Plugg rap has moved from Atlanta to a global sound thanks to its artists and the internet. Now, SoundCloud, which saw the subgenre bubbling up on its platform and highlighted it in a playlist in 2021, is further supporting the growing movement in its award-winning music discovery series SCENES.

Today (June 7), SoundCloud's SCENES takes a deep dive into plugg rap and its key players in the latest episode titled SCENES: Plugg, which dropped on SoundCloud's YouTube channel. Derived primarily from the Dirty South's 808-heavy trap sound that exploded in the early 2000s, plugg rap is an increasingly popular subgenre of hip-hop. With spacey, ambient and often airy-sounding melodies over thick basslines and Southern-influenced drum patterns, plugg rap is in a lane of its own, and its origins can be traced back to wildly talented producers like MexikoDro.

Atlanta producer MexikoDro and StoopidXool joined forces in 2013 to create BeatPluggz, a collective of artists and producers. Using super-producer Zaytoven's iconic trap sound as their blueprint for success, Dro and Xool spent the past decade evolving and refining plugg rap into the fast-rising movement that it is today. Their unique, atmospheric production has given rising artists the space to flex over and had a heavy influence on producers throughout the game.

SCENES: Plugg offers an insightful discussion of the music, its creators and, of course, the community of creatives surrounding it all. MexikoDro, Nebu Kiniza, Yung Bans, and rising newcomers BabySantanaBktherula, Bear1Boss, Muddymya, Sojabrat and more take part.

The episode opens with Dro explaining that the first time that he came to the realization that his production style was bringing something new and unique to the rap game was when he was serving prison time. His true breakthrough moment was when Nebu Kiniza’s “Gassed Up,” which was produced by MexikoDro, went platinum during the time that Dro was locked up.

"See, when you locked up, bro, you don't know what the fuck's going on on no internet and all that different type of shit," the Atlanta producer says. "These folks talking ’bout plugg being this and that, woo and woo, such and such. I'm like, Damn, I've been locked up a little too damn long. On God. When [Nebu Kiniza's] 'Gassed Up' went platinum, wasn't I locked up when that shit went platinum? I was locked up when that shit went platinum."

From there, SCENES: Plugg includes early plugg rap notables like Nebu Kiniza, Yung Bans and Sushi Ceej detailing how SoundCloud made being able to break into the music industry much more accessible to up-and-coming artists, especially in the plugg scene. Bans explains how the platform helped to set off his career when his song, “Dresser,” started racking up over a million streams.
“Damn, that song got a million views on SoundCloud," Bans recalls. "Back then, that shit was like, niggas was never thinking about doing that many streams.  

Producer Sushi Ceej also weighed in on the fact that the marriage between plugg music and SoundCloud had a tremendous impact on the careers of many. “It was really the start of SoundCloud getting huge,” Ceej shares. “Like, I could actually make a song, put that shit out and it would do numbers."

Playboi Carti and UnoTheActivist as the primary artists responsible for helping to put MexikoDro’s brainchild on the map. Producers who have adopted plugg’s fundamental elements in their beats recall hearing plugg music for the first time through tracks like Carti's "Broke Boi."

Cashcache!, a popular producer who has embraced the plugg style on SoundCloud says, “The first plugg songs that I ever heard had to be, ya know, those old Mexikodro, Playboi Carti songs. You know, like 'Broke Boi.' Stuff like that." 

Now that plugg's melodic yet hard-hitting sound is becoming more popular, there's no shortage of fire tracks that define the subgenre and shine a light on a new crop of dope artists. Primary examples of artists who've embraced plugg rap include many of hip-hop's hottest artists including Cochise, Iayze and former 2017 XXL Freshman MadeinTYO, all of which have racked up millions of streams on SoundCloud.

Along with the launch of SCENES: Plugg, SoundCloud and Pandora debuted Plugg by SoundCloud, a new station highlighting the plugg scene's popular artists who are emerging on SoundCloud. Listen to Plugg by SoundCloud on Pandora here.

Watch SoundCloud's SCENES: Plugg episode below.

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