With a recent resurgence in the SoundCloud scene, mostly the bubbling rage subgenre, which is heavily inspired by Playboi Carti, I decided it's time to reflect on some of the pioneers from the 2016-2018 wave of SoundCloud artists. The new generation is headlined by acts like SoFaygo, Autumn, Summrs, Cochise, Slump6s and Cochise, among plenty of other bubbling acts.
With only ten spots there are of course some artists who didn't quite crack the list, but definitely deserve a mention. YNW Melly has huge hit making ability and if never incarcerated would be on a different level. Wifisfuneral never quite blew up to the mainstream, but has SoundCloud classics on classics. Lil Yachty is arguably a modern day Hip-Hop icon, despite not having the strongest output. Rico Nasty is very influential in her own way and definitely deserves a mention alongside these other pioneers. The final mention being Trippie Redd, who many people would argue should be on here, but let's be honest his catalog is very inconsistent and he has only got worse since he broke into the mainstream.
10. Lil Tjay
Tjay was one of the last artists to really blow up off of SoundCloud. Leaked, Brothers and Resume we're all songs that I found out on SoundCloud and are the last songs I remember going specifically to SoundCloud for. Lil Tjay has really glown up to a new level in the past year. He has classics on classics in terms on singles. The fact that he was never really a part of the wave of artists that came from SoundCloud is what holds him back.
Best Project: True 2 Myself
9. Lil Peep
Peep is an artist who I am not well versed with to be honest. I can see his influence in the modern scene and I know the emo trap sub genre would not be what it is without Peep. He had potential to create larger hits and have a solid catalog, one of several artists on here who were gone before their careers ever really started, Rest in Peace.
Best Project: Come Over When You're Sober, Pt 2
8. Lil Skies
Skies is an artist who had a heavy following for years after dropping Nowadays and Red Roses, both with Landon Cube. I personally was one of those people, until he released Unbothered this year, which was an absolute disappointment following his over a year long absence from music. He has definitely grown off of me in the last year or two but in 2018 and 2019 this man did not miss. His back catalogue still has some gems, but recently he's fallen off the map.
Best Project: Shelby
7. Playboi Carti
I will preface right now that I do NOT like Carti very much and think he is easily the most overrated artist right now. Despite my personal preference there is no denying his influence in the game. Whole Lotta Red, his worst album in my opinion, put up great sales and is enjoyed by many Vlone Thugs. He has a whole subgenre of rap forming around his unique style. So as much as I would like to be done with Carti, it looks like he'll be here for a long time to come.
Best Album: Die Lit
6. Ski Mask The Slump God
Ski is one of the most talented artists on this list, ever since he came up alongside XXXTENTACION, who we will discuss later. The reason he doesn't come in higher is because his discography is a mixed bag. Not one of his albums captures how great of an artist he could be. Not to mention The Book Of Eli and Sin City The Mixtape are both bad albums, like not just alright, like actively really bad. However when Ski is on he is one of the most entertaining rappers to listen to. I think his career rests on his next project, similar to Lil Skies who dropped the ball.
Best Project: STOKELY
5. Juice WRLD
Juice is one of the most impactful artists of the last five years. He has hits on hits, and there is no doubt he would have many more if he was still here. Many people would probably argue that he should be higher, and I think that's a fair argument. My counterargument is that he had versatility as an artist, but didn't use it. 95% of his music has the same subject matter and it could get repetitive. Not to take away from his legacy that will be remembered for years to come.
Best Project: Goodbye & Good Riddance
4. Lil Uzi Vert
Lil Uzi is undeniably a superstar in the music industry. He has several huge hits under his belt, as well as a die hard fan base who will stream his music until they die. Uzi is also one of the most likable people in rap, and will never have haters. What keeps him from placing any higher is he has several good projects in his discography, but has yet to drop a great one. Uzi will be in the game for years to come so that could change in the near future, I know that he can.
Best Project: Lil Uzi Vert Vs. The World
X could be one of the best artists out right now if he were still here. I think most people would agree to that. The final of three tragic losses of young life that I will talk about here. The music he had out is setting new records it seems like every month, as his loving fans still stream his whole catalogue. X was a jack of all trades in the way he could go from dropping songs like changes and infinity on the same record. The potential he had was incredible.
Best Project: ?
2. 21 Savage
Three years ago no one would've expected 21 to get to not only the level of success he's at, or have the major improvements he has shown ever since he stepped foot in the game. 21 is a rapper that is constantly improving and has dropped two great albums, greater than anyone would've initially expected. 21 is the full package of a trap rapper, giving you anything you could want from an artist.
Best Project: I Am > I Was
#1 Denzel Curry
Denzel is undeniably the most talented artist on this list. His creativity reaches new heights, not even in the confines of SoundCloud, but Hip-Hop as a whole. Consistently having some of the best albums every year he has dropped since Imperial. Not only that but if Denzel stays doing his thing, he could be one of the greatest artists when it's all said and done.
Best Project: TA13OO