“Rolling with a stick, all extended clips, jackets, hollow tips, she gone lick the tip … Porsche all black, hit it from the back” 17 year old Hella Sketchy sings over Nick Mira and SIDEPCE production before the beat cuts.

You may know the California musician from his energetic, pop and trap inspired, “new wave” instrumentals. Sketchy has produced for major artists such as Tay-K and Cold hart, and has many other collaborations under his belt. He runs an online beat store, which, according to genius.com, has over 300 beats available for sale. You can find them here.

Hella Sketchy may come across as another drug-gun-girls-flex autotune rapper, but what drew me to him is his frequent and authentic use of religion in his music. Sketchy isn’t a Christian Rapper, but he is certainly a Christian rapper.

Quotable lyrics:

“Piped up with the whole gang on a Sunday // Pull up after Church and we’re gonna have a fun day”

– Saturday

“Never gonna stress (be)cause God’s got my back // I can’t lose hope, I ain’t going out sad”

– Stupid

A majority of the “new wave” of “Soundcloud Rappers” (terms I hate so much) have been inspired by, or have worked with, Hella Sketchy. It’s been almost 2 years since Hella Sketchy first gained traction with the Astari hosted visuals for Spent a Check. Spent a Check has since amassed 1.3 million views.

Hella Sketchy isn’t the best lyricist of all time (he never claimed that), but his songs are catchy, and despite his heavy use of autotune, he does it well (and if it sounds good, it’s good).

However, it’s a bit disappointing to not see him perform over his own beats more often. Stupid is produced by Nick Mira & SIDEPCE, Rare Gem is produced by Gin$eng, and his new single, Heart Emojis (my favorite Hella Sketchy song out now) is produced by Pilgrim. Sketchy hasn’t performed on his own production since Exes Mad, released on SoundCloud 8 months ago.

Hella Sketchy is only 17, and has already made a name for himself in the music industry. His single, Losing Myself, was recently featured on Spotify’s Tear Drop playlist. I’m excited to see where he goes from here.

Suggested Songs:

Want to read more of our Up Now series? Check out Up Now #1: Lil Xelly.