Three Unsigned Hip-Hop Artists You Need To Know

Hannah Gershowitz

There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of small independent artists that you’ve never heard of.


Tons that are just as talented, if not more talented than mainstream musicians, and work just as hard, if not harder. The music marketplace and social media are extremely oversaturated, unfortunately, you will only discover an extremely small percentage of these artists in your lifetime.


These artists just genuinely lack the resources that signed artists have available through their label. There are so many musicians that if given the resources, they could be just as successful as the mainstream musicians out there. I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite emerging artists in hip-hop to hopefully inspire you to dig more into independent music!

SNT JMS- Costa Mesa, CA


SNT JMS is a seasoned underground Hip-Hop artist in the LA area, featured on artist showcases like RAW STREAM performing his hit singles, “Ain’t You Special” and “Oh Lord“. SNT JMS provides groovy hip-hop beats, catchy lyricism, story telling, and show-like performances to his over 70,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and 8,000 IG followers. I guarantee these will be the next songs you’re singing and jamming to in the car. SNT JMS is catchy and irresistible!

For fans of: Anderson .Paak, BJ The Chicago Kid, Saba, new Hip-Hop with an old school vibe

Nate Leblanc- Boulder, CO / France


Nate Leblanc presents lo-fi hip-hop and genre blending beats overlaid with raspy accented vocals that aren’t quite rap or quite singing. Keeping up with the trending emo style, Nate lays out vulnerable lyricism connecting with his audience of over 3,500 fans on IG. The two songs that stuck out the most to me are, “STFU” and “Fast Lane“, that combined have almost 10k listens on Spotify. Nate has opened for a variety of DJ’s including a performance at The Fox Theater and had plans for a headline show there which was soon postponed due to covid.

For fans of: Mac Miller, Kid Cudi, lo-fi hip-hop radio on YouTube

Michael Charles- Houston, TX / Los Angeles, CA


Michael Charles is the real deal, and I don’t say that lightly. In a time where it seems anyone believes they can be a rapper, Michael Charles brings true hip-hop back with meaningful lyricism, classic hip-hop inspired beats, and major label quality production. With over 10k followers on IG and consistent engagement, Michael’s talent is validated. While you can shuffle his whole discography without wanting to skip a single song, the two that stuck out to me the most is, “4,3,2,1” and “Alibi“.

For fans of: Joey Bada$$, A$AP Rocky, JAY-Z, Cam’ron, old school hip-hop

I hope this inspires you to dig deeper for music and not just stick with what is popular. There are so many artists working so hard and putting out such high-quality music that don’t receive the credit they truly deserve. Show some support to independent artists, whether it is listening to their music, following them on social media, sharing or commenting on their posts, sending their music to a friend, or even buying merchandise. Any little thing helps and encourages them to keep creating!