Underground tapes: The Best of 2021 (So far)

Ever since the start of the COVID lockdown early last year, there has been more energy and fairly more attention given to underground acts and the unadulterated art they put out.

This might sound like a broken record but the Lockdown brought out the best from the creative core of our acts in terms of creativity and self-talent mining.

As expected, the energy has been maintained even across the new year with acts such as Ruger, Ayra Starr, CKay, Dai Verse and a host of others being on the trending tabs in terms of pop culture and the mainstream community.

I’ll be briefly sharing a couple of the best Underground tapes 2021 has had to offer after its first quarter

Afrosus EP — Sustain

Putting up this tape first because it’s an absolute must-listen and the best I’ve heard this year. Oyo-bred Olamilekan Sustain released his debut tape in form of a 7-track EP.

As you’ll observe when you get to listen, Sustain brought something different to the game. He’s the closest we’ve had to the natural Afrobeats music amongst this new crop of acts. His originality in mixing proper African Roots sounds in his music coupled with his vocal abilities put this project a tad higher.


We were first put on to the amazing talent which is Ruger when D’Prince announced the signing of the new act to Jonzing World, a record label owned by the latter.

We properly got to hear the talent which propelled D’Prince to sign him in 2020. His debut studio EP, PANDEMIC, was widely acclaimed across the mainstream world, hitting #1 on Apple and acquiring significant amount of streams across other DSPs.

A Must-listen if you haven’t already listened.

Ayra Starr EP — Ayra Starr

The world was eager to listen to Ayra when Don Jazzy announced the 18-year old Starr as the latest addition to the mega Record Label, Mavin Records.

A surprise drop didn’t prevent Ayra from trending on the day her self-titled EP arrived and it also hit #1 and became the first female act to hit the Top this year.

There’s an urgent need and call for Female Afropop stars, Don Jazzy knew this, Ayra could as well be the answer as she is the complete package.

Twelve A.M. EP — Crayon

A lot of people would object to crayon’s mention as an emerging act but I still believe he still falls in this category because realistically, this is just his debut tape and he poses a music catalogue that is still definable as ’emerging’.

THIS EP IS GOOD. Crayon gained the most attention when he released “So Fine” around the end of 2019. ‘12 AM’ shows different sides to Crayon, delivers impeccable production, good AnR and an appealing line up with co-label star, Rema and British act, One Acen.

Do you have any other underground project that has wowed you this year?? Leave them in the comments.

There’s a host of fairly good releases from underground acts but these three are the foremost and ones you need to urgently check out.

Follow Album Talks on Twitter and Instagram for more updates on project drops from underground acts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s