the issues of rap both on and off the internet. I told him I wanted his perspective because he wasn’t trawling the dark corners of SoundCloud all day looking for rappers, but rather rapping and experiencing the music live. So this week, a unique, personal edition of 5 On It.
“First off I want to make it painfully clear that I am a rapper and I do not listen to rap music to escape my everyday life. Secondly I’m honored that Jon asked me to do this. When he did I said ‘I don’t search the net and I don’t get out of the house or studio much these days so everyone is gonna be local’ he said that its cool and my perspective will be appreciated. I’mma just go with my gut here.”
iLL Camille (Ladies 1st)
“This is the best rapper in and from LA male or female, as far as I’m concerned. She had a record with terrace Martin, the TDE camp, Kurupt, Iman Omari and whomever else. In my eyes the only reason she is on an underrated rappers list is because she isn’t a rapper/video ho and most people in this business don’t know what to do with that these days. Man. I played a show with her last summer and they put me on right after her set. I was hot cause It forced me to have to work hard lol Jkjkjk. Here’s a song of hers that you can vibe out to.”
Tru (And a child shall lead them)
“This kid is scary talented as a songwriter, rapper, producer, performer and whatever else he does. He packs rooms, kills shows and does it over and over again. I met him freestyling in Leimert [Park] a while back. To be real, I had a ‘either I serve his lil’ ass or build with him” moment. Since I officially retired from battling I decided to build with dude. What blew my mind was the talent to humility ratio he had when I sat down with him. He is about 18 and neck and shoulders above his peers yet way more humble than the guys I met him with. I think that has a lot to do with the success he has gained in his scene.”
Los Moonwalker (The Wild card)
“Really hard to explain without worrying people. Don’t trip. He spent six years in prison. He doesn’t have too many records out cause he was trapping. He worked with Jay Rock and was connected with Soul Assassins before he was locked up in 2009. I’ve sat down with him to check where his head was at recently and I’d bet my last buck that he ain’t going back. He’s homeboy industry’s homeboy of the year…And oh yeah He’s Korean.
A lot of Asian rap is viewed as or comes off a joke and if not a joke it is seen as a well executed mimicry of urban black youth culture. I’ve known Los Moonwalker for a while and that’s far from case with him. He’s raised in the streets of Los Angeles and what he does is neither black or Korean or Latino, it’s Angeleno. It’s the real deal.”
Troop (The other)
“This one’s tricky. He’s a classically trained Opera singer disguised as a rapper. Troop is from Mississippi by way of Atlanta. He can do the soul thing, the trap thing and the straight forward hip hop thing, but I think his secret weapon is his pop sensibility. He’s got a whole project that I heard in studio that highlights his range pretty well. Here’s a song that he dropped recently that I dig.”
Huey Briss (Retro futuristic)
This is gonna sound old and crotchety, but I gotta say it like this. There was a time in Los Angeles when the 1st time you discovered of a rap act it wasn’t via the net, your homie told about him or her or them. You heard stories. You ran into them at an event. You saw them open up for an act you were a fan of then you became a fan of them. This was how I found out about Huey. I heard through a friend that is infamous in his own right that he had a drunken battle at an after party of an Anderson Paak with some guy and he might’ve lost. That caught my attention. Upon meeting and vibing with Huey I saw how this could happen. I got a chance to listen to some very experimental unreleased self produced music through an aux chord session out of the truck in DTLA. It blew me away
Here’s a recent track of his. Rock with it.”