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The mid-2000’s were a golden age of rap in Cork. Innovative young producers and musicians were popping up all over the city, making Cork one of the best rap scenes in Ireland.
However, as the recession hit and the infrastructure supporting hip hop changed. As a result, Cork’s hip-hop scene began to fade.
Fortunately, there’s been a resurgence of rap in Cork aka the #CorkRapRenaissance. Dozens of talented young artists have emerged from the city and surrounding areas, changing the scope of Irish rap.
The second in our Hip-Hop Series, here is Babylon Radio’s list of the ‘Top 4 rappers in Cork’ you should check out!
The rapper formerly known as Young Phantom, Outsider Yp is taking Ireland’s rap scene by storm.
Co-founder of Outsiders Entertainment and member of the Word Up Collective (Dublin), Outsider Yp released his debut ‘Sadboy ULTRA’ in 2018. The album features afro-beats and R&B with subtle indie nuances, setting it apart from other rap music in the area.
What’s more, the conceptual hip-hop artist/rapper cites anime, manga, and comic books as a huge inspiration as well as artists Lupe Fiasco, Childish Gambino, and J. Cole.
The music is raw, unfiltered and artistic. Ranging from ‘mosh-pit inducing’ hype tunes to more atmospheric, surreal music emphasized by building texture and subtle melodic backing, Outsider Yp has undoubtedly set him self apart as one of our top 4 rappers from Cork.
‘Rapper, beatmaker, and multi-instrumentalist’ Spekulative Fiktion transports you to a hypnotic dreamscape composed of minimalist beats, atonal backing melodies, and devastatingly poetic lyrics.
Thus far, the artist has made a strong impression in both film and text. This includes ‘Flip the Script: European hip hop and the politics of post-coloniality’ (University of Chicago Press) as well as the documentary ‘The Truth about Irish Hip Hop.’
Spekulative Fiktion offers insight into the future and direction of Irish rap as well as it’s global standing as a sub-genre. Definitely a must listen.
One of the most powerful lyricists emerging in Irish rap, Gatch offers a raw personal/political narrative delivered with a certain swagger that keeps your attention.
Chiefly inspired by other Cork rap legends like Ophelia McCabe and Garry McCarthy (GMC), Gatch got his start at The Kabin Studio – a performance space for young people to express themselves through hip-hop.
In short: captivating lyrics, experimental instrumentation, and spoken-word sampling makes this prodigal rapper a must-see.
Trigger (Gary Thompson) broke onto the scene with his single ‘Let em know’ ranking ‘Video of the Day’ in 2013.
Additionally, he has since collaborated with a number of high profile artists including Outlawz, MC Eiht, and Kendrick Lamar.
Heavily influenced by American gangsta rap, Trigger manages to bring Irish musicality into the hip-hop sphere. His track ‘Tales from the North Side’ featuring Myles Gaffney offers a new narrative in Irish rap.
Synthesizing a 90’s flow with folk sampling, Trigger creates a unique listening experience you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Check it out below!
Want more Irish rap? Check out our top 4 rappers from Dublin here!