SoundCloud’s SCENES spotlights the burgeoning Plugg Rap movement

Plugg rap has gone from Atlanta to a global sound thanks to its artists and the internet. Now SoundCloud, which has seen the subgenre bubbling on its platform and highlighted it in a playlist in 2021, is further supporting the growing movement in its award-winning music discovery series. SCENES.

Today (June 7), SoundCloud‘s SCENES delves into plugg rap and its key players in the latest episode titled SCENES: Plugg, who uploaded to SoundCloud’s YouTube channel. Derived primarily from the Dirty South 808 trap sound that exploded in the early 2000s, plugg rap is an increasingly popular subgenre of hip-hop. With spatial, ambient, and often airy melodies over thick basslines and southern-influenced drum patterns, plugg rap is on a path of its own, and its origins can be traced back to hugely talented producers like MexikoDro.

Atlanta producer MexikoDro and StoopidXool joined forces in 2013 to create BeatPluggz, a collective of artists and producers. Using super-producer Zaytoven’s signature trap sound as a blueprint for success, Dro and Xool have spent the past decade evolving and refining plugg rap into the burgeoning movement it is today. Their unique and atmospheric production gave emerging artists the space to flex and had a strong influence on the producers throughout the game.

SCENES: Plugg offers an insightful discussion of music, its creators and, of course, the creative community that surrounds it. MexikoDro, Nebu Kiniza, Yung Bans and newcomers BabySantana, Bktherula, Bear1Boss, Muddymya, Sojabrat and many more are taking part.

The episode opens with Dro explaining that The first time he realized his production style brought something new and unique to the rap game was while serving time in prison. His The real breakthrough moment was when “Gassed Up” by Nebu Kiniza, produced by MexikoDrowent platinum while Dro was locked up.

“See, when you’re locked up, bro, you don’t know what’s going on on the internet and all that different crap,” the Atlanta producer said. “These people are talking about plugg being this and that, woo and woo, so and so. I’m like, fuck, I’ve been locked up a little too long. About God. When [Nebu Kiniza’s] ‘Gassed Up’ went platinum, wasn’t I locked up when that shit went platinum? I was locked up when that shit went platinum.”

Of the, SCENES: Plugg includes early plugg rap notables like Nebu Kiniza, Yung Bans and Sushi Ceej. how SoundCloud has made the opportunity to break into the music industry much more accessible to up-and-coming artists, especially in the connect stage. Bans explains how the platform helped launch her career when her song, “Dresser,” began racking up over a million streams. “Damn, that song got a million views on SoundCloud,” Bans recalled. “Back then, this shit felt like niggas never thought about doing so many streams.

Producer Sushi Ceej also weighed in on how the marriage between plugg music and SoundCloud has had a huge impact on the careers of many. “It was really the start of SoundCloud getting huge,” Ceej shares. “Like, I could actually do a song, put this shit out and it would do numbers.”

Many of the episode’s key players credit rappers like playboy Cardi and UnoTheActivist as lead artists responsible for helping put MexicoDro’s original idea on the map. Producers who have adopted plugg’s the fundamental elements of their beats are reminiscent of hearing connect music for the first time through tracks like Carti’s “Broke Boi”.

Cashcache!, a popular producer who embraced the plugg style on SoundCloud, says, “The first plugg songs I ever heard had to be, you know, those old Mexikodro songs, Playboi Carti. You know, like “Broke Boi”. Stuff like that.”

Now that plugg’s melodic yet hard-hitting sound is becoming more popular, there’s no shortage of fiery tracks that define the subgenre and spotlight a new generation of dope artists. Prime examples of artists who have embraced plugg rap include many of hip-hop’s hottest artists, including Cochise, Iayze, and the 2017 alum. XXL Freshman MadeinTYO, all of whom have amassed millions of streams on SoundCloud.

Along with the launch of SCENES: PluggSoundCloud and Pandora have launched Plugg by SoundCloud, a new station highlighting popular artists from the plugg scene emerging on SoundCloud. Listen to Plugg by SoundCloud on Pandora here.

Watch SoundCloud SCENES: Plugg episode below.

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Victor L. Jones