Hip-hop music has come a long way since its inception in the Bronx during the 1970s. Nowadays, it is a global phenomenon and has given rise to countless stars all over the world. Even the state of New Hampshire, which is not typically associated with hip-hop culture, has its fair share of talented artists and groups making waves in the music industry.
The history of hip-hop in New Hampshire
Early beginnings and influences
Although the hip-hop scene in New Hampshire is relatively young, it has deep roots in the state’s history. Hip-hop’s influence began to spread throughout the state in the early ’80s when groups like Run-DMC, Afrika Bambaataa, and Grandmaster Flash became hugely popular. New Hampshire’s youth rapidly adopted hip-hop culture, and it became an essential element of their lifestyle.
As hip-hop music continued to gain popularity, it began to evolve and take on new forms in New Hampshire. Local artists and groups began to emerge, bringing their unique style and sound to the scene. The state’s hip-hop culture began to grow and take on a life of its own.
The growth of the local hip-hop scene
As the popularity of hip-hop music continued to grow nationally, New Hampshire’s hip-hop scene began to flourish. In the late ’90s and early 2000s, groups like The Granite State and The Society became huge hits in the state. These groups helped lay the foundation for the current thriving hip-hop scene that exists in New Hampshire today.
The state’s hip-hop culture continued to evolve and expand, with new artists and groups emerging all the time. The scene became a hub for creativity and innovation, with artists pushing the boundaries of what hip-hop could be.
Notable moments and milestones
The New Hampshire hip-hop scene reached a significant milestone in 2014 when the documentary “The Granite State of Mind” premiered. This documentary shone a light on the state’s hip-hop culture, showcasing the music and the artists that have made it possible. The movie has become a beloved part of New Hampshire’s hip-hop history and a testament to the efforts of its artists.
Since then, the hip-hop scene in New Hampshire has continued to thrive, with new artists emerging and pushing the boundaries of the genre. The state’s hip-hop culture has become an essential part of its identity, with artists and fans alike celebrating its unique style and sound.
As the hip-hop scene in New Hampshire continues to evolve and grow, it remains a vibrant and exciting part of the state’s cultural landscape. Its impact on the state’s history and culture is undeniable, and its influence will undoubtedly continue to be felt for years to come.
Prominent New Hampshire rappers
Biographies and career highlights
New Hampshire has several talented rappers that have made waves in the music industry. One of the most notable rappers from the state is Chris Webby. Webby was born and raised in Norwalk, Connecticut, but he spent many years living in the state, honing his skills and developing his signature style. Chris Webby started his music career in 2009, releasing his debut mixtape, “The White Noise LP.” The mixtape was a huge success, garnering millions of views on YouTube and helping to launch Webby’s career. Since then, he has released several more mixtapes and albums, including “Chemically Imbalanced” and “Wednesday.”
Jared Evan is another rapper from New Hampshire who has gained a following in the industry. Evan was born and raised in New Jersey but moved to New Hampshire to attend college. While in college, he began to pursue his music career, releasing his debut album, “Fourth Chapter,” in 2012. The album was a critical success, earning Evan praise for his unique blend of hip-hop, rock, and pop. He has since released several more albums and collaborated with artists like Pharrell Williams and Joey Bada$$.
Token is a young rapper from Salem, New Hampshire, who has gained a following for his fast-paced rhymes and technical rap skills. He gained national attention in 2015 when he released a video of himself freestyling on Sway in the Morning. The video went viral, and Token’s career took off. Since then, he has released several mixtapes and collaborated with artists like Tech N9ne and Mark Battles.
Snax The Rabbit is a rapper from Manchester, New Hampshire, who brings a unique perspective to the genre with his playful and often introspective lyrics. He started his music career in 2014, releasing his debut album, “The Snaxtape,” which was a critical success. Since then, he has released several more albums and collaborated with artists like Ceschi and Sadistik.
Musical styles and influences
Despite New Hampshire’s small size, its hip-hop scene is incredibly diverse. Each artist adds their own flair to the genre, creating a unique sound that is both captivating and original. Chris Webby and Token are both known for their fast-paced rhymes and technical rap skills. Jared Evan incorporates elements of rock, pop, and even jazz into his music, while Snax The Rabbit brings a unique perspective to the genre with his playful and often introspective lyrics.
Chris Webby has cited Eminem and Nas as some of his biggest influences, while Jared Evan has mentioned artists like Stevie Wonder and John Mayer as inspirations. Token has mentioned artists like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole as influences, and Snax The Rabbit has cited MF DOOM and Aesop Rock as inspirations.
Collaborations and partnerships
New Hampshire’s hip-hop artists have collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry. Chris Webby, for example, has worked with artists like Method Man, Redman, and Talib Kweli. He has also collaborated with fellow New Hampshire rapper, ANoyd, on several tracks. Jared Evan has collaborated with artists like Pharrell Williams, Joey Bada$$, and Statik Selektah. Token has collaborated with artists like Tech N9ne, Mark Battles, and Dizzy Wright. Snax The Rabbit has collaborated with artists like Ceschi and Sadistik, as well as fellow New Hampshire rapper, The Palmer Squares.
These collaborations not only help promote New Hampshire’s hip-hop scene but also give artists the chance to work with and learn from some of the best minds in the industry. They also help to showcase the diversity of the state’s hip-hop scene and the unique talents of each artist.
Emerging talent in the New Hampshire hip-hop scene
Up-and-coming rappers to watch
New Hampshire’s hip-hop scene is home to some of the most promising up-and-coming artists in the industry. SmoothJazz, Juxx, and KEPTNNN are just a few of the names that are making waves and gaining recognition for their unique styles and captivating performances. These artists have the potential to become major players in the music industry, not just in New Hampshire but across the country.
SmoothJazz is known for his smooth flow and introspective lyrics that touch on themes of love, loss, and self-discovery. His debut album, “Late Nights,” has been praised for its authenticity and vulnerability, and has helped him build a dedicated fanbase in New Hampshire and beyond.
Juxx, on the other hand, is known for his high-energy performances and aggressive delivery. His music is heavily influenced by his experiences growing up in the inner city, and he uses his platform to shed light on issues like police brutality and systemic racism.
KEPTNNN’s music is a fusion of trap and boom-bap, with hard-hitting beats and clever wordplay. He’s been making a name for himself with his consistent output of music and collaborations with other New Hampshire artists.
The role of social media and streaming platforms
Social media and streaming platforms have revolutionized the way that music is promoted and consumed, and New Hampshire’s hip-hop artists are no exception. Many of the state’s artists have built massive followings on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, where they share new music, merch, and behind-the-scenes looks into their lives.
YouTube and Spotify have also been game-changers for New Hampshire’s hip-hop scene, allowing artists to reach a broader audience outside of the state and the East Coast. Through these platforms, artists like SmoothJazz, Juxx, and KEPTNNN have been able to connect with fans from all over the world and build their careers on a global scale.
Local hip-hop events and showcases
New Hampshire’s hip-hop scene is thriving, and the state’s artists often perform at local music venues, festivals, and showcases. These events provide a platform not only for established artists but also for emerging ones looking to make a name for themselves.
One of the most popular hip-hop events in New Hampshire is the Granite State Hip-Hop Festival, which brings together artists, producers, and fans from all over the state for a weekend of performances, workshops, and networking opportunities.
Other notable events include the NH Hip-Hop Awards, which recognize the state’s top artists and industry professionals, and the Manchester Hip-Hop Festival, which showcases some of the best talent from the city and surrounding areas.
These events not only provide a platform for New Hampshire’s hip-hop artists to showcase their talent but also foster a sense of community among fans and enthusiasts. They are a testament to the vibrant and diverse hip-hop culture that exists in the state, and a sign of even greater things to come.
Notable New Hampshire hip-hop groups
Group dynamics and unique styles
New Hampshire has several notable hip-hop groups that have helped shape the state’s hip-hop sound. The Granite State, which formed in 1995, is one such group. They are known for their conscious lyrics, political activism, and commitment to the community. The group’s members, MCs The Chosen One, Manifest, and Solution, all hail from different parts of the state, but came together to create a sound that is uniquely New Hampshire.
Their music often addresses social and political issues, such as poverty, racism, and police brutality. The group has also been involved in various community initiatives, including organizing benefit concerts for local charities and advocating for better access to healthcare and education in low-income areas.
Another notable group is The Society, which was formed in the early 2000s. The group’s members, MCs Mr. Jones, S.T.U., and DJ Rukiz, bring a diverse range of influences to their music, incorporating elements of funk, soul, and jazz into their sound. Their music is characterized by its emotional depth and social commentary, often exploring themes of love, loss, and personal struggle.
Despite their different styles, both The Granite State and The Society share a commitment to using hip-hop as a tool for social change and community empowerment.
Successful albums and singles
New Hampshire’s hip-hop groups have released successful albums and singles that have garnered critical acclaim both within the state and beyond. The Granite State’s “Rising From The Ashes” and “Necessary Measures” are both considered classics in the state’s hip-hop scene, with their socially conscious lyrics and innovative beats earning them a dedicated fanbase.
The Society has also released several critically acclaimed albums, including “Best Kept Secret” and “A Breath of Fresh Air.” These albums showcase the group’s unique sound and emotional depth, with tracks like “Broken Dreams” and “The Struggle” resonating with audiences across the country.
Both groups have also released successful singles, with The Granite State’s “New Hampshire Anthem” becoming a local favorite and The Society’s “Love and Life” receiving national airplay.
Live performances and tours
New Hampshire’s hip-hop groups have also become known for their incredible live performances. The Granite State and The Society, in particular, have performed at some of the biggest venues in the state and have taken their music on tours throughout New England.
These performances showcase the raw energy and passion that fuels New Hampshire’s hip-hop scene and are a testament to the dedication of its artists. The Granite State’s live shows are known for their high-energy performances and engaging stage presence, with the group often incorporating live instrumentation into their sets.
The Society’s live shows are equally captivating, with the group’s members bringing their unique personalities and styles to the stage. Their shows often feature live instrumentation as well, with DJ Rukiz showcasing his turntablism skills and Mr. Jones and S.T.U. delivering powerful performances.
Overall, New Hampshire’s hip-hop scene is a vibrant and diverse community that continues to grow and evolve. The Granite State and The Society are just two examples of the talented and dedicated artists who are shaping the state’s unique hip-hop sound.
The impact of New Hampshire hip-hop on the broader music scene
New Hampshire might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of hip-hop, but the state has had a significant impact on the broader music scene. From contributions to the East Coast hip-hop sound to collaborations with artists from other genres, New Hampshire’s hip-hop artists have made their mark on the industry.
Contributions to the East Coast hip-hop sound
New Hampshire’s hip-hop scene might be small, but its impact on the East Coast’s hip-hop sound cannot be understated. The state’s artists have contributed to the genre in meaningful ways, infusing their unique styles and perspectives into the larger sound. For example, rapper and producer Statik Selektah, who was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts but raised in New Hampshire, has worked with some of the biggest names in hip-hop, including Nas, Joey Bada$$, and 2 Chainz. His production style, which often incorporates samples from classic jazz and soul records, has become a hallmark of the East Coast sound.
Another notable New Hampshire hip-hop artist is Chris Webby, who has been making music since the mid-2000s. Webby’s style is heavily influenced by the East Coast sound, with boom-bap beats and intricate rhyme schemes. He has released several mixtapes and albums over the years, including 2014’s “Chemically Imbalanced,” which features collaborations with artists like Talib Kweli and B-Real of Cypress Hill.
Collaborations with artists from other genres
New Hampshire’s hip-hop artists have not only collaborated with other hip-hop artists but also with musicians from other genres. Jared Evan, a singer and rapper from New Hampshire, has worked with pop stars like Pharrell Williams and Polina. His music blends elements of hip-hop, R&B, and pop, showcasing his versatility as an artist.
Chris Webby has also worked with artists from other genres, including the metal band Bad Wolves. In 2019, Webby and Bad Wolves released a song called “Crying Game,” which features Webby rapping over a heavy metal instrumental. The collaboration was unexpected but well-received, demonstrating the power of blending different genres of music.
The future of New Hampshire hip-hop
The future is bright for New Hampshire’s hip-hop scene, with emerging artists and established ones continuing to push the boundaries of the genre. One such artist is Darius Heywood, a rapper and producer from Manchester, New Hampshire. Heywood’s music is heavily influenced by the boom-bap sound of the 90s, but he puts his own spin on it with introspective lyrics and experimental production.
Another emerging artist from New Hampshire is Emcee Twisted, who hails from Nashua. Twisted’s music is characterized by his energetic flow and clever wordplay, and he has been steadily building a following in the New England hip-hop scene.
As the music industry continues to evolve, hip-hop will undoubtedly play a critical role, and New Hampshire’s artists will be at the forefront of that evolution. Whether it’s through collaborations with artists from other genres or innovative new sounds, the state’s hip-hop scene will continue to make its mark on the broader music industry.