Florida Rapper Cochise Is Finally Getting His Flowers
Across all upcoming music scenes, hip-hop is without a doubt the most difficult realm to gain traction in. Though immensely popular, the genre's sheer magnitude of new artists has led to a major cultural oversaturation - and though that has its pros and cons, it makes finding new artists a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. Luckily, Florida rapper Cochise is finally getting the following he deserves, and 2021 is shaping up to be his year. After years of singles - including the megahit "Hatchback" in 2019, Cochise released his debut commercial album Benbow Crescent to critical acclaim last month, and he is showing no signs of slowing down.
Describing Cochise's lane in hip-hop is difficult because although his music may draw minor parallels to his peers, there isn't really another artist doing what he's doing. Comparisons to industry powerhouses like Playboy Carti and Lil Uzi Vert are just as common as comparisons to 645AR or 454, but despite this, Cochise stands alone.
His music blends together elements of hip-hop, psych-rap, dancehall, and trap into one simultaneously dreamy and high-octane synthesis. His most recent single, "Tell Em" with fellow Soundcloud rapper $NOT (who began to gain traction around the same time as Cochise) is a testament to this, as the two effortlessly flow over a mix that is just as energetic as it is ambient.
Though unique, Cochise's music seems to hit a chord with the majority of people who come across it. Around the time that "Hatchback" had become a trend on TikTok (yes, with its own dance and everything), a friend of mine noted that Cochise's sound was like "if cute-rap grew up."
By taking elements of the hegemonic hip-hop sound and pushing them to places others wouldn't, Cochise proves that there is still endless potential for innovation in hip-hop. Above all, Cochise's music is a testament to the power of being yourself and making art that you believe in. Had he fallen into the type-beat hole that many Soundcloud rappers get stuck in, perhaps fans would have never been treated to Benbow Crescent years later.
With a horde of hungry fans pulled from hip-hop Twitter to Tik Tok, to say that Cochise's Benbow Crescent was long-awaited would be a severe understatement. With four of its tracks released as singles in the months leading up to its release, the success of Benbow Crescent was borderline guaranteed.
Sitting at 18 tracks long, the record is full of infectious and forward-thinking hip-hop bangers that are sure to be instant-adds to your rotation. The album opener “PROTEIN/CREATINE” features Cochise’s signature high-pitched vocal register racing over a fast-paced beat that evolves into a hypnotic and serene mix full of booming bass signals and glittering synths. Benbow Crescent is everything you would want from a talented upcoming hip-hop act in 2021: the mixes are fun as hell, the rapping is solid and unlike the majority of his peers, and every track is bursting with personality - from its anime references to the Regular Show clip that plays at the beginning of "Stock X".
Whether or not you were glued to your phone last December waiting for Whole Lotta Red, or if your hip-hop tastes tend to lean towards the genre's commercial acts, Benbow Crescent is a must-listen record. Cochise is easily one of the most promising and consistent rappers to come out of the Soundcloud scene in some time, and his music reflects both an immense amount of talent as well as an undeniably fun and unique personality. Cochise's writing is clever, his ear for production is unparalleled, and every track he makes is a strong showcase of everything the next generation of rappers has to offer.
Listen to Benbow Crescent below: