Some of today’s most influential artists became famous from their notable SoundCloud careers. SoundCloud grants creative minds the ability to publish and produce music that wouldn’t be published otherwise in today’s highly competitive industry. Being a free streaming service, SoundCloud allows popular opinion to dictate the popular sound. Popular streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music charge artists at least $10 per song, whereas SoundCloud allows users to publish 180 minutes (3 hours) of music for free. Financial concerns are only one of many rising artists’ worries; with a music industry that’s only getting more competitive, the public’s approval is many artists’ only shot at a successful music career. Without the numerous freedoms SoundCloud provides, we wouldn’t have many of today’s music moguls, such as Travis Scott, Migos, Doja Cat, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Uzi Vert. This week’s list is a mix of singles by smaller SoundCloud artists as well as a few songs by bigger artists who all got their starts on the streaming service.
1. “Splur Gang Ft. UNOTHEACTIVIST” By Playboi Carti
Two of SoundClouds biggest successes collaborated in 2015 to create the trap hit “Splur Gang.” Both artists became mainstream in 2017. “Splur Gang Ft. UNOTHEACTIVIST” remains a SoundCloud exclusive.
2. “Don’t Tell Nobody [Prod. Da Internz] (feat. Jeremih)” by Tink and Jeremih
Both Chicago natives, Tink and Jeremih produced this SoundCloud exclusive in 2014. The first time that “Don’t Tell Nobody” was recognized by the masses was around 2016 on the app Musical.ly. Although “Don’t Tell Nobody” became mainstream on Musical.ly and is currently trending on TikTok, Jeremih and Tink’s collaboration has been a Chicago staple since its May 2014 debut.
3. “Pink Shirt” by Chase Alex
Little information has been published to the public about Chase Alex. The Chicago native produced and released “Pink Shirt” in 2017.
4. “GUN HIM DOWN (PROD.AHLECKS)” by Tay-K
Houston rapper Tay-K blew up in 2017 with the release of his song “The Race”. Tay-K’s hit mixtape #SantanaWorld (+) was written, recorded, and produced while he was on the run avoiding arrest—hence the title for his most popular song, “The Race.” Now 21 years old, Tay-K is serving a life sentence. As of his birthday in 2021, the rapper claims that he may be able to appeal his sentence in upcoming years.
5. “RaRa” by Travis Scott ft. Lil Uzi Vert
Off of Scott’s first mixtape Owl Pharaoh, “RaRa” was the first of many collaborations between Lil Uzi Vert and Travis Scott. The rappers coincidentally both rose to fame in the mainstream media when they released hit collaborations with the iconic SoundCloud-based rap trio, Migos.
6. “Last Day Of Summer Camp” By IZZIHOT!
IZZIHOT! is a small, Chicago-based rapper. He began releasing music on SoundCloud in 2014. Not much else is known about IZZIHOT!
7. “Trust Issues Remix (Justin Bieber, Drake, & The Weeknd)” By Michael-Gray, Justin Bieber, Drake and The Weeknd
“Trust Issues Remix (Justin Bieber, Drake, & The Weeknd)” began as “Trust Issues” by Drake, released in 2011. Shortly after, The Weeknd released his version of “Trust Issues Remix” as one of his first singles. Bieber remixed The Weeknd’s remix in 2012. The twice-remixed remix is still only found on YouTube and SoundCloud.
8. “Origin” by Slump6s
Slump6s began his SoundCloud career in 2018. Although the SoundCloud rapper is quickly gaining popularity, he remains fairly anonymous with little information about his personal life released to the media or to his social media pages.
9. “Bow Down Feat. Deniro Farrar (Chopped Not Slopped)” By Denzel Curry
Denzel Curry released his first mixtape King Remembered Underground Tape 1991-1995 and shortly after joined the rap group Raider Clan in 2012. After the group disbanded in 2013, Curry rekindled his solo career on SoundCloud with his mixtape King Of The Mischievous South. One of Curry’s best known collaborations is his Freshman XXL 2018 freestyle with Lil Yachty, Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage, and Kodak Black.
10. “2F Big Bootie Mix, Volume 17” By Two Friends
One of SoundCloud’s best known hits has to be Two Friends’ Big Bootie Mix series. Each hour-plus compilation is a perfect blend of pop hits from the early 2000s up until 2021. Perfect for any party or workout session, Two Friends’ Big Bootie Mixes will have you covered whenever you need a good pump-up beat.
11. “04 Drugs You Should Try It” By Travis Scott
Travis Scott is possibly SoundCloud’s biggest success story. His mixtape Days Before Rodeo was the launch to his iconic career as one of the world’s best known rappers. Days Before Rodeo still remains a SoundCloud exclusive.
12. “I Live In LA (feat KT)” By Famous Dex
Famous Dex is best known for his two 2018 hits “JAPAN” and “PICK IT UP (feat. A$AP ROCKY).” The Chicago-based rapper has taken a hiatus from making music after he was convicted for a domestic violence charge. Dex has yet to release new music upon his 2021 release.
13. “PINK CAPSULE / MPC” By Doja Cat
Doja Cat is SoundCloud’s most recent success story. Beginning her music career over nine years ago, Doja Cat has over 100 tracks on her SoundCloud. Doja Cat just got her launch in the mainstream music industry in 2018 when she released her controversial track “Mooo!” Doja Cat is a multifaceted artist who first became interested in the industry through playing the piano as a child.