ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

These Artists Are Taking Hip-Hop In New Directions

Updated on May 30, 2017

Some old and some new faces have been taking hip-hop music in some pretty cool directions over the past year. The following artists are ones that made my list of those who continue to take hip-hop music in a new direction. I admit that there are others I could have included, but due to restrictions of content length I was compelled to narrow it down to only the five musicians below in this article.

Toward the end of last year Ian Bavitz, or better known as Aesop Rock, released The Impossible Kid (Rhymesayers Records). Two singles from that album, "Blood Sandwich" and "Rings" began building up steam and picking up speed on the airwaves early on in this year. As always the lyrics were complexly abstract and as per norm for Bavitz they were heavy on the homonyms. Some have labeled his wordplay as being too verbose, but I've always felt that anything interesting enough to get you to pick up a dictionary or google a definition to learn the meaning of a new word is worth paying attention to.

Jaime Meline and Michael Render, a/k/a El-P and Killer Mike, a/k/a Run The Jewels, came out with Run The Jewels 3 (Run The Jewels, Inc.) and released it digitally during the last week of 2016 as well as physically in the middle of January 2017. It featured "Talk To Me", "2100 (featuring Boots)" and "Legend Has It". The back and forth banner between Render and Meline was like eavesdropping in on a conversation between two old friends who had not seen each other for quite a while and had a lot of catching up to do. Listening to it was also like getting a political punch in the face. Killer Mike and EL-P saw there was something messed up going on and going down on the streets across America and they damn well were going to tell us all about it.

Andre Joseph, or CEO Cleezy, is a relative newcomer to the game that I've just come across this year. The only single to come off of his "I Accept Your Apology" thus far is "Fly Away". I've heard the whole album a few times and there are definitely some other gems buried in the grooves, the title track being one of them. Cleezy's specialty is mashing up hip-hop sub genres in the beats and backings then taking sniper like aim with his well chosen lines. Like a great magic trick worked in three acts Joseph first presents us with what magician's call the pledge and shows us something simple that we see everyday. Then comes the turn where he turns the ordinary into the extraordinary, perhaps like making something disappear. That's where you look for the secret, but you won't find it because subconsciously you really don't want to know - you want to be fooled. Finally, as every master in the art of sleight of hand could tell you, you must give your audience the prestige, the part of the trick where any Houdini makes what disappeared reappear again.

Lizzo (nee Melissa Jefferson) released "Coconut Oil", her debut EP with a major label a little over seven months ago and the single from it, "Good As Hell" was featured in the "Barbershop: The Next Cut" film soundtrack. She's one of the few women to break through the glass ceiling of the Minneapolis, Minnesota alternative hip-hop scene. Smart lyrics, great selection of samples, versatile instrumental arrangements and a ton of tongue in cheek hot sauce attitude are the trademarks of her truly unique sound. Back in 2014 Jefferson was included in Time Magazine's list of artists to watch and she's yet to fall short of that well deserved accolade. Not unlike CEO Cleezy, listening to her music is akin to watching a stage wizard practice the hocus-pocus craft of sleight of hand. Now you hear it, now you don't, and then there it is again. Oh my God, how did she do that?

Hip-hop MC and spoken word poet Arlo Maverick is from Edmonton, Alberta and nine months ago this Canadian artist dropped his "Maybe Tomorrow" album. On it he does an amazing job of fusing reggae, soul, electronica, jazz and R&B with hip-hop. Well thought out lyrics that tell honest stories inspired by experiences from his life. Originally part of the Poli Live group, a three time nominee for the Western Canadian Music Awards, Maverick has since gone solo. His narrative has a similar quality to Run The Jewels' folksy kind of banter with its embrace of the everyday events that have such a huge impact on shaping who we are. A choice of instrumentation that leans more toward the visceral as opposed to the emotional element is the bedrock of this rapper's audio style.

So, these are some of the trail blazers out there who are leading the way toward new directions in the hip hop field. I think it'd be great to know which artists you'd include and why. Just hit me up and leave your comments to share your thoughts with me and my readers. This could turn out to be not only an interesting dialogue, but I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship (dolly back, fade to black and cue up the Casablanca movie soundtrack music, LOL).


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)