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At EMCEE’s core, we are a brand that wants to promote people doing their thing, working hard, making good music, and trying to start something of their own. Which is precisely why every week, I dig through the depths of SoundCloud, searching for the Diamonds In The Rough of hip-hop music and compile a playlist every Tuesday highlighting the songs I find that I really think are worth listening to. It’s a tedious process: I listen to a lot of garbage. But in the end, I love it. I enjoy finding underground artists who a lot of the times have more raw talent than what we are all hearing over and over again on mainstream radio stations. People get tired of hearing the same music all the time, so we try to do something different and put listeners on to songs you haven’t heard. So if you haven’t been following along weekly in 2017, you’ve been missing out. But luckily, I’ve decided to put together a master list, of all of my favorite finds from 2017. I have no particular number in my head for how many songs I wanted, this isn’t a count down in any particular order, but just a playlist compiled of all the songs that I discovered this year in the underground and stayed listening to all year. More specifically, I chose a couple of artists that I think exemplify exactly what it means to be a “diamond in the rough,” and I’ve highlighted them below with a little introduction to who they are and what songs of theirs you should hear. So scroll down and click play in the SoundCloud window to hear what you’ve been sleeping on, but also, read below about the artists I’ve specifically got my eye on going into 2018.

Twelve’Len

To some, Twelve’Len may not seem like a Diamond in the Rough. If you live in Miami you have heard his voice and seen his name all over the city. Hailing from Carol City he represents the streets of Miami in his own creative way, different from the “typical” Miami sound. His lyrics shine light and positivity with his unique voice crooning slow but catchy R&B vibes, often themed with love and life experiences. His album Friends, released in 2016 is how I got to know him, but lucky for us Twelve just dropped a new album this week, called Swim, which will definitely be on my list of albums I’m bringing into 2018. Song Highlights: Stardust and Naked Hustle are absolute musts. The Naked Hustle remix with fellow 305 artist, Ice Billion Berg is a fire collaboration, along with a newer, very dreamy song with singer, Skott, called Test Our Luck produced by Take A Daytrip.

Connect with him: @TwelveLen https://soundcloud.com/twelvelen

070

Originally I had 070 Shake exclusively staked out for this spot in my “highlights” list. But as I sifted through the numerous DITR playlists I put together throughout 2017, it’s undeniable that 070, as a whole, had a strong presence in my underground picks for the year. While Shake is the most well known, and has assumed the leadership role of the 070 family, I couldn’t leave Treee Safari, 070 Hack, 070 Phi, Ralphy River, or their group album, The 070 Project: Chapter 1, out of the entry. Coming out of New Jersey, with a mission geared towards positivity and peace, 070 has an original range of sounds that each of their members bring to the table. If you aren’t familiar with their music, you can’t go wrong with going to 070 Shake’s SoundCloud and pressing play, to find features from the whole crew as well as the 070 Project: Chapter 1, but I’ve selected a few of my personal favorites to go in our best of 2017 list. Song Highlights: Honey and Precious Pressure from the 070 Project: Chapter 1; Be Myself by Shake, and So Far Gone by Hack and Treee Safari.

Connect with them:
@070shake https://soundcloud.com/070-shake
@070Phi https://soundcloud.com/phi070
070Hack | https://soundcloud.com/user-226737245
@Treee_Safari | https://soundcloud.com/treeee_safari
@ralphyriverhttps://soundcloud.com/ralphyriver11

Bass Santana

There’s undoubtedly been a rise of artists out of Broward County in 2017, especially guys out of the Members Only crew like XXXTentacion, Ski Mask The Slump God, and Wifisfuneral. However, there is one very slept on member of the crew, and his name is Bass Santana. Bass has bars for days, and produces pretty much all of his own music, as well as several of the tracks that made it onto the Members Only Volume 3 mixtape released by Brain Baker Magazine earlier this year. In his lyrics he talks a lot about the struggles he’s endured in life, sparing no detail of what he will do to people if they come for him, his family or his crew the wrong way. From the fluid delivery of his rhymes to the dark but smooth sound of his Song Highlights: I Hit These Licks For You Momma, ft. Yoshi Thompkins; Why My Dick Stay Hard, and LOL featuring Kid Trunks from the Members Only, Volume 3 mixtape.

Connect with him: @bassXsantana | https://soundcloud.com/bass199x

Cal Scruby

When you see Cal Scruby, a baby-faced, blond haired, white boy from Columbus, Ohio, the last thing you expect is for him to come just as hard on a beat as anyone else you’ve heard this year. But that’s exactly what he does. Whether you’ve caught Cal on twitter dropping a random freestyle video that someone recorded of him in the backseat of a car, or you’ve actually taken the time to listen to his Long Story Short EP that was released earlier this year, this guy is always dropping flames when he opens his mouth. Not only is it fire, but it’s fun, with the theme of a lot of his music is partying and something you can listen to when you just wanna bop your head. Cal recently dropped a mixtape flexing over some mainstream artist’s beats called Unsigned, Vol. 1, which is worth listening to if you want to see his range of talent. He is definitely one of the artists I discovered this year that I feel will making a bigger name for himself in 2018. Song Highlights: Get U Right, Mad @ Me, and if you want something a little more serious, listen to Rain.

Connect with him: @calscruby | https://soundcloud.com/calscruby

G.L.A.M.

G.L.A.M. is an artist found while scrolling endlessly through bad music in the “discovery” section of SoundCloud while fishing for some new sounds for DITR. The song that caught my attention was Jackin’ For Beats, a compilation of different classic hip-hop samples in the background where she absolutely goes off with clever lines about real shit and a delivery that likens to Lil’ Kim in her prime. Her flow just comes out naturally and it’s impossible to not want to nod your head along with her cadence. After that discovery, I took a deep dive into her SoundCloud and have quickly gotten familiar with her most recent project that she dropped this year called AUXygen. I will definitely be hoping for more music from her in 2018, and would love to see people catch onto her wave, as she goes harder in her verses than just about anyone I’ve heard. Song Highlights: Jackin’ For Beats, Vaded, and Down should be enough to get you hooked and wanting to hear more.

Connect with her: @glamishere | https://soundcloud.com/glamishere

Find everyone else who made the playlist below the link.

EarthGang
Atlanta, GA
@EarthGang
https://soundcloud.com/earthganghbt

12th Street
New York City, NY
@12streetRecipe
https://soundcloud.com/niggaeam_chaso_therecipe

EMI
Seattle, WA
@planet_emi
https://soundcloud.com/planetemi

Myazwe
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
@myazwe
https://soundcloud.com/myazwe

Doso
Chicago, IL
@champ_doso
https://soundcloud.com/champdoso

Kourvioisier
Durham, NC
@AbstractCognac
https://soundcloud.com/abstractcognac

Nitty Scott
Brooklyn, NY
@NittyScottMC
https://soundcloud.com/nitty-scott-mc

Take A Daytrip
New York City, NY
@take_a_daytrip
https://soundcloud.com/takeadaytrip

Hafree
New Orleans, LA
@hafree_av8
https://soundcloud.com/hafree

Ice Billion Berg
Miami, FL
@IceBerg305
https://soundcloud.com/iceberg305

DynaEdyne
Miami, FL
@DynaEdyne
https://soundcloud.com/dynaedyne

ANGEL
Los Angeles, CA
@angelknaomi
https://soundcloud.com/angelknaomi

IAMRaari
Atlanta, GA
@iamRaari
https://soundcloud.com/raari-rnb

DH WORLDWIDE
Camden, NJ
@DHWorldWide_
https://soundcloud.com/dhworldwide

DAVA
Denver, CO
@bijouxbless
https://soundcloud.com/yinyangelic

Croosh
Los Angeles, CA
@croosh_
https://soundcloud.com/jamir-malek

KenTheMan
Houston, TX
@imkentheman
https://soundcloud.com/imkentheman

Nefariou$
Fort Lauderdale, FL
@KillNefari
https://soundcloud.com/nefariou-1

Bri Steves
Philadelphia, PA
@bristeves
https://soundcloud.com/bristeves

Spank
Brooklyn, NY
https://soundcloud.com/718spank

Johnny Oz
Fort Lauderdale, FL
@Johnnyozmusic
https://soundcloud.com/johnnyoz

Cheridan
Texas
@cheridanrk
https://soundcloud.com/cheridanrk

Myles Cameron
Rye, NY
@cammylescam
https://soundcloud.com/myles-cam

Wynne
Portland, OR
@sinawynne
https://soundcloud.com/sinawynne

Caleb / Dynasty Boys
Fort Lauderdale, FL
@HOTBOYCALEB
https://soundcloud.com/dynastyboys

LateNitee
Kasas City, MO
@_LateNitee
https://soundcloud.com/latenitee

Tiurakh$ushii / Lost Vision$ 777
Fort Lauderdale, FL
@tiurakhsushii
https://soundcloud.com/lostvisions7

LiMM
Manitoba, Canada
@worldoflimm
https://twitter.com/worldoflimm

NJOMZA
Chicago, IL
@NJOMZA
https://soundcloud.com/NJOMZAmusic

8 EIGHT
Miami, FL
https://soundcloud.com/psmirf-1/8eight-pree

Baby Kahlo
Baltimore, MD
@KahlosCloset
https://soundcloud.com/babykahlo

Passport Louis
Peoria, IL
PassportLouis
https://soundcloud.com/passportlouis

Denzel Curry
Miami, FL
@denzelcurry
https://soundcloud.com/denzelcurryph

THE PYRVMIDS
Miami, FL
@thepyrvmids
https://soundcloud.com/thepyrvmids

Sam Houston
New Jersey/ Austin, TX
@Samhoustonmusic
https://soundcloud.com/amouston

Savannah Cristina
Fort Lauderdale, FL
@saveannah
https://soundcloud.com/savannahcristina

Jack Harlow
Louisville, KY
@jackharlow
https://soundcloud.com/jackharlow

BFree
Detroit, MI
@OfficialBFree
https://soundcloud.com/officialbfree

Josh DST
Bronx, NY
https://soundcloud.com/josh-dst

Mayday
Miami, FL
@MAYDAYMUSIC
https://soundcloud.com/mayday-43025

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