Dälek’s Unsung Hip-Hop Heroes Playlist

Since the late ‘90s, New Jersey trio Dälek has been pushing hip-hop into harsh, dissonant realms, and their latest album, Endangered Philosophies (Ipecac Recordings), honors their reputation for raw rhymes, bruising beats, and extreme sonics. On this playlist created specially for The Dowsers, the crew’s namesake MC salutes his fellow rap iconoclasts.

“This is a collection of songs and groups that move me. It is a playlist of underground musicians who each, in their own way, have pushed the culture of hip-hop forward. What strikes me is the sheer variety of styles, sounds, and experimentation here.

“I am lucky enough to have shared stages or studios with most of the musicians here. Some I only admire from afar. All of them leave me in awe of how powerful and beautiful music can be. These groups to one degree or another are, in my opinion, underappreciated.

“There are a few artists that unfortunately were not available on Spotify that should be on the list: Techno Animal, B L A C K I E, The Labteks, Company Flow, and I’m sure a few others that may have slipped my mind.

“Also, full disclosure: I added two of my own groups—Dälek and iconAclass—and a few tracks I produced for other artists, as I feel these all are a part of the story that this playlist paints.

“This list goes back from the mid-’90s to present day. It is not in any particular order, chronological or otherwise. It was just compiled to show the depth and scope of what hip-hop music is.”—MC Dälek