If you haven’t already heard, rap music is the new Rock ‘n’ Roll. Stage dives, mosh pits, and heavy metal personality are the new themes that have begun to take Hip Hop to a whole new level of energy . Stemming from underground rap culture, artists like Lil Uzi Vert and Travis Scott have already begun to bring this new wave to mainstream audiences and the response of the youth has started a shift in Hip Hop culture. But as any true music fan knows, nothing starts with the mainstream; especially in 2017, where the vast majority of todays trends are born on Twitter or Instagram. According to the internet, this punk rock-rap lifestyle crossover has been going on for the past few years and has a few unsung patrons scattered across the country keeping things authentic. One of these such artists is Washington, D.C.’s own The Khan.
Hailing from Uptown, The Khan has grown to become an inescapably influential member of the local D.C. underground music scene, the same scene that has delivered artists Yung Gleesh, Jay IDK, Goldlink, and Shy Glizzy. As a member of the ATOMOS collective, whose members include rapper-models yungthroatslayer, MAHI MONTANA and Redd, The Khan has been setting trends and shutting down venues throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area since he was 17 years old, and has created a title wave of punk inspired creative influence. Along with DC native rappers $pacemob, Nappy Nappa and WIFIGAWD, The Khan has created a new sound for city, one that follows in the innovative footsteps of Bad Brains and Chuck Brown. Now, at 20, The Khan has branched out and is taking his music across the country, jumping between New York City, Los Angeles, and his former stomping ground of 14th and Wild.
KHANNER is the heavy hitting, very rough, very raw, follow-up to his debut mixtape KHANQUER, which hit the internet last year. Released on his his birthday, KHANNER shows the creative growth that The Khan has experienced over the past year. With this project one can easily tell that The Khan has become truly comfortable with his sound and is ready to take his rockstar image to the next level.
Featuring production from Antisocial, Makkmillion, and Oogiemane, member of the up-and-coming Philly production collective Working on Dying, KHANNER is sonically unique in more ways than one. Inspired heavily by Jim Morrison and Waka Flocka Flame, The Khan tries to adequately balance the high energy of two genres that have more in common than most listeners today give credit. In true Gemini fashion, he captures the darkness and chaos of both trap and punk and delivers ten tracks that are impossible to listen to sitting still.
This project, along with others that have come out over the past year, show a shift in the culture with a new musical direction for Hip Hop leaning back toward its Rock ‘n’ Roll roots. This new ‘punk-rap’ sub-genre may be the sound of the future. Only time will tell if The Khan, and those like him, will continue to keep the mosh going.