Yung Me (top) Parkway Dee (bottom)
When out of towners here music and Jackson, Mississippi in the same sentence the first thing that probably comes to their minds is Bruno Mars 2014 smash hit “Uptown Funk”. The line “Ride to Harlem, Hollywood, Jackson, Mississippi.” Is probably the key thing that comes to memory and with good reason seeing that the hit song is currently the sixth most watched video in YouTube history.
Kvng Zeakyy (top)
Rappers like the late Lil’Lonnie and David Banner comes to some folks recollection and maybe Boo Rossini depending on what part of the country the individual you ask resides. Outside of those few things and people, most minds go blank when asked about artist from the state capital where America’s music was birthed and has its origins. But if one looks closer they will see what has always been there in plain site. Amongst the high unemployment, homelessness, drugs, and pot holes there lies one thing the city has ample amounts of with abundance. Undeniable talent.
Millie Montana (top) Lil’ Tank (bottom)
Names like Hollywood Luck, Slimm Pusha, Dolla Black, Tha Joker, J. Skyy and Coke Bumaye stand out. But there has been of lately a rising wave of younger artist who are looking to cement their name in the game. Names like OutSouthKooley, DONO Vegas, Millie Montana, Yung Me, Kxng Heem, Amaze, Lil’ Tank, Ant 200, Kvng Zeakyy, Parkway Dee, and Y5 Two Solid are quickly becoming known and respected. Fan bases that were once local are becoming national and multiplying with each new project the artists I named release.
Kxng Heem (top) OutSouthKooley (bottom)
Kxng Heem’s “Austin Powers” mixtape series is undeniably one of the most well rounded projects released this year. With hit singles like “No Cap” featuring Mista Cain and Jay Lewis and classic street anthems like “FriendEnemies”, Heem is making it hard for spectators and doubters to question his rise to stardom. While artist like Millie Montana and Lil’Tank show their dedication to their fans by dropping high quality consistent projects like “Out The Red” or the up and coming highly anticipated mixtape “Born 2 Die”. New visuals are poppin up on YouTube regularly and tracks like “Crosses” by Yung Me and “Real” by Ant200 are quickly gaining momentum. OutSouthKooley’s “Double Up” featuring BigDSip and Parkway Dee’s “Hell to Pay” aren’t necessary recent videos, but are still buzzing on social media and making others nationally look at the city. DONO Vegas and Y5 Two Solid while fairly new to the music scene are already making themselves present in the discussion of who’s the hottest with their new single “I Den Seen”, which depicts life on the grimey streets of Jackson in its purest form. Kvng Zeakyy’s “Down” video has done tremendous numbers on YouTube and his new visual “Mood” has taken the city by storm being played in every club, party, and hole in the wall in the local area.
But the person who stand out the most is a south Jackson artist who most have yet to hear. His intricate details of street life and the drug game has made Amaze one of the most looked at artist around. His story telling and melodic hooks captures the listeners imagination and takes them on a journey through his trials and tribulations. His new single “Shine” is so catchy and rhythmic that once heard for the first time becomes undeniably a favorite by whoever listens.
DONO Vegas (top) Y5 Two Solid (bottom)
Since an adolescent I have loved the local music scene of Jackson. Queen Boys, Boo Da Boss Playa, Wildliffe Society, Reese and Bigalow, Children of the Cornbread, Wood Street Playaz, and Crooked Lettaz amongst others have all left there footprints in the Jackson hip hop scene. With a rich history of independent labels and out the trunk grinds, Jackson artists have never allowed the lack of paramount record companies and A&R support to stop their pursuit to greatness. Although, most of the older artist I named never made it out of Mississippi to a national level. There is a new movement that is coming that is pushing to break the glass ceiling. A new sound is raising from the ashes of the foundation the previous generations left behind. A new wave. A new breed. A new Jack City.
Yung Me – Crosses
Kxng Heem – No Cap feat. Mista Cain & Jay Lewis
Lil’Tank – Wit Da Shit
OutSouthKooley feat BigDSipp – Double Up
Parkway Dee – Hell to Pay
Millie Montana – Plays
Kvng Zeakyy – Down
Amaze – Shine
Y5 Two Solid feat DONO Vegas – I Den Seen