Artists You Should Be Listening To: 80 Reef

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 12.48.01 PMMost music lovers have that one artist who they’re aware of, but they get no love or acknowledgement, not even amongst other music lovers. Sometimes it can frustrate a listener, knowing this artist has the ability and talent to make an impact.

80 Reef is that artist for me.

80 Reef is a little known artist. And when I say little known, I’m not talking about performing at festivals, headlining venues in his city. I’m talking about a mixtape that’s only been downloaded hardly over 200 times. Despite his lack of an audience, he flashes an amazing amount of potential. His most recent feature, on Do or Die, highlights this.

80’s mixtape, Enemy at the Gates, is a work of art. While the production is just decent on each track, it allows 80’s lyrics to shine through. The standout songs on the 10 track tape include Reach For The Top and More-N-Less, a song where he laments on life in the ghetto and the pitfalls of success. “I ain’t complaining where I come from / I grew up up on that tough love / I heard a n***a with a cape played the top floor / but I ain’t never met a hero if there was one.”

He reminds me a lot of fast-rising Kendrick Lamar. While Kendrick may have more versatility, 80 has the same ability to pull a listener into his song, where the artist’s words can’t be ignored. Kendrick is set to release his sophomore album one week from now, To Pimp A Butterfly, and more than half a million copies will move in the first week. 80 prepares to drop his second mixtape soon, and it’ll reach only a few hundred ears.

If you’re a fan of hip-hop, or even a casual listener, I’d suggest giving the song below a listen. The song, Check It Out, has him fittingly asking, before he spits, to “check me out, check me out.” It’s the premier track of his small but growing catalogue.