This year the
RFT recognizes St. Louis' stellar music scene by presenting the STL 77, our list of 77 acts who did big things in the last twelve months. From now through June 17, the date of our huge annual music festival ShowcaseSTL, we'll be announcing two honorees per weekday on our music blog. For more information on STL 77, as well as the complete lineup for ShowcaseSTL, go here.
With the election of you-know-who, St. Louis’ most outspokenly activist hip-hop star isn’t about to start pulling punches. The cover of Black Julian
, his blistering 2017 collection, features Tef reading a copy of the now-defunct St. Louis Globe-Democrat
sporting the headline “President Shot Dead” above a picture of JFK. It’s a visual threat; the music makes that threat sonic. “Raised in the slums and every day I come back,” he spits on “Best Rapper Alive Like Weezy,” as the guitar-and-noise-scarred backing track sounds hell-bent on reinventing the trap style. Even on darker, low-throttled tracks like “Die High” and “Genocide,” Tef’s verbal skills cut damn close to the bone. “I pray that they don’t murder me,” he wails. “My enemies should just let it be.” Tef Poe knows that’s not likely; he also knows how to use music to fight back.
Recommended if you like:
Tupac Shakur, Lil Wayne, Rockwell Knuckles, Outkast