Once again in 2018, the RFT recognizes St. Louis' unparalleled musical talent by presenting the STL 77, our list of 77 acts who did big things in the last twelve months. From now through June 16, the kick-off date of our huge two-day music festival ShowcaseSTL, we'll be announcing two honorees per weekday on our music blog. For last year's STL 77 picks, go here; for the complete lineup for ShowcaseSTL, go here.
“I’m obligated to tell the truth,” spits Tef Poe at the start of the killer track “Blackballed” from the recent EP 24 Hours to Live
. That truth is first and foremost of and for his streets, those who live and die there and refuse to temper the rage about it all. If you don’t know those streets you can’t really understand Poe’s music: hard as cold black steel and as dense and mean and tight as trap music ever gets. In his self-fashioning, from his rhymes to his artwork, Poe gives no fucks about liberal hopes. Food stamps, gun control, Hillary Clinton, Obama, the black church: all lies to Poe and his crew. And a few weeks ago he laid out a message for Kanye and his MAGA hat: “What the fuck, my n*gga? You using your powers for wrong…We love you, come back home.” In his words and music, St. Louis’ scene has never known a more honest or insatiable rapper, and with his recent signing to Tommy Boy Records, the rest of the world will soon know too.
Recommended If You Like:
Kanye West (pre-Trump), Run the Jewels, Young Jeezy, Public Enemy