Hip-hop people know that the underground is where the magic happens. The greatest music usually comes from the artists most casual fans haven’t quite heard about yet but who are pushing hard to get their message out into the world. Akiem Small is a young underground rapper, singer, and songwriter who is doing exactly that. He is already creating important work that is putting him on the path to becoming a new and vital voice for the hip-hop community. Influenced by major players like J.Cole, 2pac, Biggie Smalls, Wu-Tang, and Kendrick Lamar, Small exhibits the skills and dedication needed to take his place alongside them. Small grew up in Jamaica, the land of dancehall and reggae, but his influences made him determined to create hip-hop. Akiem moved from Jamaica to New York City in 2014 at age 17 after writing songs for a couple years. Now, at age 22, he has become a solo artist in his own right. His single “Problems” has received over 20,000 plays on Spotify. The track has claimed the Number One spot on the HitsYouLove.com Bomb Trap Music Chart and was also being airplay on BMSRadioChicago.com. He has been covered on a number of independent music blogs, online radio stations, and podcasts, as well. This is an impressive start for a new performer but Small is still the same strong, unpredictable, and inspiring person he has always been. He is the product of a rough Jamaican neighborhood and spent some time flirting with the streets, eventually finding his way forward through music. These days, Small knows how to enjoy life, using his craft to be a voice for hip-hop, continuing its movement with his community and fanbase, and living the life of an artist. He has come a long way in a short time and is driven to maintain his originality and to keep shooting for greatness. Judging by his recent success, Akiem Small is well on his way to the top. Hip-hop fans will soon be used to hearing his name.