POWER RANKINGS: THE LEADING ARTISTS OF APRIL ’24

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Like outlets covering the NBA or NFLPower Rankings is a monthly opportunity to measure the momentum of artists within our scene. Artists are assessed against five key selection criteria; activity, impact, quality, metrics, and originality. From this, the list of Top 10 artists each month will be made public.

This is an internal, subjective measure by the AUD’$ editorial team intended to highlight recent success and significant achievements by artists in the AU. As we have done since day one, AUD’$ will continue to provide a platform and innovate new ways to generate discussion amongst our community and to share in the richness of artistic talent.

10. MIKO MAL

Since last appearing in the October 2023 Power Rankings, Miko Mal ushers in Autumn with his stylish new single ‘Season’. The Naarm/Melbourne rapper has been a scene favourite for the last few years through releases like ‘Ya Rab‘, ‘Erling Haaland‘, and most recently, ‘#ONLINE‘. This year, his favourite status turns global with his appearance on the Mixtape Madness Next Up? series and a fresh new music video via GRM Daily. Mal’s unique flow and drill beat selection have continually improved since his debut in 2021, and off the back of his biggest year yet, don’t be surprised if he makes his way up the Power Rankings in 2024.

9. TOKYO VENDETTA

Shaking up the scene with her first release, the Eora/Sydney newcomer solidifies her spot a year later on her debut project Menace II Society. Tokyo Vendetta maintains the NY influence in her delivery and mic presence while vehemently repping SYD on the 7-track solo effort. Interpolating rap sample royalty, Sister Nancy‘s ‘Bam Bam’, the rap queen lights the fire on the project’s opener ‘Spit Your Game’, and temperatures continue to rise with previous singles including ‘Do Sum’n’, ‘Times Up‘, and ‘Whoa’. If you’re still looking for more from Vendetta, she also linked up with B Wise on ‘YOU WILL BE FINE.’ from Trip‘s latest project WITH OR WITHOUT YOU.

8. MALI JO$E

The Boorloo/Perth-based Breezecatcher makes his long-awaited debut in the Power Rankings. Mali Jo$e cemented himself as one of Australia’s finest lyricists following his sequel EP and collaborations with Kobie Dee, SUPEREGO, and Mog.Y last year. While the obvious comparison to J. Cole can be made for his pensive penmanship and earnest love for the art, Mali’s feature run is most reminiscent of the Big 3 rapper. In the last few months alone, we’ve been gifted ‘Cascades (Remix)’ by Grievous Bodily Calm and Kuzich, ‘BURN’ by Dugong Jr, and visuals to a collab between the steeziest trio in Aus rap: VOLDY, Jaal and Mali.

7. MAINA DOE

R&B singer-songwriter Maina Doe arrives in the Power Rankings with her latest single ‘Lucid Dreams’. Since the Sydney-based artist’s 2022 release ‘Primal Design‘ marked her return and official signing to Valve Sounds, she’s slowly been building towards something special. From linking up with labelmates King Ivy and IJALE on ‘WYA‘, to ethereal neo-soul singles like ‘Let Her Be‘, 2024 needs a full-length project from her. Recently performed as part of the Sydney Opera House‘s Liminal series, Maina asks “How can you go up if you’ve never gone down?” on her elegant new track. In relentless rotation since release, ‘Lucid Dreams’ balances vanity and self-compassion in one of her most sonically impressive efforts.

6. ALLDAY

Although he’s based in the UK now, Allday‘s grip on Australia will never loosen. Before the earworm of his latest single ‘Access‘, Allday’s last appearance was on YNG Martyr‘s ‘As I Should‘. The melodic and melancholy collaboration made his lasting impact on the scene palpable when placed alongside someone he’s directly influenced. The beloved artist also recently dropped a freestyle over Jamie XX‘s ‘It’s So Good’, a light-hearted banger that doesn’t take itself too seriously. But Allday still seriously bodies the beat. With his fifth studio album The Necklace arriving on 2 August 2024, we might be on the brink of his best rap era.

5. JK-47

When you drop an album like Revision For Regrowth, you tend to stick around the Power Rankings for a while. From gorgeous instrumentation produced by Jay Orient to the laundry list of powerful features and verses, the sophomore album from JK-47 confirmed his spot as one of the most important voices in Australian music. Not only for his social commentary on Indigenous issues but also for his unwavering dedication to reflection and self-discovery. Every listen reveals a new favourite and right now it’s the album’s final moment ‘Zuriel’. As an ode to his son, the track finds JK ruminating on his journey from boyhood to fatherhood: “As a youngin I was dumb, only looking at the surface. Little did I know the lows I went through served a bigger purpose.”

4. SAMPA THE GREAT

Sampa The Great returns via Ezra Collective‘s new album Where I’m Meant To Be. Almost a year since her last release, she opened the UK band’s latest project on ‘Life Goes On’ with her inimitable energy and track presence. Gifted with the Joy Anonymous remix treatment, the result is an addictive club-rap anthem. While this isn’t the first international collaboration for Sampa, ‘Life Goes On’ showcases what Australian acts can do with that opportunity. Sampa is someone who has been thriving on the world stage and The Great couldn’t be a more deserving title for the Zambian-born artist.

3. GENESIS OWUSU

There are only a few names in the Power Rankings that seemingly never budge. Genesis Owusu is one of them. Artist, performer, activist, back-to-back ARIA winner, and so much more; the Canberra-raised musician is at the top of his game. Easily one of the best performers in the country, Owusu sets off overseas again in June for shows across Europe. With a workrate second to none, and a truly unique approach to his artistry, the STRUGGLER has been the longest-standing champion in the Power Rankings for good reason.

2. KERSER

If Power Rankings existed during the 2010s, best believe Kerser would’ve dominated. The gutter rap king delivered his tenth and final album A Gift & A Kers in 2023, culminating the last decade of his career as one of the scene’s most influential artists. Kerser’s first appearance in the new year arrives via ‘Savage’ from The Veronicas‘ new album Gothic Summer. A fun crossover between two of Australia’s biggest local stars, ‘Savage’ is emblematic of what the scene needs more of. Sure, it’s great to see two names from a similar style create something together but the possibilities become endless from more unconventional link-ups like this.

1. THE KID LAROI.

The Kid LAROI maintains the number 1 spot with his new documentary and single ‘Still Yours’. Australia’s biggest superstar has placed high in the Power Rankings from the start, and it’s crazy to think he’s still breaking ceilings. Amazon Prime exclusive documentary ‘Kids Are Growing Up’ is described as “an intimate story of Charlton ‘The Kid LAROI’ Howard”, capturing a behind-the-scenes journey of his rise since the release of ‘STAY’, from prodigal talent to an arena-filling powerhouse. Produced by Dopamine and Omer Fedi, the romantic track sees him wear his heart on his sleeve, indicative of the ballad era LAROI is currently operating in.

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