There’s certainly no shortage of music content on YouTube, as up-and-coming artists and veterans alike have been working hard to provide fans with quality music, visuals and insight on their personal lives and sounds.
With so many channels to choose from, it can be difficult to know what is worth watching and what isn’t. To save some time, we put together a list of some essential YouTube channels for the avid hip-hop listener. Whether if you’ve heard of them or not, these channels curate the culture in a unprecedented way, seeking to highlight new artists while boasting genuine conversation, insight and tons of free game.
Take a peek at OGM’s YouTube essentials for anyone striving to learn more about your favorite artists.
Highlighting the new wave’s most prominent artists and producers with OGM host Hakeem Rowe, we uncover each interviewee’s innermost workings as a creative, documenting their come-up, shining a light on their art while providing positive and enjoyable segments for fans of both underground and mainstream acts. OGM’s interview archive is filled with some of our generation’s brightest stars and biggest up-and-comers alike.
For the last few years, famed video director Cole Bennett has become one of the most influential nonmusical curators of hip-hop, creating an empire with his Lyrical Lemonade production company. Bringing with him a whole new generation of rappers with his over-the-top visuals, Cole was instrumental to the success of artists like Juice WRLD, Lil Skies, $NOT, SSGKobe, Lil Pump and countless more.
Overcast has been on a similar course to the aforementioned Lyrical Lemonade, with plenty of space to grow as their affiliations with younger, up-and-coming acts bring in more views. With more of a focus on hyperpop and indie/hip-hop fusions, the channel provided breakout hit visuals for Brakence, midwxst, glaive, koi and others.
DotComNirvan serves as the counterpart to Overcast, focusing more on rising hip-hop sensations with visuals from Yeat, iayze, Summrs, Matt Ox, TyFontaine and more. Nirvan has openly discussed the importance of platforms like YouTube and SoundCloud, and how he sees the divide shrinking between the underground and mainstream shrinking daily. The buzzing director also owns one of the first companies to support the new wave — especially when COVID restrictions subsided and artists (who had only seen success on the internet) were biting at the bit to perform, proven by their eccentric vlogs and artist interviews.
Renowned producer Kenny Beats has been bringing the heat with his show The Cave for years now — a series where some artists of all genres, big or small, come to his studio to perform freestyles over custom instrumentals. Garnering appearances from Freddie Gibbs, Lil Yachty, Benny the Butcher, Denzel Curry, Maxo Kream and many more, each episode shows the inner workings of Kenny’s recording process with comedic editing and unpredictable results.
OTHERtone is a tad broader than the other channels on this list, but provides just as quality of content that its counterparts do. Pharrell, Scott Vener and Fam-Lay bring their unique perspectives to conversations surrounding the hip-hop community, as they provide total insight with musicians, actors, businesspeople, comedians and more. Most recently, Kenny Beats shared his journey of becoming a well-respected producer and gave some essential tips for up-and-comers.
Specializing in host-less interviews, Montreality has always shown love to new artists, showcasing a good number of stars prior to their mainstream success. Apart from artist conversations, they host cyphers, freestyles and music videos, utilizing their reach to boost visibility for smaller artists.
Noisey is VICE’s music division, focusing mainly on going in-depth on artists you may not know much about. From full documentaries to short artist showcases, Noisey brings out authenticity from rappers and musicians by doing interesting challenges and asking unorthodox questions. Their lineup of guests ranges from the upper echelon of hip-hop to international up-and-comers, providing a wide variety of content.