Punk is alive and well in urban music.

It’s taken roughly 40 years, but hip-hop finally sits upon the throne as the world’s most popular genre of music.

Still, even with urban culture’s popularity amongst the masses, there are a number of Black artists who draw their inspiration from the Punk Art world.

Defined by Wikipedia “Art Punk” is a category of punk artists who go beyond the genre’s rudimentary garage rock and are considered more sophisticated than their peers. [1] These groups generated punk’s aesthetic of being simple, offensive, and free-spirited, in contrast to the angry, working-class audience generated by pub rock.

Still confused on what all of this means? Peep a few examples below:

Lil Uzi Vert

Blonde dreads, face tattoos, lip piercings; Lil Uzi was born to be a rock star. Over the last few months, Uzi has been confused about whether he was quitting rap or returning. Shortly, he recently revealed a new hairstyle on social media, which is somewhat confirmation the punk rapper in hip hop isn’t going anywhere.

Photo: Grammy

Rico Nasty

Rico Nasty is as free as she wants to be. Spiked hair, blonde hair, rainbow hair, finger waves; no one ever knows exactly how this Maryland bred rapper will step out of the house next. Couple her look with the spunk to rap over production straight out of a Metallica concert, you’ll understand why Rico Nasty is a leader in rap’s Punk Art movement.

Photo: DJ Booth

Summer Walker

The Atlanta songstress is best known for her sultry single “Girls Need Love,” but a glimpse at her Instagram will show a grungy, tatted, guitar-toting diva, and we love it all the same.

Photo: RTT News


His music is so left field, it comes with its own subgenre. Call it Experimental, Alternative or Noise Rap, however you slice it, JPEG’s style and sound embody Punk Art, unlike any other artist in urban culture.

Photo: Manifesto 21

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