Coming through the indie channels is no joke – just in trying to get someone to notice your first couple of tracks, it’s easy to spend the same amount of time that another artist would score a chart-topping single with the help of a mainstream bankroller. If you’ve got the kind of endurance it takes to survive in the underground, the music tends to sound more mature as a result; case in point, rising star rapper Vikki Sota. Sota’s sound is definitely on the alternative side, but it’s only through his disciplined rejection of the common model in both hip-hop and popular music in general that he’s able to have a style almost perfectly molded for the underground circuit he’s dominating so well at the moment.
Sota’s first two tracks, “Run up my Bands” and “Swimming,” have given us quite the introduction to who he is as an artist, but something tells me that they’re just a taste of what he can potentially offer us in a complete tracklist, where his artistry can fill into the setting and give us a more thorough bridge into his soul. He’s more than just an image of swagger and success as it would be portrayed in the music video for “Run up my Bands;” for all intents and purposes, his work doesn’t allow for us to perceive him as anything other than an evolving artist, which is more than I can say for a lot of the competition right now.
Listen to “Run Up My Bands” below
The lyrical substance of Vikki Sota’s work to date, as I assume it will be in his new EP Genesis, reflects a deeper sense of elegance than it does a desire to completely reject both scenes and the greater tree of influences that paved the way for his arrival, and that alone really sets him apart from the bulk of his peers in and out of the American underground market at the moment. He’s got such a delicate touch when he’s straddling a beat that it’s difficult to see why anyone coming up in the trap game wouldn’t consider him a credible threat, and when it’s put into action as well as it is in “Swimming,” it’s easy to see where he’s only going to get better from here.
There’s a lot more to the Vikki Sota story left to be told right now, and in his new extended play Genesis, I think he’s going to reveal a lot to us not only about who he is in the studio but who he wants to be on the stage as well. There’s a couple of rough edges that he seemingly celebrates when it comes right down to it, and although I’ve only listened to a little bit of his work so far, it’s only made me more curious to see what kind of content he’s going to shell out from the recording studio next. His ambitions are shaping the state of his career, and from where I sit, it’s his game to own right now.