Hip Hop America: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Sticking to the Midwest (common theme, I know), just east of the State of Minnesota is Wisconsin. Wisconsin isn’t know for much more than their abundance of Dairy distributions. Every state has to have their thing, right? Well that’s what they’re known for. They have a couple of sports franchises (Green Bay Packers & Milwaukee Bucks) that people are familiar with, but when it comes down to their music, I’ve never heard of any rapper coming out of there, so I had to ask some questions.

Through the greatness that is Twitter, one of my followers (Trell) lives out in Milwaukee, so I just asked him which rappers were dope out there. He gave me a list of names, and I can’t lie, given from what I was provided, there are some dope MC’s out there, and it’s pretty crazy to know that in the forgotten states, there’s a hip hop presence that’s not widely known, but it’s present. Having being only an hour and a half away from Chicago, there’s evidence of influence that reaches the area, but Milwaukee is such a small city that I don’t think people would notice the two or pay them any mind. But enough of geography and facts, let’s get to the music.

The first artist that I checked out, based on my recommendations for me was Martin Beamon (goes by King Beamon as well). I checked out a couple of his tracks, and the one that caught me was his cover of Kanye West’s ‘Runaway’, by calling it Runaway From Home. He has a solid flow, and the bars weren’t bad. He changed  up his flow a couple of times during the track, so it was evident that he studies and isn’t afraid to try something when the need is right.

The next artists names are Vonny Del Fresco and Dee Phr3sh. Dee is one of his producers, so it’s like an MC having a DJ and coming together as one act, but Vonny has his own stuff. The first song I heard was Gone which was remixed by a producer named Sango. It felt like I was listening to Lupe Fiasco. I wanted to see if he had his own particular style, although this wasn’t a bad start. Another song that had a bit of a Lupe influence to it was For Her, which had an original production. He has content in his rhymes, and at this point where I would move on to the next rapper, I felt the need to search more of this kid. The songs that stood out and sold me were Shift KeySucka Nigga (see below)The flow, the delivery, the laid back voice with hard hitting bars were what made me go and download this guy’s mixtape and listen to it repeatedly. In a way, it reminded me of that feeling I had when I first heard Chuuwee, but they are different in styles. I like this guy’s music, and I hope that he’ll be able to grow more into his music career path, if that’s the route he takes on.

So far, all I’ve been hearing is some good stuff from these kids in Milwaukee, and I was hoping that would continue. The next rapper is Gerald Walker. He adds a combination rapping and singing, that was occupied with autotune (not to the overly annoying extent) with his track Bulletproof Soul. The track has more of that modern day feel that we hear a lot, but it has concrete content. The jumps between rapping/singing with the autotune popping up here and there were a bit much, but the song itself wasn’t bad. What I thought was the better track that I heard was The Missing Piece, and the video kind of made me like it more because of the creativity of it. I think out of the rappers I’ve listened to so far, he’s one that could be the target of industry eyes because he has the sound of what record companies want right now. Only time will tell, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I see his name pop up more often this year or in later years.

The next act came about with an old school flare, but it was really wicked. The Cranberry Show is a dual rapper team and the first song Last Score was rivigorating, head bopping, and all around solid. Both of their flows were crazy, and it made me want to listen more, and one good example of how they can be creative with their raps and film skills came from their song Cinema, which I had to watch a couple of times to get the story behind it. It’s like your little B-Movie type of horror/thriller flick of the 80s, but I thought it was pretty cool how it was all narrated through the song as a movie score. I’ve yet to download a mixtape from them, but it looks as if I may have to do that soon.

Haz Solo is an affiliate of TUS, and the first time I heard him, it was on Chuuwee‘s Posse Up track from his Watching The Throne mixtape, and also on Relaxed Excited & High from Be Cool. I’ve yet to listen to any of Haz’s solo work, but he’s got a flow with him, so he’s definitely another one to check out in the meantime.

The last artist I was told to check out was Blizz McFly. The one track that I listened to was The Bomb Threat, and he can spit. He brought the fire with him, and his flow is on point. On an older track called McFly, he displayed another example of that. He’s consistent with his approach, and that’s something to appreciate.

The underground is one to appreciate and not to discriminate, because there’s a lot of great talent there. I’m happy that I was inquisitive enough to find about what else is out there, because there are hidden gems all over the place that people wouldn’t rightfully go out on their own and look for. It’s good to know that there’s talent all over. Everyone deserves their shine when it’s due. Check out the MCs, listen to their music, and discover something new today. Most importantly, enjoy.

That’s My Word & It STiXX

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