This is a collection of the best 20 projects from Cleveland artists released during the year 2015. It is apart of our #BestOfTheLand series. We also created a mixtape of the best singles, along with the best 20 videos of 2015.
General Admission serves as the second studio album by Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly. The album was as a follow-up to his debut project Lace Up. MGK took a different approach with this sophomore album and digs deep into his emotions and real life situations in order to tell a story. General Admission is currently available to be purchased just about anywhere online and in stores. When the album dropped it was #1 in the country. Kid Rock was an impressive feature on the project, along with Victoria Monet and Lzzy Hale.
Upcoming Cleveland artist Ripp Flamez has been making a lot of noise lately. His nine-track EP WaveForever has really made a huge impact in the Cleveland music scene, following the release of his previous tape Day One. This whole project truly embodies Ripp and the unique style he has created through his music. Hop on the wave and watch as this talented artist surfs his way into success. There have also been rumors that Ripp’s single “Wavez” and this project may have been Kanye‘s motivation to change his latest album title.
Having an incredible year in 2015, Ohio’s very own (Cincinnati) Cal Scruby managed to make his way to LA where he met up with a group called Riveting Entertainment. Working hard right off the bat they started to create the #HouseInTheHillsEP with a couple singles as well as some visuals to go along with it. Announcing features such as Sevyn Streeter, Trevor Jackson, and worldwide Hip-Hop star Chris Brown there was no question that his project was going to be a big step for Cal’s career. The #HouseInTheHillsEP released on September 4, 2015 via iTunes and has been shown continuous love since then.
An ever-changing artist whose sound evolves from album to album, Kid Cudi is one of the most diverse artists not only from Cleveland, but also in the entire music industry. Speedin’ Bullet To Heaven is the latest studio release from Cudder and it’s a lot different from his most recent projects Indicud and Satellite Flight: The Journey To Mother Moon. SBTH is a mixture of rock and punk narrated by Beavis and Butthead themselves. When Cudi originally announced this album he stated that it was in no way, shape, or form a “rap/ hip hop” album. As always Cudi puts a lot of emotion into this project, and unfortunately you can tell that he was going through a lot while creating it. But he is an artist that makes music for fans to relate to. There were definitely some stand-out tracks throughout the full-length album. His single “Confused” is probably the most popular track from the album. Despite some honestly disappointing first week sales, the project is pushing limits that artists these days confine themselves to. As far as I’ve seen, you either hate it or love it. You might want to consider the opinions from a few notable artists such as Erykah Badu and Andre 3000 who both loved it.
With 44108 being the last big release from King Chip, his fans had been waiting to hear another full length project from him. Originally announced for a December, 20 2012 release date, CleveLAFornia had fans holding their breath for some fresh music from the king. With a run time of 50 minutes, CleveLAfornia features verses from Hopsin, Project Pat, Fredo Santana, Asher Roth, and includes the 3rd installment of “Fat Raps.” This project details Chip’s adjustment from living in EC (East Cleveland) to his move out to the “left coast” (California). It might not be the classic Chip Tha Ripper sound we all know, but Chip has evolved as an artists and continues to put out quality music as he has been doing for years.
After having great success in 2014, Billard spent most of 2015 working on himself. However, he didn’t leave fans totally dry of content. Late in the year he dropped his EP Billard Season. Some of the tracks addressed beef with local rappers, and one of those included the video assisted “Jealous.” Other notable tracks on this project are “Waste” which features T-Wayne, “Amen” (which exclusively premiered on Complex) and a very personal track “Me”.
Where do we even start with this project? There is a large range of creativity from Tae Mile’s voice, lyrics, and to the fullness of the instrumentals. Tae can get very personal in his music and listeners can really see this in his songs “LandOfTheHeartless” and “SAID+DONE.” The unique sound Tae has is similar to that of Kendrick Lamar and Bone Thugs, but Tae has crafted this sound for years and he uses it to his full advantage to fully immerse the listener into his world. Other unique songs on this project include the fast moving track “Snakes&Trolls.” which features Ezzy, “Mike Lowrey”, and the first single from this project “Forfeit.” 2015 proved to be a successful year for Tae, but how can it not when you drop a project as classic as this one?
Lorine Chia’s project ONO.MATO.POEIC is a five-track EP with no features. She floats easily around fierce, bottom-heavy beats from Atlanta’s Slade Da Monsta. With her mellow flow on the track “Only One,” the bass is still crazy! Make sure to listen closely to her lyrics because she is a lyrical genius! Another personal favorite on this project is “Burn One,” which was featured on The Cosign 4.
Shawn K teamed up with producer Relta for the creation of his debut EP Blaq Rocc. The only other exception of production comes from the talented TrapMoneyBenny. Shawn was determined to make his introduction into the scene as an artist whose style cannot be matched by any other. His rapid voice, melodic singing, and rapid delivery all make up what you hear while listening through this 8 track project. Shawn recruited only two other artists for features on this EP, and they come from fellow Cleveland artist NicX and Atlanta-based 6LACK.
NicX is one of those artists who’s distinguishable by his voice and unique flow. Don’t Go Computer On Me really shows his diversification as an artists going from the intro track “Ain’t Good Enough” which is a dark laid-back piano tune to a hard hitting song like “Merk!” No two songs on this project sound the same which keeps this project refreshing from track to track. Seems like each song is a different personality of NicX.
With the serious success of his track “Kyrie Irving” Lil Cray needed something to keep his moment up. Turnt Like Reese was just that for him. One after another, each track hits harder than the last and shows just how hungry Cray is as a new artist to this industry. Some notable tracks are the “Intro” featuring DJ KY (doing what he does best: getting the people hype), “Be Real” featuring P The Artist, and of course that hit single “Kyrie Irving.”
Stalley is from Massillon, Ohio. However, it’s never a surprise to find him repping The Land. This MMG artist put out a 7 track project in 2015. Some features included PJK and Chris Turner who provided some guest verses. The only two producers who contributed to this project were Thelonious Martin and Black Diamond. To say the least, this is definitely a project worth checking out!
Grit in his voice, melodic/mesmerizing beats, and a common theme can describe this project in full. If it wasn’t obvious enough by the opening title SwampLand, Tezo is referring to the grittiness a city like Cleveland displays. Tezo touches on some of the shootings that happened in the city while also discussing some of his own personal issues on the song “Godspeed.” He isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. Tezo doesn’t give off the usual dark sound and vibes that his music so often does. Yes, hints of that sound are still apparent, but as a listener you can hear how Tezo has evolved as an artist and see how he is attempting to craft his personal sound.
Shuicide Holla has been known for years around Ohio as a straight up lyricist. His full-length 2015 project Achilles Tongue shows exactly why. This 18 track Peter Parker hosted mixtape includes features from some fellow Cleveland artist’s such as Fly Tye, Londyn Rae, Bei Sims, Rifah, and more.
Dave Love’s Goldmine Pt. 1 is a melodic seven track EP with a couple features. His trending voice is all over social media with the video of him and his son singing together. Dave’s hit song “Dreamer” is performed live on this project. Goldmine was released on iTunes and did very well, so we recommend giving it a listen yourself.
Pooh Gutta released his East St. Cleveough project on Livemixtapes.com this year and it did great numbers. The 16 track tape includes features from Billard, Sosa Trap, K Stylis, Preme Dibiasi, LA Drama, and more. Production is provided by JP Did This 1, Pyrexx, Billard, P The Artist, Sosa 808, as well as a few others. One of the most impressive songs “Party In The 6” includes contributions from Ray Jr. and Machine Gun Kelly. Pooh also saw a lot of success in his single “Mommy.”
Bankie iZ is one of those artists creating his own sound, and he’s been doing it for years. His project I’m Not Your Friend showcases that in every way. It’s a short offering of 6 songs. “Jack Frost” is the only track that has a feature. Production is handled by Givtyd, J. Hanna, Clockwork Muzik, and some others. Be sure to vibe out to this great project!
Joey Aich is somebody who sticks out from most of the artists nowadays. He brings the listener back to the golden age of hip-hop. If you’re looking for some trap music well you’ve happened to find the wrong mixtape. Aich Files is very Wu Tang/ Big L esc with it’s simplistic beats, to flawless flows, and amazing writing from Joey. This tape really shows Joey’s brilliance on each track and you can really see the heart & soul from such a young artist.
Paper Scorpion is a 7 track mixtape that Lo Life Lane released just about 2 months ago. The biggest song on this project is “Wait?!” which performed extremely well and is almost at 70,000 views on Soundcloud. Lo Life Lane shot a video for it as well. This project is a great listen all the way through and the artist keeps a consistent sound on every song.
Joey Sap worked extremely hard to provide this 13 track mixtape for his fans. Lorine Chia and Lo Life Lane are among the Cleveland artists he recruited to make contributions on the project. One of the most impressive features of artists these days is when the produce their own tracks, and Joey does that on a few of the songs. Some of the other producers on Intervention include 100 Band Xan, Corey Grand, Rio The Mechanic, and Nate Fox.