Social media’s impact on hip-hop has provided a lot of ebbs and flows. From album rollouts to the listening process, apps like Instagram and Twitter have changed the way both artists and listeners interact with music. Even the way in which artists interact with one another has reformed, making it easier to bridge contact between two creatives. Several musical linkups have managed to occur through actions as simple as a direct message or a post comment, with no need for an industry connection to set up an interaction.
That being said, the most interesting movement stemming from a DIY substructure in the underground has been bubbling through Instagram DM’s and sporadic pop-ups: the House Collective. Bonding over their individual passion for the culture of hip-hop, this rag-tag group of misfits has looked to translate this affection through the sturdy art of beatmaking. By utilizing every resource available to them, the bunch have since been able to establish their proper sounds and manipulate algorithms to develop a foundation that will usher in a new generation of artists in hip-hop. Today, we will look further into the movement, discussing each member and their intentions for their solo careers and group efforts.
iSight: A Look Into The Future
The first entry we’ll be discussing is the technical soundsop, iSight. Hailing from South Florida, the practical beatmaker wields a talent like no other. A bright mind who leaps into multiple facets of the traditional hip-hop sound, the New Jersey-native is more connected in the game than you think. Son of the underground titan, Reks, his love for music has been established since his early days with his father’s music resembling simpler times. It took a minute for the young apprentice to spread his wings but eventually iSight would follow the same path as his father and pursue a tenure in music.
As mentioned, his flair for production is diverse, hopping into different pockets to expand past his predetermined horizons, but the young buck acknowledges the history of the game and pays his dues with his clear influences. From Apollo Brown to Statik Selektah, his core is deep in the underground as his premature catalog provides the face-scrunching feel that hip-hop heads claim to miss. Not only has he sharpened his beat-making blade, but the lyrical sword he’s begun to flex is beginning to show signs of his double-bladed skillset.
As of right now, the catalog is short, boasting two major projects – obServe and All-Star Beats Vol. 1 – but the room for improvement is massive and one that the young prodigy plans to explore. The future is bright for the young beatmaker as he has another beat tape along the way with an 80’s-inspired record to follow.
HUES: A Soulful Craftsman
A practical innovator. A DIY technician. An encyclopedia for the different ranges of sound traveled within hip-hop, the underground dweller from Michigan has tagged his soul all over this genre. Full-time producer, HUES (Heavy Upon Every Soul), found his love for music in a personal way that we can all connect to: family roots. As the name suggests, HUES connects to the spiritual foundation that was woven into the family; and while recent times have found him drifting from the spiritual possibilities, he manages to remain rooted in the principles of his pedigree’s plinth.
Inheriting the music bug, HUES took his passion behind the boards and what he discovered was another layer to the methodical art form. With only just a laptop and a set program, the brilliant young mind has managed to create an astonishing array of records, with a meticulousness that mirrors some of the greatest names in the genre like the Soulquarians—who are cited as tremendous influences alongside names such as DJ Premier, Apollo Brown, Madlib, and even Stevie Wonder. His approach to each track directly connects with said names as he finds ways to create new ideas throughout his everyday life and translate them on a record, going as far as recruiting a fresh roster of emcees to help exaggerate these concepts.
The youthful architect plans to expand upon this foundation, continuing to lay the soundtrack for close collaborators like Korban Baxter, Elias Erving and a multitude of vibrant names including his HOUSE peers. From his 2020 self titled debut to his collaborative EP with Korban Baxter, I Am Not A Crip, HUES shows exactly the type of producer he is, wielding different styles to connect with his intimate concepts. With plans to continue producing in an effort to build a label and even score a film, the limits are endless for this radiant mind.
Mudai: Homegrown and Self-Made
Prior to the establishment of the collective, only one name on this roster was early on releasing full-fledged projects to the public: Mudai. The colorful beatmaker got his start early but not in the way you’d expect. The initial was hustle was through YouTube, focusing on creating NBA highlight mixtapes, which then expanded into the music gig.
It was clear that Mudai —a Japanese translation for the word ‘untitled’—was ahead of his peer group from day one, as his savvy social media insights and homegrown love for music allowed him to begin his creative journey at 13. With a drive like no other and a strong support system that nurtured his love for music, Mudai knew his calling was long-term when he realized he wanted to do more than just mess around with a beat machine; he wanted to appease to an entire generation. Influenced by the likes of Kanye West and J Dilla, Mudai’s sound became drenched in a soulful overtone, utilizing the same style of heartwarming samples that his idols coined.
In a year’s time, Mudai would already take steps into maturing his craft by releasing a handful of dope projects and even connecting with a new wave of emcees. His most notable relation is with the electric emcee, Mad Sadiq, who glides on Mudai production like a younger version Gang Starr. Their collaborative effort, Capri, is a pillar for both artists as they managed to step up their game as a duo and as a set of individuals on the project.
Though it still feels early in his career – and even personal life – to ponder the future, the young creator already has a good majority of it planned, sitting on a variety of different projects that are soon to be released. Don’t sleep on the young bull just yet, he’s already five steps ahead of his draft class.
Soulo: Rooted in Innovation
The dark horse of the group would come in the form of a talented prospect. Though silent, Soulo knows how to touch your soul with his gifted ear for powerful samples and eclectic style of production production. But believe it or not the prodigal son of a creative’s first passion was drawing. He developed his knack for beatmaking on accident after a family trip to Jamaica brought him a new passion. Paired with his cosmic art style and deep roots in music, it seemed like the stars aligned perfectly for Soulo to begin his own musical journey.
Right off the bat, his keen ear began to develop as his style was locked in on the intricacies of a beat rather than the aspects that lurk among the surface. With reference to artists such as El-P, Alchemist, Madlib and a plethora of other producers, Soulo began to stitch together his mad scientist-like approach to each track, which would mirror the level of meticulousness of said producers. Aside from his eccentric style and sound, what separates the diligent beatmaker from the rest of the HOUSE camp is his business model. His unique pair of EPs, Lemonade Slushie & Some Beats, A Drawing, and A Prayer, are only available for listen or purchase via Bandcamp.
Making the move to a direct consumer base displays an unfathomable confidence that reflects his daring approach to the craft; this is a creator with all characteristics that define a successful artist. Pair that with a perfectionist mindset and an unmatchable work ethic and this young man will rise to the top of hip-hop’s food chain in no time.
Mai’seo: Re-Mixed and Matched
More often than not, artist’s tend to stray away from showcasing their early stages of creative development as a means to construct a spotless catalog; however, this isn’t the case for House’s youngest member, who handles his art with no restriction in terms of what the future holds. South California’s youngest prodigy, Mai’seo, found his niche through mashups of various vocals amd instrumentals from other artists, more notably through influences such as Kanye West, Knxwledge & Erykah Badu. Aside from creating fresh blends of prewritten recipes, Mai’seo has also developed his own sound, resembling the lush nature of the neo-soul movement while clashing with modern-day 808s to provide some novelty.
The carefree nature of the music reflects the young buck’s attitude as he molds his own path; and what better group of individuals to hold close than determined creatives headed towards the same goal. For being the youngest member, SoCal’s new up-and-comer is in the same headspace as his contemporaries, radiating a natural maturity that could only stem from a supportive structure. Though the young gun doesn’t boast a complete catalog, his handful of loosies match the same level of quality as most of the recent output in hip-hop, paving the way for what could be an exceptional debut.
No plans for a solo effort are in motion, but the youthful producer will continue to release gems at his own pace, opting for what feels right to his intuitive abilities. Being the youngest in the pack comes with its pros and cons but if there’s one thing it ensures, its the ever-growing potential that continues to expand.
JAYJAY!: Musically Bipolar
It’s natural for artists to gradually evolve over the span of their careers, but what this young genius has managed to do in such a short span is a path that not too many could ever follow. The only House member residing across the pond, the youthful mastermind, JAYJAY!, has undergone through many transformations in his craft before going all in on boom bap hip-hop. Don’t be fooled by the sporadic background as the flourishing producer has pledged his dedication to the genre, taking on the grass roots approach of crate digging and sample chopping.
Before lo-fi beats struck his fancy, his musical resume was in another zone as the youngin was set on becoming an EDM producer. After discovering the magic behind J Dilla and his beats, JAYJAY! was motivated to pursue his interests in hip-hop. His dedication to the craft lead him right to a music club in his city, who benched his talents as he was in the midst of blossoming into the soundwaves. However, his time was not wasted as JAYJAY! used this idle state to hone his skills. Since then, he’s managed to release a string of projects that perfectly capture his progression as an artist; his 2022 record, Collection of Beats, is where the young gun finally put his best foot forward and released a proper debut, serving as a sample that helps define his sound to a tee.
From there, the developing artist plans to continue perfecting his craft and branch out to lyrical talents for a potential string of collaborations. Not many people would expect a fresh producer to have such an extensive background, but JAYJAY!’s dedication to his craft is further evidence that looks can be deceiving.
Evans: Ambiguously Adamant
The most recent member to etch their name in the House roster is a spunky stud from the Carolinas with no limitations to his artistry. Though his passion for music can be detected from his earliest days, Evans took his time to shape his own artistic path, going through different phases musically to form what would be his signature format. A sporadic style due to a troubling case of ADHD, Evans has managed to flip an aspect of his life that many assumed would hinder his output and embraces his imperfections to create whatever comes to mind. Pair that with the liberating effects of psychedelics and what you have is a colorful palette of sound, forming new interpretations upon each listen.
It took the spirited creator a year to narrow down what would be his formal introduction to the world, but his debut record, Faceless, would perfectly wrap up every loose notion of his identity into an immersive experience which captures the inner mechanisms of his mind. The different styles that Evans showcases is quite erratic, as you’d expect, but the frequent change is what makes his artistry as intriguing as it is. One can’t help but engage themselves in the unpredictable nature of the music as they attempt to predict what other sounds will emerge from the young producer’s mind.
It is still very early to comment on the developing career of Evans, but what we can vouch for is the high level of quality that listeners will receive with each offering. The animated beatmaker is even scheming on new ways to elevate his art and uplift those who endure the same deficiencies that he bears with on the daily. You can’t help but root for the guy when you first hear his exuberant instrumentals play.