10 musicians who are shaping the underground scene on SoundCloud
SoundCloud is the new Myspace? Totally. RawrXD. Oops, HexD!March 4, 2021
You may discover these artists listed in movements ranging anywhere from trap and emo rap to hyperpop, hexD/surge and glitchcore. But we recognize a scene kid when we see one. Check out these artists who are changing the game in SoundCloud’s trap/emo-rap underground by throwing it back to the 2000s Myspace era in unique and new ways.
Here’s our new soundtrack to the Rawring ‘20s.
The scene aesthetic is all about balancing darkness and cuteness. And so is Nosgov. Horror and Hello Kitty. Black straightened hair accessorized with a baby blue bow. High-pitched, Auto-Tuned vocals and soaring screams, bright synth melodies and heavy guitar samples (remember Strawberry Hospital?), emo rap and trance, screamo and hyperpop. Really fun and eccentric but also very emo and introverted. As far as more scene tropes, there are also Monster cans, Converse sneakers, horizontal stripes and animecore overdose in her visuals and socials. Always hiding her face behind her hair, Nosgov claims her anonymity in the most scene way possible.
If you’ve ever wondered what crunkcore would sound like on bath salts, ZBITO18 and the rest of HELLOKITTYWAFFENDIVISION provide a comprehensive catalog of hexD-ed (aka sped up, bitcrushed and glitched out) neon Myspace-core rave insanity. In internet history, the 2020s will go down as the decade of worldwide web dominance of e-girls and e-boys. Meanwhile deep in SoundCloud underground, a “Scene Girl Princess” was born. And the internet was never the same again. RawrHeXD!
OK, maybe SoundCloud isn’t quite the new Myspace when it comes to limitless self-expression in glitter graphics and interactive community-based hype around talented underground artists. But combined with Alt TikTok, it’s more like it. The creative, fan-generated exposure keeps proving to be a much more effective way for artists to blow up than any record label to ever exist. Thanks to e-girls and e-boys, oaf1’s “doing it wrong” featuring another legendary prophet of the Rawring ‘20s, dreamcache, is officially internet famous. But don’t stop at this track because we might be listening to future Juice WRLD or My Chemical Romance here. The potential is there. The rest is up to us.
Even though many of their tracks and video style echoes the work of Drain Gang, the OGs of the experimental emo-rap wave that blew up in 2019, Kid Trash’s artist name has nothing to do with Trash Island by Thaiboy Digital, Bladee and Ecco2K or Bladee’s “Trash Star.” Already in 2018, Kid Trash debuted with My Star Space EP, which gives a decent preview into two of the main directions they’ve been expanding on since. On the one side of the spectrum, there’s abstract, glitched-out and dreamy emo rap. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there’s rave-friendly trance and happy hardcore. If you’re here for Y2K scenecore references, neon animecore visuals and hooky hyperpop synths, Kid Trash will be one of your favorite soundtracks of the Rawring ‘20s.
In the 2000s, terribly misunderstood and way ahead of their time scene bands such as Attack Attack! managed to strike that perfect balance between pissing everyone off and viral fame. Gathering both hate and millions of streams, Fraxiom appears to be enjoying a similar “mainstream outsider” kind of status. The point here is very simple: If you get it, you get it. If you hate it, you still can’t click away. For further reference, see 3OH!3 and Brokencyde. YouTube’s most dedicated scene historian The Cozy Representative can tell you all about it.
While this Alt TikTok hit is playing, picture this. Jimmy Darling (Punkinloveee’s IG name) from American Horror Story enters prom night. Looking like a “Punkbitch” in his skinny jeans and a glistening tiara in his massive hair with neon extensions. What happens next is the Best. Night. Ever. With a limitless alcohol supply from Millionaires and Brokencyde at the DJ booth, everybody gets freaky, eyeliners get smudged, fishnets get ripped and blood gets spilled. This is pretty much Punkinloveee in a nutshell. Only more NSFW. Punkinloveee’s dirty pop makes a time-relevant update to Myspace-era minimum-effort EDM-y simplecore with a strong IDGAF attitude.
Technically speaking, the rapper/producer duo of Eternity God and Y2Kri$i$ create similar types of dystopian webcore landscapes like our favorite shoegaze-y hexDers Fax Gang. Only $Pirit Gurlz do it more emo. And more neon. Are they the future of emo rap? Most definitely. The future of Myspace-core? Well, $Pirit Gurlz’s Bandcamp page is so Myspace that it might actually summon the website back into relevance.
The Dorian Electra-verified talent of the 17-year-old Cloud rapper d0llywood1 can’t be put under a specific genre category or movement just yet. Still, there’s no way to imagine the Rawring ‘20s without her glitchy updates to emo rap, supercharged with cartoon monsters, personal lyrics and deep trap beats.
With their hyperpop-y blend of styles that echo abstract emo rap in one track and the 2000s EDM-leaning side of scenecore in another, angelus is one of the most exciting Gen Z artists to jump out of SoundCloud’s alt underground in recent years, both as an artist and a producer. Knowing that collabs with artists such as ericdoa and Alice Gas have marked barely the beginning of angelus’ journey, we can trust that the future of emo pop is in good hands.
Scene credit must be given where it’s due, so here we are. Since 2015, emotegi has been putting out ambient-y tracks that sound like emo rap, screamo, witchhouse and happy hardcore being put in a blender and played in slow motion in an anime horror movie. His aesthetic speaks to that metaphor as well while also giving major old-internet/Myspace flashbacks.