15 Black artists who are using elements of hyperpop in their music
Hyperpop has always been a genre that is DIY and willing to push musical boundaries. That independence began with its rise in popularity in the mid-2010s and continues into the present. It's also the reason hyperpop has been able to fluidly blend with a wide range of styles, helping artists make music that is ever more unique and reflective of their individuality.
Thanks to SoundCloud and PC Music owner A.G. Cook as well as artists such as SOPHIE, the genre was given room to experiment and expand its boundaries. While most people immediately go to artists such as 100 gecs or Charli XCX when thinking about hyperpop, there are tons of artists who use elements from the genre.
It's especially important to celebrate the work of women, LGBTQIA+ and people of color who are drawing inspiration from hyperpop. One of the exciting things about the genre is that has made many strides toward inclusivity. However, like any area of the music industry or society at large, there is always the need to fight for greater representation of everyone who participates in the community.
Black musicians have played a crucial role in developing unique artistic ideas and changing our musical culture. Here are 15 Black artists who are experimenting with the sounds and styles of hyperpop to create amazing music.
A name synonymous with “iconic,” Rico Nasty continues to push the boundaries of music with her combination of nü metal, hyperpop, rap, rock and more. Every song, from “OHFR?” to “IPHONE” to the recently released Flo Milli-featured “Money,” is further proof of the singer’s immense talent.
Inspired by artists such as Missy Elliott, Madonna, Lil’ Kim are more, Bree Runway effortlessly combines elements of hyperpop, rock and R&B to create her own unique genreless genre. 2021 also recently saw her join forces with Lady Gaga on “Babylon (Bree Runway & Jimmy Edgar remix)” and get nominated for aBRITs Award for Rising Star.
CHAV is essential listening for any music lover thanks to his combination of hyperpop, EDM, R&B and electronic afro punk. The pop star/rapper notably co-founded Flat Pop Records, a progressive queer label, and was recently featured in fellow hyperpop star Dorian Electra’s “My Agenda” video and the soundtrack of Netflix original television show Ginny & Georgia.
Swedish singer/songwriter Namasenda was the first Black artist signed to PC Music, the influential hyperpop label crated by A.G. Cook. With a desire to make music that breaks boundaries, Namasenda's biggest strength is her focus on production, which takes her music to the next level, both creatively and technically. Her latest release, Unlimited Ammo, dropped in October and features artists such as Oklou, Hannah Diamond and Joey LaBeija.
Kilo Kish infuses art pop, hip hop and new wave with elements of hyperpop. While not as glitchcore-esque as other hyperpop artists, she excels at utilizing autotune to craft heavenly tracks such as “AMERICAN GURL” and “NICE OUT.” Kish also uses her platform to focus on important issues, such as in her single "Bloody Future," which discusses the cultural impact of global warming.
The audio/visual project of designer, photographer and director Zak Arogundade, Ecco2k is Arogundade’s way of exploring himself and his identity. Arogundade's ability to craft raw and unfiltered art about himself and his identity is what makes him an artist worth your attention. He also experiments with pushing himself past just making music, incorporating fashion, design and visuals into his overall aesthetic.
A rising figurehead of hyperpop, That Kid pays tribute to the nostalgic glittery pop music of the '00s, but with his own signature spin on it. From the Slayyyter-featured “Dial Tone” to the hyperpop reimagining of “Kiss Me Thru the Phone,” if you’re searching for feel-good music, raunchy lyrics and an artist with personality, look no further than That Kid.
Pop singer Bronze Avery considers Charli XCX his biggest musical influence. While his music generally leans more toward crooning pop ballads, Avery dipped his toes into the hyperpop world after remixing Dorian Electra’s “Sorry Bro (I Love You)” in 2020. More recently, Bronze Avery won Billboard NXT, a one-of-a-kind singing competition to find the next great unsigned artist. Thanks to his win, he will get a Billboard cover as well as studio time to record a single and film a music video.
Zebra Katz is a Jamaican-American rapper, producer and songwriter who has collabed with Shygirl, Busta Rhymes and Gorillaz. With mellow yet energetic bars and infectious beats, Zebra Katz is essential listening for any alt-hip hop and pop fans. He has also dipped his toes into the world of film, releasing "LOUSY / IN IN IN," a nine-minute short film in 2019.
P4rkr (the project of osquinn)’s bass-booming track “i dont want that many friends in the first place” boasts over 20 million streams on Spotify, showing just how much people love the teenager's unique music. While hyperpop is undoubtedly the main focus of p4rkr, osquinn has said that Chicago drill music, UK drill and black metal have been big influences as well. Keep an eye on p4rkr because there is no telling what this next-gen emo artist will do next.
Despite being labeled as a rapper, Atlanta-based artist Tony Velour has proven that music can defy any and all genre labels. He has collabed with 100 gecs' Dylan Brady on tracks such as “EURO PLUG,” which came to fruition after just a 30-minute session in Brady's LA apartment. Velour has also further worked with Brady-adjacent projects on a remix of 100 gecs' “gecgecgec” alongside Lil West.
The best thing about Quay Dash is her authenticity. Co-signed by SOPHIE, Quay Dash is raw, real and relatable for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The fieriness she embodies shows up in her powerful sonical callbacks to feminism and surviving as a woman. If you need further proof just check the name of her 2017 single: “Queen Of This Shit.”
Describing herself as “your new fav pop girlie,” ryl0 is the one of the best DIY hyperpop artists out there at the moment. From the bubbly “Fancam” to the gritty “Filthy Cash Pig,” ryl0 is equal parts irony and exhilaration. If you can't get enough of her, have no fear. ryl0 is also one-half of Black Panic, a self-described duo of "autotuned rockstars."
Dreamy emo hyperpop has never sounded as good as it does with Tama Gucci. With a candid and heartfelt nature, his music combines lo-fi beats with alternative and R&B sensibilities. From his 2021 sophomore album, Almost Blue to his feature on That Kid’s 2020 “Captain,” Tama Gucci’s resume doesn't just cover multiple genres, though. It also spans over a multitude of emotions and aesthetic stylings.
Jasmine Infiniti embraces the darker side of electronic with a dusting of hyperpop, with instrumental tracks such as “Hott” and “Ghettro.” Born in the Bronx and raised in New York City, it is obvious the effect the Big Apple's underground music scene has had onthis DJ and producer. Just one listen to her discography will give you a fresh perspective on the genre with her industrial stylings and dark, hypnotic beats.