TOP 7 Talents Formed Ukrainian Hip-Hop
Over the past few years Ukrainian rap has become much more independent and sounds louder not only within Ukraine, but also abroad. We want to introduce you seven main artists who are now forming the Ukrainian rap scene.
Ukrainian rap singers who conquered the world with their identity
alyona alyona is a former kindergarten teacher in the town of Baryshivka, Kyiv region. In 2018 broke the Ukrainian rap with her debut single «Little Fishes». After that, Alyona Alyona didn't leave the covers and ratings of not only Ukrainian charts, but also international ones . This is probably the first time when so much foreign people and media spoke about the modern Ukrainian rap .
Following «Little Fishes», alyona alyona introduced several no less sensational tracks: «Heads», «Open» and «I’m leaving my home». Already in April 2019 she introduced her debut album «Pushka», which consists of 13 tracks. In this album alyona alyona raises social topics and tells her life stories: from moving from a parental house in Baryshivka to calls for changes in society. According to her, all the stories in the tracks are taken from real life.
Immediately after the release of the album she began active touring period in her career. rap artist went on a tour of the Ukrainian cities and soon debuted not only on the scene of the Ukrainian «Atlas Weekend» festival, but also at world festivals like German «Reperbahn» and Hungarian «Sziget».
In December 2019 The Guardian included the Ukrainian rap artist in its list of 50 new artists in 2020. They noting the style of its reading, topics of texts and the Ukrainian language. Then in 2020 Forbes magazine included alyona alyona to the list of 30 most promising Europeans under 30 years old, along with the soloist of the Years & Years group Olli Alexander, actor George MacKay, activist Greta Tunberg and model Cara Delevingne.
Now Alyona Alyona has four studio albums, one of them, «Galas» was released in 2021 with the support of the American label Def Jam. She did many collaborations with Ukrainian and foreign artists too. In 2020 along with her producer Ivan Klimenko she present her own ENKO label for promoting Ukrainian rap music.
alyona alyona, undoubtedly, an extremely talented representative of the Ukrainian rap. But, besides this, she can be called an excellent example of the coordinated work of her marketing team. They picked up her advantages and did everything so that not only Ukrainian audience keeps her on hearing.
That’s why we want to remind you of the importance of promoting your music. In ArtistPush we’re engaged in complex hip-hop promotion on music streaming: Apple Music, Spotify or Tidal. We’ll help you with the placement of your tracks in proven and active playlists of streaming services, thanks to which young artists can present themselves to the new audience. We can also prepare and place your profile in our hip-hop blog, thereby introducing you to a wider audience.
Alina Pash is the Ukrainian hip-hop singer from the Transcarpathian region. She was widely known after the release of the debut single and the clip «Bitanga». Here Pash immediately showed a specific direction of her work — a mixture of R&B and hip-hop with folk musical and visual elements.
In May 2019 the singer presented the first part of the debut album «Pintea: Gory», the emphasis in which was made on ethnic motifs. In June Alina released her continuation «Pintea: Misto», in which she combined electronic music with hip-hop. According to Pash herself, she devoted the first part of the release to her native Transcarpathia, while the second personifies her further life in the capital of Ukraine — Kyiv.
In April 2021, Pash introduced a new project — the Album «Rozmova». The release consisted of nine tracks with folklore motifs recorded by the singer during the expedition in the Hutsul region. In new songs she decided to unite all the musical styles in which she worked before: hip-hop, electronic music, Ukrainian folk motifs and lyrics. So far, the last major release of the singer is «НОРОВ». This is a mini-album of Alina Pash and the electronic musician Pahatam, which combines the singer’s folklore sound, synthesizer sound and R’N’B-motives.
OTOY is a musical project of the Ukrainian hip-hop artist Vyacheslav Drofa, who presented himself in the 2020. Vyacheslav was one of the musicians on the label of Alina Pash — Bitanga Blood, and later decided to continue his career independently. Now Vyacheslav can be boldly called one of the leading hip-hop music artists of the Ukrainian rap scene.
In his tracks OTOY rap only Ukrainian and English languages. The main feature of his tracks is the meaning he puts into the lyrics. In them he expresses his own civic and social position, reads on current situations in Ukraine and the world, most of his works are similar to certain manifestos of a specific period of his work.
OTOY debut EP CVIT was released in December 2020 — it's a compilation in which he reveals his essence and talks about the philosophy of his project. The artist's debut album was followed by several individual singles. And already in the summer of 2021 he presented a joint mini-album with the Ukrainian musician The Lazy Jesus. The artists dedicated four tracks to the theme of relationships in all their manifestations: from sensuality and tenderness, to aggression and abuse.
After the start of a full-scale war in Ukraine on February 24 OTOY, in parallel with musical activities, joined the «Azov» regiment. He also launched his own charity fund AGOV! — it supports the defenders of Mariupol and their families.
Another project of the rapper was born during the combat missions — an EP OKOLOFRONT with four tracks. Vyacheslav himself calls it a reflection of the last six months of his life, in which the war, attempts to return to creativity, aggression towards the enemy and admiration for everything Ukrainian were combined.
Not only in solo: Ukrainian hip hop groups that formed their unique style
Now the Ukrainian Kalush Orchestra group is one of the top hip-hop artists, thanks to its «Stefania» song and victory at Eurovision-2022. But few people know that Kalush Orchestra is the side project of the KALUSH rap-trio, whose history began three years ago.
KALUSH is one of the Ukrainian hip-hop groups. It consists of three guys from the city of Kalush, the Ivano-Frankivsk region. They appeared in 2019 as a protege of alyona alyona, who was already well-known at that time, and her team. Group consists of soloist and founder Oleg Psyuk (that guy in a pink panama), multi-instrumentalist Igor Didenchuk and probably the most memorable character of this story — MC in the costume of the carpet-man.
The debut single and the clip «Do not marinate» came out in October 2019 and immediately forced to talk a lot about himself. The peculiarity of debut work was quick and not always understandable rap-reading on the local West Ukrainian slang of the Kalush city. But many people appreciated it.
In almost two years since the release of the debut single the group released from a dozen singles. Only in February 2021 this guys presented their debut album «HOTIN» — a release named after the beloved area of Kalush. It consists of 14 songs, part of which were released even before the presentation of longplay. The soloist of the group Oleg Psyuk explained that the album is completely based on their real life — both rocking tracks and lyrical ballads.
Then in December 2021, the KALUSH group launched the same Kalush Orchestra side project. It focus on rap with characteristic folklore sounds and Ukrainian authentics. With the main release in the Kalush Orchestra career, thanks to Eurovision, the whole world is now familiar (it’s «Stefania» song).
The history of the unusual for the Ukrainian scene afro-Ukrainian trio FO SHO began in 2019. The group consists of three sisters: Betty, Siona and Miriam Yendale. The performers were born and raised in Ukraine in a family of emigrants from Ethiopia, who moved to city of Kharkiv in the 1980s.
The eldest Betty initially studied to be a dentist and in parallel tried to make music as a hobby. Her younger sisters were already more deeply engaged in creativity. Miriam studied the violin from the age of six and Siona played the piano from the age of five.
The girls broke into Ukrainian rap loudly in 2019 with their debut single and video XTRA. This video work revealed each of the girls for listeners, viewers and future fans. For example, Betty appears in the medical office because she works as a dentist, Miriam reads in the office because she works in the business field and the youngest, at that time schoolgirl, Siona plays the synthesizer in the middle of the classroom.
All the subsequent tracks of the girls, as well as the debut work, are imbued with a tough and most characteristic of hip-hop flow, consistent rapping and the most understandable lyrics.
2019 was the most eventful year of the rap singers. In the summer girls performed on stage of the Kyiv Atlas Weekend festival for the first time.
Local representatives in Ukraine music, who prefers to remain underground
STASIK is a musical project of Anastasia Shevchenko, a Ukrainian combatant through the war in the east of Ukraine (from 2014).
Her first single «Through hop», released in 2016, was an interpretation of a folk song. Everybody started talking about STASIK in April 2019, when she released a video for the song «Knife», which is all about avant-garde hip-hop.
STASIK cannot be attributed to typical singers in Ukraine music. Among the rest, the artist is distinguished by strong textual content on topics relevant to Ukraine and a little gloomy and even frightening, but at the same time very catchy clips.
In the same year, in 2019, she released a song that became her hallmark — «Lullaby to enemy». In this work STASIK refers to the occupiers who «came to die on a foreign territory».
STASIK’s discography isn’t as large yet as that of the other artists listed above, but, according to her words, she only speaks when she has something to say. Another expressive feature of STASIK is live performances, at each of which a sign language interpreter performs with her.
Dovhee Pes is a representative of a characteristic underground hip-hop, a member of the Ukrainian group «Price of Rhythm» and an organizer of series of hip-hop parties in Lviv DVIR. The guy is not as well known in wide circles as in the local party in Lviv. He started his musical career back in 2010 and remains one of the main representatives of the Lviv rap scene and an essential player within Ukraine.
He presented his debut EP «Dovhee Pes and Strange Johnny» together with another Ukrainian artist Strange Johnny in 2011. The rapper's first solo full-length album «#SOCIALALCOHOLIC» was released in 2018.
For more than 10 years as a rapper Dovhee Pes honed his skills both solo and as part of a group, performed at the Ukrainian «Bandershtat» and «Faine Misto» festivals, and his main releases usually became features with other local musicians. In addition, the rapper often acts as an MC at many local Ukrainian events, from rap battles to breaking championships.
The last full-length album of Dovhee Pes called «#olskul» was released in 2020 and became one of the most notable releases of that year in Ukrainian rap. Tracks from album became a certain docking of an old-school underground artist, who has been spinning in the industry for a long time, with the new-school sound of young performers. In the lyrics, Dovhee Pes repeatedly touched on the topic of his life path and thought about how to become successful in rap music.