The year is TwentyNineScene, and the emo revival is real. In a music world where genre-blending is slowly becoming the norm, emo finds itself getting mixed across the music scene in some pretty incredible ways. In 2018, emo rap was the fastest-growing genre on Spotify. The cross-blended genre has only gotten bigger since then, bringing forth a whole new wave of artists and heartfelt lyrics that’ll have you reaching for the tissues.
We’ve rounded up 10 emo rappers you should definitely be listening to when you need a good cry or simply want to dive headfirst into your feelings. Check them out below!
1. Lil Peep
Gustav Elijah Åhr, known by most as Lil Peep, was a pioneer in bringing emo into the game of hip-hop. He released his debut album, Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1, in August 2017 before he tragically passed away due to an accidental overdose in November. His second studio album, Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2, was released in November the following year. The album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200, marking Peep’s first U.S. top 10 album.
2. Juice WRLD
Jarad Higgins, otherwise known as Juice WRLD, gained immense popularity after the debut of his track “Lucid Dreams.” His debut album, Goodbye & Good Riddance, was released in May 2018 and earned platinum status that same year. He later went on to collab with Brendon Urie and Benny Blanco on “Roses” before his second LP “Death Race For Love” this year.
You’ve probably spotted nothing,nowhere. on tour in support of Real Friends, Tiny Moving Parts, Thrice and more. Having collabed with Dashboard Confessional and Travis Barker, the rapper/singer/songwriter/producer isn’t afraid to hit on touchy subjects, letting listeners know that other people are feeling those same things too.
4. dying in designer
Hopeless Records is home to some of our favorites, including Neck Deep, New Found Glory, Sum 41 and more. Earlier this year, the iconic label snatched up emo rapper dying in designer to add to their already impressive roster. His recently released debut album, Nobody’s Happy., features some brilliant producers and lyrics that’ll hit you right in your emo feels.
5. Princess Nokia
Destiny Nicole Frasqueri, known by her stage name Princess Nokia, is not only a strong feminist and inspirational rapper but the founder of the Smart Girl Club alongside Milah Libin. Signed to Rough Trade Records, Nokia got her start on SoundCloud in 2010 under the moniker Wavy Spice. Since her debut, she’s released three albums and an EP.
6. lil aaron
From collaborating with blackbear to co-writing for Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend,” lil aaron’s talents spread far and wide. Also getting his start on SoundCloud, lil aaron tells AP: “This is the most honest, pure form of music that I could make, drawing from the inspiration I’ve had in my life. I’ve been scene. I’ve been emo my whole fucking life.”
Cousins Ruby da Cherry and Scrim rose to popularity as $uicieboy$ thanks to SoundCloud and the band’s ability to combine harsh lyrical themes and content with self-produced beats. The duo recently released their 6-track EP Live Fast, Die Whenever in collaboration with Travis Barker and Korn guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer.
8. Lil Uzi Vert
It’s hard not to relate to Lil Uzi Vert when he finds himself inspired by acts such as Marilyn Manson and Paramore. He’s widely known for his single “XO Tour Llif3” from his 2017 album Luv Is Rage 2. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and went multi-platinum this year.
Raised on punk, post-hardcore and emo, 19-year-old Mark Kiessling is the emerging emo-rap artist to watch. His latest EP, LONER, is a must-hear collection of mental health and addiction anecdotes. “[The song] ‘LONER’ was about my past life in Chicago before I came to L.A., so that’s like escaping the mentality [of] being trapped in Chicago with the drugs, and it’s never good to be around drugs,” JUMEX tells AP.
10. Lil Tracy
Lil Tracy is known for his incredible collabs with artists such as fellow emo rapper Lil Peep and for being a prominent member in the SoundCloud rap scene. In 2018, Tracy released not one but two EPs: Designer Talk and Sinner.