2019 has been a year of progress, evolution, and the an ideal flaunting of these two concepts from artists both new and old within the underground. Artists have shown telling peaks and strides in diversity, not only from a physical standpoint, but within their musicality as well, as this year has proven that underground hip-hop can be as progressive and daring and any other genre in its liking.

Given the power that a statement like this holds, it must be noted that it would not ring nearly as true if not for the mass amount of exceptional projects released by these artists throughout the year as a whole. In a year that has established a new era through its constant fixation on moving forward, it is just as necessary to look back and reflect on it as we sprint towards the new decade.

Here are some of the UVC Staff’s top 5 projects of the year!

Mya – Staff Writer

5. Second Story Window: Lil Zubin & Nev Ver 

  • Hooking listeners at the first track alone, Second Story Window takes you through an emotional journey as they speak about love, loss, and pain. 

4. Ooze: David Shawty 

  • The 24 minute project will leave you on the edge of your seat in anticipation the entire listen through, his unique sound on this album has certainly earned him his spot on this list. 

3. Ollieworld: Butch Dawson

  • Packing a rollercoaster of not only intense vocals but also production into only 20 minutes, Dawson has proven why he is one to watch, especially due to his clear musical influences that are not usually seen in the rap world.

2. E: Ecco2k

  • Currently standing as a decently known album, even recognized by Vogue, E exhibits impressive artistry, not only from Ecco2k but also Yung Gud, who executively produced the project.

1. Poltergeist Slim: Ghostie

  • By showcasing his incredible talent through his production and vocal-style alike, Ghostie truly left his mark on the music scene this year with this project.

Andy Feliciano – Staff Writer

5. Magdalene: FKA Twigs 

  • With production that ranges from industrial to opera to trap, Magdalene showcases her knack for production, and her impressive vocal chops.

4. Let The Sun Talk: Mavi 

  • With lowkey, soulful beats, and emotional songwriting, Let The Sun Talk is a near-perfect debut from the Howard product.

3. Is He Real?: IDK

  • While failing to make the album’s concept clear, the music itself ranges from vulnerable to electrifying, and IDK sounds as comfortable as ever?

2. Bandana: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib 

  • With a variety of authoritative coke raps, dashes of vulnerability, and immaculate, soulful production, what’s not to love?

1. Injury Reserve: Injury Reserve 

  • Palatably experimental and encompassing a variety of styles, Injury Reserve, is arguably the group’s most well rounded project.

Ana Calderon – Staff Writer

5. Fuego Szn 2: YND Fuego 

  • This was a super melancholic yet telling release from the rising star. 

4. KickingTheBucket: BONES 

  • Another BONES project that is as dark and gloomy as any other in his catalog. 

3. Ugh, Those Feels Again: Snoh Aalegra

  • This prominent soul act brought us an album filled with buttery vocals and perfectly paired jazz instrumentals giving us a reminder of classic old school R&B.

2. IFeelLikeDirt: BONES

  • Without a single feature on this project, BONES delivers another essential release.

1. Magdalene: FKA Twigs 

  • A soulful 9-track album that is intriguing to no end due to Twigs’s outstanding vocals front to back.

Loro – Managing Editor

5. DOA: Ericdoa 

  • This project defined Ericdoa and broke him into his own this year.

4. Ooze: David Shawty 

  • Ending the year on a high note, David Shawty gifted us a project full of exhilarating moments that you don’t want to miss. 

3. Eighteen: Chach

  • Chach has been seriously blowing up this year, and with the release of his project in August, his stardom has only skyrocketed since.

2. I Don’t Know Where You Are: Mixed Matches

  • This project is filled with graceful sounds that make it very hard to listen to with being hypnotized by its beauty.

1. 1000 Gecs: 100 Gecs 

  • 100 Gecs solidified their place in the scene with this project. Featuring a wide array of genre mashups, this is an album that you don’t want to miss.

Natenaut – Staff Writer

5. Not Your Love: Zombslays

  • Zomb displayed incredible improvement and I’m happy to get to work with him. This album was incredible. (I’m not just saying that because he’s my boss) 

4. Anarchy: Lil Tracy 

  • One of the best projects by one of the kings of the scene. It was also nice to see a Neilaworld member on production.

3. DOA: Ericdoa

  • An excellent project from one of the funniest guys I got to interview and meet this year. 

2. Sebii: Visored Vitality

  • Easily my favorite artist I’ve seen perform this year. Sebii is an absolute icon.

1. 29 Frames Per Second: XXIX Club

  • A project from an awesome collective that I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

Nick Tahan – Staff Writer

5. SH1THEAD: Nascar Aloe

  • This project is aggressive, loud, vulgar, and unapologetic. As time goes on this project will undoubtedly influence the fledgling punk-rap hybrid scene artists like Nascar are helping to create. 

4. Swan Dive: Convolk

  • Convolk came through with a wide variety of sounds and styles on this project. 

3. Childhood Dreams: Yxngxr1

  • Yxngxr1 came through with a dreamlike record that feels like a classic coming of age movie, delivering feelings of heartbreak mixed with nostalgia. 

2. I Guess I’m Over It: Savage Ga$p 

  • This project cements this upincomer as one of the underground’s most versatile and unique acts.

1. Remedy: Skele

  • This album is beautiful, peaceful, and melodic — showcasing a much softer side of the emo-trap hybrid genre coming out of SoundCloud in 2019. It’s immensely personal and intimate yet still remains relatable to the listener. 

Stph – Contributor  

5. Ready For The World: Mixed Matches

  • Infused with his typical hypnotic dreamlike sound, mixed with lyrics that evoke tons of emotion, this project made 2019 bearable. 

4. Light Went Out: Zubin and Fantasy Camp

  • The thrilling duo returned together this year with a long awaited follow up collaboration after tons of praise from their debut project. 

3. A Space Odyssey: Sollitude

  • A project that was 9 months in the making, Sollitude blessed us this year with a one-of-a-kind album that delved into multiple sounds and genres all in one listen.

2. Send Help: BIGBABYGUCCI 

  • Gucci delivered one of the years most memorable projects with hits like “Dirty Fanta” and “Drop Top Lexus.”

1. Tragedy: Brennan Savage

  • Brennan explores different themes in this album filled with heart-wrenching lyrics that speak to the soul. 

Zomb Slays – Managing Editor

5. Charlie: Fats’e Yungburial

  • The rising star’s debut album release is easily one of the most versatile and well-rounded offerings of the year.

4. Runaway: Coop

  • The east coast native’s 8-track is nothing short of an amazing look at his past life endeavors and how he got to where he is today.

3. Koikoikoi: Lil Koi

  • Seattle’s very own rising teen came through with a mix of fast-paced pop sounds with catchy melodies that are sure to get stuck in heads of anyone and everyone who listens.

2. Tragedy: Brennan Savage

Brennan Savage yet again showed the scene why he is one of the best to fall in his lane of
sound. Tragedy is a refined album compared to his other works which makes it a top listen for
2019.

1. True Love True Pain: Drippin’ So Pretty

  • This project is an absolute must-listen for anyone looking for a fresh look into the mind of someone who can so vividly convey their musical and life experiences at the same time.