If you’ve been active on SoundCloud over the past few years, chances are at some point you have liked a song from the prolific supplier of underground music STRAPPED! which has faithfully been delivering music to the platform from the SoundCloud scene’s most popular artists to breaking lesser known talent often, giving them a platform full thousands of eager listeners. They recently unveiled their debut mixtape Stay Strapped, Vol. 1 which comprises a great deal of underground favorites as well as some relatively new names a chance to shine and effectively gives a great sampling of the scene, ranging from the glistening melodic atmosphere’s created by BIGBABYGUCCI, to the lyrically dense plugg stylings of Tony Shhnow who is most likely your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper right now, and even down the distorted ‘hyperpop’ side of things that has been surging both on SoundCloud and Tik-Tok for months and even introduces artists who are able to blend these aforementioned genre’s together in a collision of styles which has me very excited for the future of the genre. The project features a number of artists including BIGBABYGUCCI, Stunna Cold, Kcardie, Tony Shhnow, Texako, Destroy Lonely, 10kdunkin, K.Trill, BBKnight, BoofPaxkMooky, and Lil Xelly. One of my favorite cuts from the tape is Tony Shhnow’s track “Training Day” where Tony performs his distinct verbal gymnastic over the sanguine and glittery instrumental crafted by the production trio of Dylvinci, Nerdcoke, and CashCache who can be credited largely with the plugg resurgence in a production sense. Tony’s frequent collaborator and underground mainstay in his own right 10kdunkin also delivered a memorable r&b leaning tune titled “Keep Yo Eyes Open” where 10k punches in over the wavy beat with his signature nonchalant flow and mature streetwise lyrics. Texas artist Wasteey Monroe’s contribution “Doit” was particularly memorable as he races over the spooky and up-tempo instrumental where Monroe flexes his vocal abilities, cycling through flows at light speed while maintaining in complete control over the chaotic background. Las Vegas’ BBKnight’s “Keep Tryin'” is a slow-burning plugg track where Knight floats over the beat with his restrained melodic crooning that decorates the sparse instrumental. BoofPaxkMooky and DeadManJonny came together for a woozy ttack where Mooky glides over the track with his sleepwalking flow that has been helping him steadily gain a bigger and bigger fanbase with each release. Maryland’s Lil Xelly brings the tape to a close with probably my favorite song from Stay Strapped because of both Xelly’s hypnotic vocal delivery with the perfect dose of autotune and his honest and drugged out lyrics. I really hope that STRAPPED! continues to release mixtapes because they have had a very significant contribution to the current climate of underground music and it will definitely be fun to watch them continue to curate these collections of songs.