Music & Culture

5 Woke AF Rappers You NEED to Pay Attention to This Year

If you’re sick of listening to rappers who mainly rap about partying and seem to only use vulgar language, I’ve got a list of rap artists for you that won’t make you roll your eyes at the genre. Of course, all rappers, no matter how vulgar their lyrics can get, all bring something different to the table and have some level of talent. Whether it’s their lyricism, their beats, or their message, every famous rapper has managed to capture the attention of rap enthusiasts and garner an impressive fan base. However, the rappers included on this list are personally my “go-to” rappers because not only does their music offer have amazing beats and impressive lyrics, but I also relate to and agree a lot with the topics they address in their music. Check it out:

 

1. Logic

 

 

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Logic released his third studio album, Everybody, just last year, and on this particular album he discusses his biracial background, anxiety, suicide, and also issues we’re facing right now in the United States. Logic uses his platform to help those struggling and feeling alone. Also, by way of his lyrics, he’s able to relate to his audience and grow his already impressive fan base, known as the Rattpack. Logic is one of my top artists to listen to not sonly because the songs are good, but because of the inspirational person behind the music. His mantra of “Peace, Love, and Positivity” is one I have applied to my own life, and they’re words everyone should live by.

2. Kendrick Lamar

 

 

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Kendrick Lamar is one of the most popular artists in the music industry right now… and for good reason. His hype beats along with his meaningful lyrics have become a part of society’s everyday soundtrack. Last year, he released his extremely popular album, DAMN., and he even went on to perform songs from the album on tour, at music festivals, at award shows, and most recently at the College Football Championship. Kendrick is an example of what it looks like when you follow your dreams. Plus, he’s outspoken when it comes to controversial issues in America, and he’s also big into giving back to the community. Overall, he’s simply an inspiration.

3. J. Cole

 

 

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J. Cole has been one of my favorite artists since the beginning of this whole entire decade. My two favorite albums of his are 2014 Forrest Hills Drive, released in 2014, and 4 Your Eyez Only, released in 2016. I appreciate J. Cole’s lyrics because of his intellect and thought-provoking lyrics. He raps about loving your life and not comparing yourself to others, and large-scale problems like racism in America. He also details struggles he’s gone through in his own life through his music. I listen to his albums all the way through, in order, and I always pay attention to the lyrics because they help me with my everyday life, too. If you’re looking for positivity and mantras to live by, he’s your guy.

4. Russ

 

 

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Russ Vitale, better known as Russ, is a rapper, sound engineer, singer, and producer. In the music video for his song “Me You” he represents himself as taking on all these roles by using a green screen and having four versions of himself. He continues to release music on SoundCloud, however last year he released his first studio album There Really Is a Wolf. When I think of Russ, I think of self-confidence and self-worth. He preaches having faith in yourself and continuing to work hard towards your goals because if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will either. People consistently hate on him but the message he shares is truly one to live by.

5. Lecrae

 

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Lecrae is a rapper I was not familiar with until the past couple of years, and some may consider him to be a “Christian rapper.” Yes, he does like to rap about his faith, but his lyrics are much more than that. With his most recent album, All Things Work Together, released in 2017, he tries to branch out from his religious lyrics and become more of a mainstream rapper. He may not be the most famous person on this list, but he’s extremely popular within his fan base. If you’re looking for another rapper to listen to on a long drive, or if you’re looking for some daily inspo, Lecrae is definitely the rapper to go to.

Featured Image: Instagram (@jcole)

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