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Five New Jersey Rappers You Should Be Listening To Right Now

Posted: December 16th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Articles | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

For decades, New Jersey rappers have observed the ongoing success attained by many New York City-based artists. Throughout the early-mid 1990’s, New Jersey and its cross-town rival were parallel within the hip-hop community.  Anchored by artists like Redman, Notorious B.I.G., Naughty by Nature and the Wu-Tang Clan both regions were tri-state powerhouses. Redman and Method Man exemplified this on their 1999 Grammy award winning single, “Da Rockwilder”. However, as the new millennium approached, New York City remained consistent, while New Jersey experienced a sharp decline in the music industry.

 In 2003, Jersey City native, Joe Budden released “Pump It Up”. The hit gained great success and became the most notable song by a New Jersey rapper since Lauryn Hill and Redman.

 In the 10 years following the release of “Pump It Up”, many New Jersey rappers are trying to reestablish the state’s identity within the hip-hop world. Most recently, Ransom has reemerged, gaining recognition on music blogs such as Rap Radar and Nah Right.

 Garden State Hip-Hop compiled a list of five New Jersey rappers everyone should be listening to right now, check it out.

Written by: Rodney C. (@RodneyGSHH)

1. Moruf – Irvington, NJ (@MoRuf88)

Why? Garden State of Mind: Ready to Live, Shades of Moo

Moruf Press Photo

It’s hard to have a conversation about the New Jersey hip-hop scene without mentioning Moruf. The kid reppin’ that ghost town has been winning over hipsters and hypebeast throughout the tri-state area since 2009. Under the tutelage of Jesse Boykins III and Iman Omari, Moo’s latest project Shades of Moo combines elements of jazz, R&B and hip-hop. Billboard Magazine recently presented the project exclusively on their webpage. Watch the video below:

2. Ransom – Jersey City, NJ (201Ransom)

Why? Winter’s Coming with DJ Drama, The Proposal with Statik Selektah 

Ransom Press Photo

Many of us remember Ransom from his days of rhyming alongside Hitchcock as the A-Team. Since parting ways in 2006, Ran has been on a mission to regain the momentum he lost in 2007 and 2008. Last year, he released Winter’s Coming hosted by DJ Drama. The tape revived his buzz and made him a marquee figure on 2 Dope Boyz and Dat Piff. He built on the success of Winter’s Coming by dropping The Proposal with Statik Selektah in mid-September. Currently, Ran’s working on his forthcoming album Pain & Glory, which is scheduled to be released in 2014. Watch the video below:

3. Mista Encore – Long Branch, NJ (@MistaEncore)

Why? BARSsince 1986 and a career defining moment on the Sway in the Morning show

Jay Encore Artwork 2

Mista Encore is a hybrid rap artist. The rapper/producer is a skillful lyricist and a beast when it comes to manipulating sounds on an MPC. His latest release, BARSsince 1986, is a landmark project and is his best work to date. Did I mention his breakout freestyle on Sway in the Morning? Mista Encore is destined to do bigger and better things in 2014. Watch the video below:

4. Chad B – Newark, NJ (@TheRealChadB)

Why? Good Karma

Chad B Press Photo 2

Chad B epitomizes the phrase “your network is your net worth.” Due to his close ties to DJs such as Spinking, Prostyle and Fatman Scoop, Chad has embarked on an international journey from Jersey to Germany. He’s captivated audiences with his blend of catchy pop hooks and golden age rhymes. His latest mixtape, Good Karma explains why BET’s 106 & Park and Power 105.1 have premiered his work. Watch the video below:

5. Topaz Jones – Montclair, NJ (@TopazJones)

Why? The music video for “Coping Mechanism” and his upcoming album The Honeymoon Suite

Topaz Jones Artwork

Although he’s the youngest MC on the list, his music has caught the attention of XXL, Okayplayer and Complex. Topaz has shown tremendous growth since his 2011 mixtape, Hello My Name Is. Back then, he was a 17-year-old kid rhyming with his Tastemaker’s NJ crew. Now, in between taking courses at NYU, Topaz is doing shows as he attempts to take his career to another level. Watch the video below:



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