By: Seamus Fay
2016 has been an exciting and insane year in so many areas. One of those areas happens to also be one of the most underrated, the Boston rap scene. With so many new and exciting artists coming out and dropping some truly amazing music, I have decided to make a list of the ones to really keep your eye on during the upcoming year.
Jefe Replay is a Roxbury native who is simply a natural at making catchy hooks and singing/rapping effortlessly on laid back beats that fit any mood. He has been known to drop a banger occasionally, but he really strives when it comes to songs like “What You Need” (my personal favorite at the moment). He will be releasing a project soon titled Proper Finessments when his new Instagram account (@askforjuan) hits 1,000 followers, which will not take long. One fan couldn’t handle the wait, sending Replay money to send him the project. His response was posted on Twitter, saying, “this is a great first project for you” and “def worth the money. thank you for the early release.” Another aspect of the artist is his overall look. He seems to have a personality kind of like Snoop Dogg, where everything he says and does is just cool for some reason.
Vintage Lee is another Roxbury native that isn’t afraid to tell the truth on a track. Her honest and gritty style help her to completely kill the trap-influenced beats that she raps over. With her image and style, Lee is easy to become a fan of, which is one of the reasons she will definitely come up quite a bit in 2017. She only has 3 songs as of right now, so there is surely more to come that will only boost her name more and more. Also, with cosigns from some of the biggest names in Boston, she shouldn’t have a problem getting noticed. Lee is amazing live, too, engaging the crowd and getting everyone jumping with ease. I am extremely excited for a Vintage Lee tape/album in the future to see how she pulls together an entire project.
Plad Fine$$e is one of the younger names in the scene who is bound to make waves in and outside of the city. His aggressive and unapologetic style often tells stories of his life, letting listeners connect to what he says. Being a close friend of Jefe Replay, he might just appear on Proper Finessments. You can listen to “The Wave” by the two to really see how well they work together. In 2017, he will most likely drop a project which could potentially put him on a whole other level up there with names like Cousin Stizz.
Big Leano might just be the next biggest thing out of Boston. After dropping his debut mixtape titled Tales From The Mud, it seems like there is no ceiling for him. With classics such as “Lean For Sale”, “No Photos”, “She Want”, and many others, he comes off as aggressive and hungry, ready to take anyone’s spot. Performing live isn’t a worry for him, as he keeps the crowd chanting “Lean!” and can have an entire place ecstatic without even playing a song. I look forward to seeing him live more and hearing new music in 2017.
Pistola is one of the most exciting artists I currently listen to after hearing Taxachusetts. His style is a lot like that of Wintertime Zi, as he seems to rap without care and just go along with the beat while not even trying. He easily comes up with catchy choruses and doesn’t seem to worry about what any of the old heads say about new rap. All of the music that Pistola makes could easily go viral, as it easily resonates with listeners and makes comparisons that can come off as humorous at times (see “Poland Springs”). Taxachusetts was only his debut tape, so Pistola has a long way to go and 2017 will be a big year for him.
WHYTRI is a unique artist who not only makes music, but also runs a brand called Lost Vision. His passion shows through in his work, helping to prove how much he really cares about what he’s doing and the quality of it. Hoping to drop a tape in 2017 and do a pop-up shop, he will be sure to have a big year and gain fans in and outside of the city. He’s a very likable person who always seems to be hyped up and ready to perform. With influences from all different genres, he gives a refreshing twist to rap and all his music translates extremely well live.
P.S. – I highly encourage diving deeper into the Boston rap scene as there are a lot more artists than this. These are just a few that came to mind.
Also shouts out to Patrick Michael, Brandon James, Superior, and more. Keep going hard.