Those who are into the underground rap scene have already been buzzing about the music of Vikki Sota all year long, but this December, the conversation is shifting towards the future as his new EP Genesis prepares to drop. We already know Sota’s story and the passion he has for the craft; truthfully, anyone who listens to some of his music will get a pretty good clue about who he is and what he’s all about just within a couple of bars. He’s an experimental type but he doesn’t have the same interest in being an outcast that his more emo-inspired contemporaries seem to possess, and all things considered he’s becoming one of the harder personalities to ignore in his genre.
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Sota’s single “Swimming” had my attention just a few seconds into the track, but not because of any fancy synthetic elements. The beat here is the centerpiece, and my man isn’t afraid to share the spotlight with the rhythm. He seems to get a real rise out of the emotion he renders from something as simple as a bassline, and moreover, the balance that it can in turn contribute to the narrative of the lyrics. There aren’t many rappers currently in the mainstream or the underground in America or abroad that could have pulled this single together and made it work as he does, but to this end, no one has ever called Vikki Sota’s music a product of conventionality or predictable songwriting on any level.
“Run up my Bands” is another track this artist cut in 2021 to applause from across the indie media, and despite its arrogant titling, the song is a good example of disciplined, humble lyricism that doesn’t overreach beyond the context of the music. Simply put, we’ve got a simple bassline and a simple set of verses, leaving all of the fat that other rappers would be incorporating into this mix on the sidelines where it always belonged period. Genesis is still unreleased, but if it’s lacking the indulgent nonsense that the majority of the new hip-hop extended plays I’ve listened to in 2021 have been marred by, it will already be a contender for the top EP prize in my book. This player hates excess, and I appreciate his discriminating attitude in this music.
Albums aren’t the only career-making type of release out there; in my experience, hip-hop stories start with an EP, and Genesis has the potential to usher in the big breakthrough moment Vikki Sota has been waiting for all of his life. There’s already a lot of great music coming from hip-hop in every part of the market, from the poppiest of the mainstream content to the most extreme of the indie stuff, and I think what this rapper is contributing to the pot is as good as anything topping the charts at the moment. Sota’s got some mad game when he’s at the helm of the microphone, and I don’t imagine many will challenge him for the position after Genesis gets into steady rotation.