It's no secret the spotlight shines on South Florida when hip-hop is the topic of discussion. Sometimes, though, it seems the up-and-coming rappers sprouting up in the tricounty area receive more notoriety due to those who preceded them rather than the presence of actual talent. But not always.
With mixtape websites providing easier access for the world to listen to South Florida's flow, newer artists are gaining the ears and attention of those outside the Sunshine State. The pool of musicians, however, can seem congested with wannabes and duds. To simplify things for you, we sifted through the many musical elements of the web and took a good look around our area to offer a list of lesser-known rappers whose skills, we think, should not go unnoticed. Here is part one of Broward County's best rappers.
6. Knowledge Medina
When you have Numonics producing your entire EP, along with REKS and J. Nics as guest features, then there's something positive to be said about your capabilities as a rapper.
Known more locally for his Grind Time freestyle battles, Knowledge Medina has made a transition few battlers see success with, given his competence to conceive of quality songs. And with the release of his Never Enough EP, Medina did so by infusing both sets of skills, battling, and songwriting, with lines like:
No puzzle but I found the pieces/See, the ones that don't fit got guns and hold bricks/Good luck tryin' to reach them/Lot of stories but without a sequel/Just cause people got an ego/Figured out the difference between God and evil.
7. Jay Burna
After ending 2011 with the release of Burna's World in December, Jay Burna remained relatively quiet for the early part of 2012. Then the Fort Lauderdale MC released Winters Summer, an 18-track project of freestyles over popular songs such as "Ima Boss," "Shot Caller," and "Underground King," this June.
But the down time in between projects has not affected the young rhymer's ability to pen creative and thoughtful content. On his "Hiiigh Power" freestyle, Burna raps:
But slowly building my currency/I got a mansion in my mind/More knowledge to furnish me/Arson it purposely for this furnace in me/Releasing heat that you'll receive.
Hi-Rez? He's a 5-foot-nothing, skinny, suburban white kid who looks more like he's 15 than 18, right? Not exactly.
Hi-Rez's 2011 year started off with the release of his debut mixtape, New Years Resolution, which he followed up with Early Release and A Walk to Remember, both of which have surpassed 25,000 downloads on DatPiff.
But it's his most recent project, The Window, that serves as proof of the rapper's growth and maturity, even holding his own with Miami favorite QuEst on "X-Problems" with lines like:
My ex was concerned with fashion/Relationship never fessin'/Not only cannibal action/But baby forget my past chicks/I burn my stress, you can see it in the ashes.
The best part about flying under the radar is the ability to surprise those who have yet to lend their ear to your message, as is the case with Coral Springs' own Platini. He has already released three mixtapes and one beat tape this year: Wake Up: The 2012 Theory, Got Bars?, Smoke Session, and Shhh... Just Listen: Soul Edition.
With songs such as "Goon Mode" and "The Crippler," Platini's aggressive growl offers but a hint of his savage hunger. Think DMX's voice on "Get at Me" mixed with Jose Conseco's steroids. Fitting, since the latter four projects are set up as previews for upcoming EP Beast Mode, to be released later this year.
The days of some good ol' South Florida gutta gutta dope boy street rap are far from witnessing their sunset. But Fort Lauderdale native JW is of a different breed.
An Auburn University graduate who received the opportunity to place pads on the Miami Dolphins for a period has continued to build a buzz and fan base with his Get It From the Muscle mixtape series and street anthems such as "Tilapia" and "Whole Summer."
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Oh, it also helps being signed to Young Jeezy's Corporate Thugs Entertainment.