A few days ago, in an attempt to find hidden gems who proceed without the support they truly deserve, I finally joined the dark side and tweeted out every struggling artist’s three favorite words, “drop song links”. Those of us who’ve listened through the music in the comments section of similar tweets probably already have an idea of what would ensue during the next 24 hours: dozens of submissions, most of them not bad, and nothing special.

It took some digging, but Winchester, Kentucky rapper Brax is that hidden gem I was looking for. The first couple songs that pop up on his Soundcloud are decent, but don’t exactly stand out. Upon further inspection, I was surprised to find that he has impeccable beat selection and a well-rehearsed, laid-back flow for just relaxing or cruising around on a lazy summer day.

“Splintercell V2”, a quick one-and-a-half minute freestyle, is an example of when everything comes together perfectly for Brax. The chill beat bounces about in the background as his unconcerned raps slide over it smoothly for a head-nod-inducing track. These days, so many artists try to compensate for their lack of vocal skills by experimenting with different effects, but what we often forget is that all you need are the fundamentals; strong production, decent lyrics, solid delivery, and a keen sense of rhythm. Just look at Pusha T or Jay Z–these are artists who’ve lasted decades in the music industry without having to belt out weird noises filtered through autotune and distortion FX in ⅝ time.

That’s not to say that boundary-pushing work doesn’t have its place. At the end of the day, the most important factor in creating music is to make it enjoyable for a wide audience. Brax may benefit from experimenting a little more with his artistry, but he already has a solid-enough foundation. Check out “Splintercell V2” below; this talent deserves more eyes on him.