Meet AcentOh, the Dominican Rapper Making Jazz Rap Good Again

Née: AcentOh. Just AcentOh.
Raíces: Barahona, República Dominicana.
Sounds like: A caribeño take on the grooviness of De La Soul and the social justice spirit of The Fugees.
You should listen to AcentOh because… He’s one of the few Latinx rappers who can bring you sunshine in these grim days.

A SoundCloud account can say a lot about the evolution of an artist. Scroll through Dominican MC AcentOh’s profile and you’ll hear him messing around with boom bap hip-hop, soulful house records, Mediopicky-produced moombahton, and even reggae beats as far back as five years ago. It’s a sign of versatility, evidence of a carefully cultivated flow and knack for lyricism that makes him the rapper he is today.

AcentOh is a master at juggling with words (he was a finalist in the Dominican edition of Red Bull’s Batalla de los Gallos freestyle competition this year), but it’s the content of those lyrics that will draw repeated listens. AcentOh’s raps are a soulful balm, a dose of sunshiny positivity packed with cheeky rhymes and social commentary.

One of his tightest visual and musical compositions dropped earlier this year with “Guagua,” an old school throwback track infused with a brilliant mutant merengue breakdown. Recently, AcentOh was introduced to the roster of Dominican imprint Stereoptico with two brand new loosies: “Se te olvida?” and “Soy un tipo,” produced by sample-loving beatsmith Maeloo and label head honcho Cohoba.

With its lilting horns and AcentOh’s fluid, laid-back flow, “Se te Olvida?” finds the Dominican rapper perfecting his brand of carefree jazz rap. It’s music for lighting up a blunt and kicking it at the crib on a sunny day, but also a self-love anthem that celebrates the promise of the future, a much-needed salve in these politically turbulent times. Maeloo’s slick production evokes the jazz innovation of the late J Dilla, separating AcentOh from the pack of real hip-hop heads overflowing the Internet these days.

Watch out for an upcoming joint AcentOh and Cohoba release, where the MC will adventure to the dark side with the shadowy trap Stereoptico is known for.