Over the course of the last decade and a half or so, hip hop music and video games have become curiously aligned. One of the most interesting things about this development is that companies don’t always choose popular artists music to feature in their games, they often choose the music of smaller artists that aren’t as well known. A great recent example of this is Berkeley, California singer Kossisko.

Rise in popularity  

Kossisko, then known as 100s, had his music featured in Rockstar Games smash hit Grand Theft Auto V. The song that made 100s well known is “Life of A Mack”, which is featured on in-game radio station Radio Los Santos. The game released in 2013 and brought a lot of attention to 100s career, leading fans to check out his debut mixtape Ice Cold Perm which was released in 2012. Following Ice Cold Perm, 100s released his EP Ivry in 2014 which incorporated heavy disco and g-funk sounds.

At the start of 2015, the 100s name was retired and he began to perform and release new music under the name Kossisko. The name change may not have elevated his career yet, but the music he has put out has become even more polished and quality.      

Why you should give him a chance

As I’ve began listening to Kossisko’s music again lately, I realized that there’s really no one else like him today in the mixed genre music scene. His old music as 100s is a nod to 90s-era gangsta rap and g-funk among other influences, and it is amazing in its own way. The new music he makes as Kossisko is certainly different, but not in a bad way at all.

His latest album Low, released in November 2018, is a fusion of funk, disco, pop, hip hop, and many other genres. According to Kossisko himself from a November 2018 interview with Hypebeast, the new project is “me as a person, with all my influences and everything. Now, I’m at the point where I’m like, “this is exactly what the f*ck I wanted to do.’”. It is truly a project that you need to give a listen if you want to hear something you aren’t likely to hear from many other artists. Each song is so different from the others, and it’s sure to keep you interested across the 34 minute run-time.

Notable songs

As I mentioned above, most of Kossisko’s music can’t be labeled as a specific genre. To present him fairly, I’ll be including different sounding tracks so that you can get a feel for what he brings to the table as an artist. Here are some of Kossisko’s standout tracks that you should definitely check out.

“Across The Room” – Kossisko

This track was the first one that I personally heard that was released under the Kossisko name. It sounds like it’s straight out of the 80’s, and that makes it so much better. If you think this song shows you everything you’ll hear from Kossisko, you’re wrong.

“SUPERFICIAL” – Kossisko

Up next is “SUPERFICIAL” from the album Low. This is one of Kossisko’s highest energy bangers and it’s certainly an ear worm. It contains pop and hip hop elements, along with some crazy vocals and rapping. It hasn’t left my regular rotation since I discovered it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same happened to you.

“SIDEWAYS” – Kossisko

This song contains a bit of R&B, which we haven’t received much of from Kossisko thus far. It’s more of a slow track at the beginning and picks up the tempo in the middle. It also contains beautiful sonic elements reminiscent once again of classic 80’s tracks.

“CARDIO” – Kossisko

We’ve finally reached “CARDIO”, my personal favorite Kossisko track. What makes this one so special is that it’s pretty much a three-for-one song. You get R&B, rap, and electronic influences all in one song. It’s super catchy and I wish I had discovered it earlier so as to put others onto it. It is also Kossisko’s most popular track yet under that name, reaching 1 million views on YouTube.

What’s next?

After listening to all of 100s/Kossisko’s music again, I’m not sure what direction he will go in on his next release. But whatever direction he goes in, my biggest hope for him is that the general public wakes up on his music and realizes what is right in front of them. This man is truly talented and needs the love and appreciation that he deserves because his music is stellar. He makes music for everyone and there is something for all types of music fans to enjoy.   

K-UTE Radio/University of Utah does not own any of the images in this piece.

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