As the host of a hip-hop show for Boston College’s WZBC radio, I have become well-acquainted with the groundbreaking talent emerging from the Boston hip-hop scene. So, I’ve listed some of my favorite songs from my favorite artists, who were kind enough to offer a few words about their music and their take on the Boston hip-hop scene, which they have had a hand in developing and expanding.
“Tangerine Dream” by Mozado feat. Danny Diamonds
Mozado recently released his EP “From Boston w/ Love” featuring fellow Boston artists Kyle Bent, Parissia, David Morrison, Tre Michaels, and one of my favorites, Danny Diamonds. Mozado explained, “I produced the music on the EP and each song features a different Boston based artist. I did it to get the up-and-coming artists in the city to start working together.” The feel-good jam “Tangerine Dream” has become a staple in most of my playlists.
“Tropical Spalding” by Caliph
This most recent single from the New Bedford artist narrates his tumultuous experience as a U.S. immigrant. He shared, “Tropical Spalding is like my H to the IZZO. It’s an honest yet light and happy dance around the struggle of being an immigrant knowing you have more than what it takes but you have to work twice as hard to get it!” Caliph recently participated in a project called American Dreamers with Grammy-nominated and Grammy award-winning producers in order to highlight the plight of immigrants in America.
“No Mo” by Chase Murphy
This 19-year-old artist has come a long way since his first release three years ago and has firmly established his position as one of Boston’s rising stars with his single, “No Mo.” I’ll all0w Murphy to explain: “I wrote ‘No Mo’ the very first week of 2018 after a long, depressing fall and winter that had been full of countless unseen hours at the studio. The song was inspired by my peers and past romantic partners going off to college, while I was seemingly stagnant back in Boston, not enrolled in school. I wanted to show them what I had been up to, and finally put words to how proud I was to be pursuing my passion. Ironically, this was the song that changed a lot of those people’s minds and opened up the doors for all the opportunities I’ve been given since. It feels great to know that hard work paid off and shows how much I can do right here at home.”
“City Coming Up” by Libossi
I was lucky enough to interview Libossi last year for the Boston music platform Fresh Out the Mint. When asked about being a hip-hop artist from Boston, he said “I’m so proud to say I’m from Dorchester, and I love what’s happening in Boston music right now. If it weren’t for Boston artists, especially people like Cousin Stizz and Michael Christmas, I don’t think I would be putting out music. I don’t know them personally, but just seeing artists from my city working on their craft showed me that I could really do this. The Boston scene is responsible for my musical existence in a way. I don’t know if I would be doing what I’m doing right now without looking to these other artists for motivation.”
“One Job” by TeaMarrr
TeaMarrr released her fiery new single, "One Job," on August 31, 2018, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be the guy she wrote this song about...Anyways, this Boston-born artist released her EP "Thanks for the Chapstick" last year, and she recently relocated to Los Angeles to begin crafting her first full-length album "Tea Turns to Wine." In line with her single's savagery, she also offered her passionate view of the Boston hip-hop scene: “It’s small. There’s a really sturdy glass ceiling when it comes to music in Boston. We have the sexiest buildings, ancient history, the most powerful schools, and the best hospitals but for some reason the music scene hits the glass ceiling and just kinda bounces around. But for some reason, lately it’s been buzzin’. It’s now the time for Boston. [I’m] so excited to see the city blow up and be one of the names that can help get the music recognition we deserve.”
Quotes have been slightly edited and condensed for clarity and length.