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When you’re a famous artist who is successful for one particular skill, it’s easy to disregard or forget that you may have another talent that might be equally as (or more) impressive. Some artists have displayed other talents to various degrees — Flying Lotus can rap, Grimes can draw, RZA can direct movies, Kanye West can fashion design, and DMX and Rich Homie Quan can both deliver impressive renditions of Christmas carols — while others have remained relatively quiet about theirs. In this feature, we’ve decided to spotlight a few of these multi-skilled artists and excavate one of their lesser-realized musical talents that even their fans might not be aware of.
Hidden Talent: Singing
We all know Chief Keef “sings” with the assistance of a generous quantity of Auto-Tune, and a lot of people who are fans of his earlier “drill” rap style probably wish he did less of it. Well, this isn’t the type of singing we are referring to; in this video Sosa was full-on belting out R&B melodies without the assistance of any vocal-correction plugin. Although Lil Reese — who was filming the incident — lightheartedly teased Keef throughout his performance, he felt completely comfortable with himself and continued to hit all the right notes.
Hidden Talent: Battle rapping
Ed Sheeran has always displayed an affinity for hip-hop music and its culture, from covering Fetty Wap to hanging with underground rap emcees. Don’t mistake Ed as somebody who only writes acoustic ballads to woo the ladies, the chart-topper is capable of ripping apart anybody and their favorite rappers on the mic. Okay, that might be an exaggeration. He’s definitely not too shabby though.
Hidden Talent: Singing and playing the guitar
Like Chief Keef, Post Malone is known for his singing. Unlike the Chicago rapper, however, Malone does not seem to need the aid of any vocal-correction software, and most people would probably not doubt his real-life singing ability. Nonetheless, when the “White Iverson” mastermind revealed that he liked to listen to/perform all types of music, he really did mean it. When he covered this Bob Dylan classic, he worked it so well that we’re not sure whether we like the original or his rendition better.
SWAE LEE of RAE SREMMURD
Hidden Talent: Singing
Just when you thought Post Malone blew you away with his sweet country voice, Swae Lee might surprise you even more, especially if you think he’s only capable of making “turn up” music. In this video, he’s covering The Weeknd’s 2012 track “The Enemy,” and while some people may not not fans of Abel’s high-pitched/falsetto crooning, you really can’t hate on Swae for this one.
Hidden Talent: Playing the bass
Tupac is known to be a man of many talents. Whether it was delivering an eloquent speech, rapping or acting, the late hip-hop icon could do it all. In Gridlock’d, one of his posthumous movies, Pac was in a pre-credits scene where he was performing a song titled “Life Is a Traffic Jam” with his (fictional) music trio Eight Mile Road. Like always, his rapping was stellar, but what stole the limelight was him playing a repetitive, albeit complex, bass riff throughout. Yes, we are aware that he could’ve been play-syncing. However, word on the streets is that Tupac had played a lot of the bass lines in his own music, so this scene might just have been for real.
TYLER THE CREATOR
Hidden Talent: Playing the piano
If you’re a fan of Tyler, the Creator, you’d know that he’s very multitalented artist (you’d have likely watched this video too.) But for those fail to see beyond his teen (and young adult) angst and sporadic on-screen behaviour, the Odd Future honcho possesses a raw talent that most seasoned musicians can only dream of having. Despite the lack of formal training he has received, Tyler is able to communicate his artistic vision and flavor through some jazzy piano chords.