Whilst gaming is one of my biggest passions in life, I’d say much more of my time is given to music. I record my own for my young but growing label, Void Euphoric Records, and do all my own editing and mixing, though I purchase beats from far more capable producers than I could be. I’ve released two EP’s (Extended Plays to those who don’t know) on my YouTube channel, ‘The Pitchdark Pyre’ and ‘Galactic Pollution’, and am hard at work on my debut album ‘Eccentricity’ due out in 2020.
This article isn’t going to be all about me, though, as I want to talk about the music I unwind to and have playing on a daily basis. So many artists are criminally underplayed in the United Kingdom and I want to take some time to really promote some of the amazing talents that the Underground has to offer. These will be exclusively groups for this list, and I will compile a separate list of solo performers at a later time. Those listed are all rappers, but that’s not to say some of them aren’t fully capable in other forms as well, which will be highlighted in the tracks I have chosen to use to prove my points.
I’ve chosen three ‘Highlight tracks’ for each group, as any one of these will be enough to show why I rate these artists so highly, and you should definitely check out at least one track from each of those listed.
Highlight tracks – Black Summer, Goodfellas, Algedonic
Re-united in 2018 after a six year hiatus, The Underground Avengers are back in business and back on top! Releasing the acclaimed album ‘Anomaly 88’ on Majik Ninja Entertainment in 2018, three rappers with distinctly different rapping styles cover all bases with their variety and showmanship. Equally talented, they each bring a crucial share of passion and drive to the table, and the UGA name wouldn’t carry the same weight with any more or less members.
I’d been listening to Boondox for about four years before UGA was formed, but I was immediately hooked on the new style and identity he had developed for himself in his years away from Psychopathic Records. I had heard very little of Bukshot or Claas until the first Underground Avengers project but became fans of theirs during the many times I played the album, self-titled The Underground Avengers, and remain so to this day.
Anomaly 88 was a very close second place for my Album of 2018 and the new Underground Avengers release, Dark Matter which was released in July 2019, is a serious contender for my Album of 2019 so far.
At time of writing, I’d only heard Black Summer for the first time a few days ago, but after tweeting frontman Bukshot on Twitter (@Bukshizzle) he told me that Black Summer is his favourite UGA track that they have ever recorded, and in my opinion it really shows.
Highlight tracks – Chris Benoit, Hokus Pokus, Fury
Throughout their career so far, that spans 30 years as of 2019, I like to think that almost everyone has heard of Insane Clown Posse. Whether it be for the ‘fuckin magnets’ meme from 2010, the memorable clown face paint, the annual Gathering of the Juggalos festival, or just because they’ve churned out so many successful records in their time so far, Insane Clown Posse could never be accused of slowing down or looking to retire after making a quick buck. I’ve been a massive fan of theirs since 2008, and their extensive category of around 500 tracks is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Insane Clown Posse are also absolutely great at music videos, which I think is a contributing factor to how memorable and unique their music can be.
They were the first artists that got me into their genre and are definitely one of my biggest influences, and a major component of my decision to start making music myself.
Highlight tracks – Wreck, Lift Me Up, Respirator
Twiztid were labelmates with Insane Clown Posse for around 14 years, but made the respectable decision to leave Psychopathic Records and forge their own path in 2012, forming their own label Majik Ninja Entertainment in 2014. Since then they have signed some incredible talents to MNE, notably Bizarre of D12, as well as helping newer names in the Underground rap community make a name for themselves on a major scale (I’ll go into more detail in another list).
Twiztid’s albums often differ drastically when compared with others they have made. For one example, in 2010 they released an album called ‘Heartbroken & Homicidal’ which dealt with topics such as relationship breakdowns and dealing with loneliness, and then in 2012 they released ‘Abominationz’ which was a much more dark and frantic affair. The latter is one of the few, yet growing number of albums, which I wouldn’t hesitate to call an absolute masterpiece that is packed full of aggression, sadness, humour and energy that many other artists could take away so much from.
The Diabolical Duo’s latest album ‘Generation Nightmare’ released in April 2019 has been on repeat in my car since I got it, and is another example of a masterpiece album that I will still be listening to and loving for many years to come.
Thank you for reading and I hope I have convinced you to listen to any of the nine incredible tracks listed above, or to follow any links provided. Please like any tracks that you listen to and enjoy on YouTube or any other streaming platform, and I will be back soon with another list focussing on the solo artists who deserve your attention, as well as the second part of this list.Become a Patron!