With intentions to publish in January or February, it took a while for us to find five New Jersey-native or based artists that we felt comfortable with reporting on. In any event, we’re now back with a new 5 New Artists To Push list, and this time we’re highlighting a wide array of talent from or based in New Jersey. Check out our top five New Jersey based artists to push and support: Cakes Da Killa, ho99o9, MoRuf, Peter Hadar and SZA.
Cakes Da Killa
Jersey-born artist Cakes Da Killa is sure to make his first impression a lasting one. The Cunt Mafia-affiliated rapper utilizes a cocky but grimey, “you can’t tell me nothin’” flow to catch and pull in the ears of listeners. With typical east coast influences like Lil’ Kim, Cam’ron, and Remy Ma, it’s not hard to hear Cakes channel their energy while throwing his own flava on the track like only he can. Laced with vogue worthy beats, Cakes’ music is a balance between a platform being used to loudly express who he is with no fucks given and a platform to lyrically kill your favorite rapper with no fucks given, as well.
With sexually explicit lines dropping left and right, Cakes might just give you some new pointers on how to spice things up with your man. His most recent project, #IMF, is a 5-track EP released through the streetwear line Mishka NYC that follows the rapper’s struggles in finding love. Met with support for not filling out the stereotype of what a rapper is supposed to be, Cakes is proof that the traditional rapper has long been extinct. — Miz Kane
The New Jersey duo, Eaddy (Yetti999) and Jean (theOGM), from the band ho99o9 (pronounced ‘Horror’) can be described as a blend of Thrashcore Rap, Punk Pock, with a harrowing sound. Their energetic confrontational performances combined with their Rap-Thrashcore music with disturbing lyrics will guarantee a deliverance. ho99o9’s high-energy had a liking in the underground scene that has gotten a huge buzz out in Los Angeles, where they currently reside. Prior to that they performed around the East Coast. As much as you want to describe ho99o9, you really cannot categorize them into one because they’re an experimental band with no boundaries.
They are known for doing some outrageous shows that consist of crowd-surfing, spitting, wig-wearing, dick-showing, smashing mics against their forehead, and the list goes on. The release of the “Bone Collector” track and video showed a mixture of a dark-psychedelic ambiance. Their track “Da Blue Nigga From Hell Boy” from their 3-track project titled, Mutan Freax is an aggressive vocoder with a similarity of Death Grips. Either way, the entire project shifts from Horrorcore to Punk, which is why we cannot put this band in a box. ho99o9 has shared a stage with Crimekillz, Ninjasonik, Cerebral Ballzy, Japanther, Lil B, Trash Talk, and recently with Mykki Blanco at the Church of Fun in Los Angeles. At this moment, ho99o9 has raised the bar when it comes to these music genres. Evidently, you can never know what to expect from them. — Tania Espat
The Nigerian artist, MoRuf, self-motivates with his belief in impacting lives. He’s Irvington-bred and his mantra is LOE, Love Over Everything. Having released two albums and a mixtape, in which he collaborated with Iman Omari on his first release, Euphoria. When he released his second project on 1 / 11 / 11, Garden State of Mind: Ready To Live, he wanted to prove he could get a record deal. However, in the 2-year gap between Garden State of Mind: Ready To Live and Shades of Moo, his perspective changed.
Similar to the creative release date of Garden State of Mind: Ready To Live, Shades of Moo, was released on 11 / 12 / 13. He creatively transformed his sound to disseminate a more realistic, personal vibe on Shades of Moo. After the passing of his father, he gained more awareness, and made a conscious decision to remove himself from his comfort zone in order to expand as an artist. He decided to use the Shades of Moo album as an opportunity to express his life, in an audio diary form, to give his fans an autobiography.
Not only is he inspired by Anita Baker and Dilla, he also draws inspiration from one of Spike Lee’s movies, “Mo’ Better Blues.” A unique quality of MoRuf’s is his lack of interest in punchlines, and replaced passion for soulful music that impacts his listeners. Hence his creation of “So-Hop,” a genre that combines Soul and Hip-Hop music.
When he traveled to Africa in 2012, he realized the importance of life. He visited people who had rich spirits, despite not having materialistic items. — Sicarah Fields
If it’s true that 90% of all Pop songs are about bumping uglies then, Peter Hadar is winning. Born Winstead Jr. in Newark, New Jersey, Peter Hadar is an Alternative R&B singer-songwriter with a sultry appeal that will cause many bras to be thrown on stage. A sharp-eye for fashion, the simply dapper indie artist is now recognized for his distinct style of music. Currently residing in Harlem, Peter Hadar has performed all over the world with a growing fan base in Europe. On stage, he’s smooth and charming; the answer to curious lovers in search of new ways to keep it hot. His 2014 intoxicating EP, Take Off Victoria was ear-captivating with just enough cosmic delight. With influences from Frank Ocean, The Weeknd and Miguel, Peter Hadar will keep you entertained and your bed sheets stained. He may even be the Luther Vandross of today. — Natty Rocberry
SZA is the first and only female artist to sign to the TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment) record label. SZA whose birth name is Solana Rowe, derived her stage name from the supreme alphabet: S for Savior, Z for Zig Zag (a code for enlightenment), and A for Album. Although she didn’t come from popularity or even strive to join the music industry, SZA found success rather quickly. She was signed to TDE in less than a year after releasing her first EP, See.SZA.Run. After signing to TDE, she joined forces with fellow artists Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q and Ab-Soul. SZA gathers her personal style from several factors from her childhood, such as growing up as an Orthodox Muslim, and credits her character development to coming up in Maplewood, New Jersey.
Genuinely, she desires to grow as an artist and to give more of herself to her fans. She has the ability to provoke emotions in her listeners, from her vulnerable lyrics and hypersensitive personality. The former college student and bartender released 3 EPs, one was mentioned above and the others are called S, and Z and the young eclectic talent is currently working on dropping her debut album, A. In addition, the multi-talented artist is a cooking fanatic, former gymnast and continues to progress in life as she learns to play instruments, such as the bass. She draws inspiration from several artists including Wu Tang, Lauryn Hill and the late Louis Armstrong. She’s all about individuality and disregards the nag to dress sexy, believing pressure is what you make it. — Sicarah Fields