Underrated Artists

Media by Anthony Esquivel.

In today’s generation, the one thing that most people have in common is listening to music, regardless of the genre. Music has always been a way for people to vibe, relax, and find motivation, but the main way listeners relate to one another is when the music has been created by big-name artists, such as Drake, Lil Baby, Polo G, and many others. What about those other artists that aren’t as popular? Many of these lesser-known musicians are underrated artists. Here are some underrated artists who would make great additions to any playlist.

  1. Aaron May 

Aaron May is an artist out of Houston, Texas, who started writing music in middle school. Before becoming the artist he is today, he grew up wanting to hoop, but he eventually found his calling in music. The first song he dropped was “Dedicated,” and although it gained 26.4k listens on Soundcloud, the song that caught people’s attention was “Ride.” In 2018, “Ride” was released on all music platforms, giving many listeners the opportunity to vibe to this groovy bop. Aaron continued to drop music until he released Chase on February 28th, 2019. This mixtape is filled with catchy hooks, and overall, it is a very nice production. Even though it doesn’t have a storyline, it has a lot of themes, such as struggle, love, and friendship. Like the title says, this tape is just about chasing dreams and doing what is needed in order to achieve them.

When talking to Herman Esquivel, an avid music listener, about Aaron May, he described May’s music as “something that sets the tone down and puts you into a state of mind that allows you to really look back and think about different perspectives that the artist talks about in his song.”

-Popular Song: “Let Go”

Media by Aaron May.

2. Westside Boogie 

Westside Boogie, originally known as “Boogie,” is a Compton rapper. Boogie was mostly an underground rapper throughout the 2010s, but he caught people’s attention in 2014 with his song “Bitter Rap,” which had a laid-back style. Although he gained some attention with this song, his proper debut was his album Thirst 48. A year later, in 2015, Boogie released “Oh My.” While this song would be described as a banger that should be blasted in your car, the song talks about poverty, police brutality, and being robbed. Since that song, Boogie has co-signed with Eminem, allowing him to create label outputs. In 2019, he released Everythings For Sale, his debut album.

When asking Esquivel these questions; He was quick to mention that Boogie was his favorite artist. Boogie quickly became one of his favorite artists after he had fallen into a rough patch in his life and actually relied on his music to get him through his day-to-day struggles. Esquivel feels a strong connection when listening to Boogie’s music as if he is no longer alone and can be at peace, regardless of his struggles. In May 2019, Esquivel actually attended his concert and was able to perform on stage with Boogie as they both rapped his song “SOHO.”

-Popular song: “Rainy Days (feat. Eminem)”

Media by Westside Boogie.

3. UMI

Born in Seattle, UMI is now an LA-based musician. Although she started music at the age of five, she didn’t really showcase her talent until she performed some song covers in high school. On September 22, 2016, she released a song called “Be The One” that only had 158,019 on YouTube. While this song has a life-giving, up-temp beat, most of her other songs incorporate lo-fi beats, intense soul, and poignantly simple lyricism. Her music also shares messages of healing and growth. Her first major single, “Happy Again,” came out July 8, 2017, and this song delivers a message of overcoming a season of sadness. After an EP and some other small projects, she released “Remember Me,” which has thousands of streams. She then released her EP Introspection in June of 2020. The EP would takes listeners on a trip through her insecurities and mental anguish. 

When asking him about the artist UMI, Esquivel describes her music to be very light-hearted and down to earth. “When I listen to UMI music, I feel the music moves me to a setting where I am alone with no worries in the world. Almost as if I am able to close my eyes and all of the problems that I once had disappeared in midst of it all.” He concludes that UMI is an artist that many people can listen to and find enjoyment in her music. The song that he would recommend is the titled track on her latest EP, Introspection.

-Popular song: “Remember Me”

Media by UMI.

Honorable Mention: Chris Crack, Elujay, Rina Sawayama.

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