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The hottest rappers and hip-hop artists in Singapore right now

Pay attention to Singapore’s very own brand of hip-hop. These are the rappers we rate

Photo: Ahmad Iskandar Photography
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Hip-hop has been ruling the airwaves for decades and the rap game evolves every year, interweaving a barrage of genres from jazz to afrobeat, and minting fresh new faces and sounds. It takes a special catalyst to transcend beyond oblivion. Here are Singapore’s boundary-pushing rising stars that are taking the urban sound to another level.

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Akeem Jahat
Photo: Ahmad Iskandar Photography

Akeem Jahat

Akeem Jahat keeps thing real – dropping drill bangers with an unpredictable flow in both English and Malay minus the cliché tropes of expensive cars, hard cash and groupies.

What's the story behind spitting bilingual bars?
I’ve always been an English rapper first, but it’s hard to compete. When the K-Pop wave came about, I realised that melting two languages brings about a different flavour. And for the cats who don’t know much about Singapore, it’s like an education of sorts.

What sets you apart from your idol Biggie?
Definitely the language and personality. It’s a battle between Brooklyn, New York versus Woodlands, Singapore.

Mediocre Haircut Crew
Photo: Ahmad Iskandar Photography

Mediocre Haircut Crew

The three-piece gives you laidback throwbacks by recycling old tunes via sampling.

Let's talk samples. How do you determine what does well for you?
We create our own samples by digging for vinyls online – shout-out to Vinyl Frontier – and have a listening party. We then find the dopest sound and flip it from there. You just have to have a good ear for it.

What inspires your sound?
We emulate more of a West-Coast sound, but we’re not purists. We go for the sounds we like. For example, GTA (especially San Andreas) inspires us to have a G-funk, West-Coast sound.

How would you define your style?
Schizophrenic. Forward. Pushing boundaries – we’re not about sticking to ‘safe music’.

What's next for MHC?
We’re working on an EP and music videos. It’s full-steam ahead for all of us. But do keep a lookout on our Instagram (@mhc.sg) and come to our live shows where you’ll hear new tracks before we drop them.

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Axel Brizzy
Photo: Ahmad Iskandar Photography

Axel Brizzy

Adlibs in between sharp yet choppy flows on top of incredible trap-laced beats, Axel Brizzy proves to be a man on a mission. Though his tracks sit between trendsetters, he shakes things up with singles like Thursday.

You recently released The Prologue. Talk us through the EP.
The songs aren't supposed to be a collective, so it was like doing six different singles that vary in different ways and putting them altogether. The EP is a good intro to who I am as a person and an artist.

How do you switch things up to stay
relevant?
I’m pretty versatile as an artist. I didn’t rap in my latest single Thursday at all. Instead, I sing which something new for me. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I look up to the versatility of Childish Gambino – being a man of many trades and doing them well at the same time.

Any musical guilty pleasures?
People would assume that as a rapper, all I listen to is hip hop – which is not true. I grew up listening to the likes of Fall Out Boy, Boys Like Girls and the Plain White Ts, and that whole genre means a lot to me.

Mean
Photo: Ahmad Iskandar Photography

Mean

This dapper rapper keeps things wavy by delivering smooth hooks alongside fast-paced rap, fusing a hybrid of styles to sound as fluid as – shall we say – liquid.

Define your music style.
What’s really driven in my music is listening to a whole range since young and it keeps changing, but it all comes together to make me who I am and the music I put out.

You also recently released a fresh banger They Know. But tell us one thing fans and readers don't know about you.
I’ve got an extra tooth at the back of my left front tooth!

What's next for you?
I’m working with Gema, a producer from Syndicate, on a project called 44, which is also the shoe size we both share. It’s the brainchild of two minds that vibe well.

Where to catch live music

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