Who is your favorite “underground” or undiscovered artist?
My 10-year high school reunion is later this year. If there was ever a signature, “Damn, I’m old!” moment you can have in your 20’s, this is definitely in the top three.
And if I’m keeping accurate track of my Facebook updates, I’m expecting to see no less than six or seven up-and-coming (a.k.a. underground, a.k.a. starving) hip-hop/R&B artists in the building. Like any major U.S. city, Seattle is full of people “trying to do the music thing,” but as far as my kind of music goes, I would imagine the biggest obstacle local artists face is the simple fact that they come from Seattle. What is it like when your city doesn’t have a solid rap identity? Most non-206 people I’ve met know about Sir Mix-A-Lot, and that’s it. As far as R&B, expect for a couple acts that made it to “American Idol” or “America’s Got Talent,” I can’t name anybody major.
But if one of us does blow up, the rest will get the satisfaction of saying we heard them first. And to a music snob, there’s nothing greater.
Snobs and non-snobs alike, everybody has their favorite underground artists, the ones you heard before they went “mainstream.” I remember randomly picking up Goodie MOB‘s first album (on cassette) and feeling like I’d discovered a group that — while they obviously were large enough to have their CD in a major retailer — I felt nobody on the West Coast was really up on yet. To a lesser extent I felt the same about OutKast. I was probably the first person I knew listening to them, but after Andre and Big Boi really blew up with Stankonia and the double-album, I kind of chilled out on getting everything they put out. Because it’s never as cool when everybody else is in on the secret.
Who is your best-kept musical secret?