Artist – CunningLynguists
Years Active – 2000-Present
Notable Track – Linguistics
“If you know you’re gonna die why step?
Show no mercy when bruising crews
You get hit with more bricks than New Jerus
Riddles confusing fools like Confucian rules
Cause most cats are most squared than Rubik’s Cubes”
Rap isn’t always about who you know, nor is it always a matter of the-more-you-give-the-more-you-get. Some artists come up with a great pedigree, plenty of experience and money, and still don’t make it.
CunningLynguists hail from Kentucky and through various incarnations have been working toward something like stardom for all of the 21st century. They’ve worked with other artists on this list and collaborated and toured with many more.
Still, like Kansas’ Mac Lethal, it’s never that easy. CunningLynguists fall into a vague middle ground in rap. Their sound is reminiscent of southern rap (indeed, some of the founding members were from Atlanta) but with an indie twist. This isn’t rap music being played to the back row of stadiums. It’s smaller, denser and gets better the more you listen to it.
Unfortunately, again like Lethal, they’ve yet to find a toehold in the national rap conversation. Perhaps a name change would do them good.