[junkie-dropcap]H[/junkie-dropcap]ip-hop has long been evolving into a multitude of subgenres. Notable ones include conscious hip hop, pop rap, and likely the most popular, trap. Trap has gotten a bad rep with long time hip-hop fans, labeling it as “surface level,” “repetitive,” “uninspired,” and so on. Even going so far as beginning a movement against the sound, with the rise of names such as Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert, and Future. However, trap, despite a short existence, has evolved and created innovative “microgenres” within itself. A few examples include trap metal, emo rap, drill, and tread. These microgenres utilize the core elements of trap and fuse them with outside genres, forming something entirely new. Yet these newer microgenres still sit mostly in the underbelly of the genre, hidden beneath their mainstream counterpart.
That’s not to say all of the microgenres are extremely obscure or exclusively used by Soundcloud artists with 1200 monthly listeners. There have been many huge stars who arose within them, most notably XXXTentacion and Lil Peep. Rest in Power to the both of them. X came up on Soundcloud with a loud and brash trap sound, utilizing booming 808s, screaming vocals, and vulgar lyrics. Peep also came up on Soundcloud, notably with a emo rock influence, consisting of depressing lyrics, sung vocals, guitars, etc. Those who know the microgenres tend to associate them with these artists, yet there’s so much more to discover within trap’s underground. That’s where the idea for DARKER THAN LIT came in.
I have a decent knowledge of this underground hip hop / trap scene. Though I myself haven’t come close to reaching their deepest points. Realizing that I sit somewhere in between the average listener and archival fiend, I felt as though I was in a good position to make a playlist balancing the two sides of the coin. That being the more mainstream artists you may have heard about, and those you may not have. There’s a few big names here like Tay-K, Playboi Carti, and City Morgue, but they only take a small percentage of the runtime. More prominent are the artists somewhere in between the known and unknown. Then, there’s a taste of the more obscure on top of that. However, I won’t elaborate further so as not to spoil the experience.
The result of this blending of the well-known and the less familiar is, “DARKER THAN LIT”. The title is simple, albeit oxymoronic, while continuing to fit to the grimy but banger-heavy sound of this playlist. When I say banger, that is not to be taken lightly. These songs are HARD, full of heavy hitting trap metal, deep and rolling tread 808s, Soundcloud style bars, and dark Memphis rap revival. Fair warning: there are some straight yelling vocals, dirty, out of pocket bars, and everything you could ask for from the unregulated underground. The beats on here may just be the best part. The most underrated aspect of this scene is its creative and innovative hip-hop production styles. I can’t wait for y’all to experience it. Links below and alternate covers for download, enjoy!