One of the most unique hip-hop sounds in the country, Why-Axis’ music blends urban sounds with bombastic funk and pop elements. His 2018 mixtape Airplane Mode got many a repeat listen. Part of the GOOD BUZZ crew, Axis is poised to drop a new mixtape in the coming months. Kudos must also be given to the artist for developing a distinct visual brand and aesthetic, a feat which alongside his music has helped him gain a loyal fanbase.
Jar Jar Jr.
Cork native Jar Jar Jr. may well be hip-hop producer supreme over here. Aligned to Softboy Records, most of Jr’s material comprises of a capellas put to new beats. As is the case on ‘J0000007.WAV’, above. There’s a definite Dilla vibe, especially in the producer’s taste for oriental or otherwise world music-inspired instrument sounds.
However, Jar Jar clearly has an ear for the writing process, providing the beat for Kojaque’s ‘Love & Braggadocio’ off Deli Daydreams. Soundcloud, with its lax copyright rules, is Jr’s ideal platform. There’s a lot of his material up there, so get digging in.
One of Cork’s most established figures in hip-hop and head of the Outsiders Collective, Outsider YP‘s own music boasts a nigh sadboy trap aesthetic. Not that the MC makes any attempt to hide from that label, his 2018 mixtape Sadboy Ultra bears the namesake proudly. It’s a very strong release, opening with the wailing ‘Nine Tails’ and finishing with the warped ‘Bliss’, which features fellow collective member Olympío.
Liverpool based MC Breezy Ideygoke was featured on Sim Simma Soundsystem’s superb EP Pass The Aux Chord. The Irish native’s first body of work arrive in 2017 with AfroBreeze, however, the work Ideygoke did with Ben Bix & Semi-D of Sim Simma showcased the artist in a fresh light. A more dancehall orientated beat seems to suit the artist’s own upbeat delivery. More like this, please.
Strange Boy Nature
One of the members of Limerick’s Unscene Tapes, we don’t know much else about Strange Boy Nature bar that his music absolutely bangs and his real name is Jordan Kelly and he formerly went by . His recent single ‘String Theory’ has some of the hottest bass we’ve heard on a track recently, I still have whiplash. The flow is on point too, full of aggression and intent. The MC was featured on the Unscene Tapes Vol.1 video, giving the top stuff to an eager audience. This is street level in its rawest form.
At 18, in his Athlone home, J.B2 helped found the 090 crew. Now London-based, the Drill artist takes zero prisoners in his verses (Vice did an article on Irish drill music if you’re looking for a primer). Also operating under the moniker of Mr. Affilate, this MC’s music is not for the conscious minded. His most recent link up with Poundz which dropped last week now has 700k views in the last week alone.
“Modern life is feckin madness/ As we navigate Takeshi’s Castle” , so says Corkman Spekulativ Fikition on the opener of his Effigies EP. Hyper detailed lyricism and lo-fi beats are the staples of this discontented MC. Fikition’s lyrics give an insight into a creative mind seemingly at odds with some of modern life’s most jarring truisms. Cork and Limerick heads should keep an eye peeled for live dates, Fiktion often plays gigs in both cities.
Burner Record’s man Sick Nanley was the new label’s first imprint, releasing the impressive ‘Mouthspit’. The Dublin native is all tongue in cheek, citing the importance of a good chicken fillet roll technique with a wry smile. Since the release of the single, Nanley has been playing a slew of dates around the city with his fellow label mates.
You might not recognise his name outright, but if you’ve been keeping an ear on the hip-hop scene you’ve more than likely heard Chris Kabs’ work. Kabs is perhaps best known for his production work, on his resume so far are JyellowL, Pat Lagoon, RikShaw, Tebi Rex and Reuben James with many many more not included here.
Kabs’ production aesthetic tends to lean toward trap type beats, with tightly mixed hi-hats and shimmery synth backdrops. Yet, Kabs’ own music leans far further toward R&B, especially his most recent single ‘Forgive Forget Love Again’. For a taste of what he’s done for others, you’d have to check out his 2017 The Untold mixtape, we highly recommend that you do.