Rappers to Watch From Every State in 2017 – MT

Who: Poetic Intelligence


Age: 19 – Late Twenties

Location: Billings, Montana

Recent Projects: IVOVI [2015] (Collaborative, many individual)

Songs to Check Out:

I Been – Preston Wayne (Eugene Martin) (3:50) (Prod by Metro Boomin)

Back The Fuck Up – Stormy Knight (3:01)

Issues – Chez (3:29)

Lesson Learned – Byrd (3:55)


I thought Montana was going to be one of the hardest states to pick an artist for, but I thought it would be for lack of talent, not abundance of it. Enter: Poetic Intelligence. Not so much a rap group as much of a collection of Billings artists who work together occasionally. They all have their own individual careers and have their own success, but it was just too hard to pick one of them. So I figured I wouldn’t.


You’ll see a decent variety in sound of this collective, but not so different that they don’t work well together. You’ll see Preston Wayne and Chez sound similar to each other, but still work well together on a track. You’ll see Stormy Knight has a more reggae sound to him than these two (and a voice that in no way aligns with what you’d think looking at him), but ties together the artists of the group well. There are a good amount of artists in this collective, but they find ways to get together and work on albums together, as seen with IVOVI. You’ll also often catch them performing either together or just at the same shows, and they definitely seem to look out for each other.

As a whole you can see the pop influences on Montana similar to how they were for Idaho. These two states have done well at keeping up with the current trends in music and continuing them. There is a surprisingly big hip hop scene coming out of Billings, and it looks like the Poetic Fam collective is going to be at the forefront of it. While the most classic side of hip-hop may be ruling the more local and underground hip-hop scenes around Billings, these guys are going to be the ones to make moves. Many of them have already opened up for some acts a little bigger than themselves, CunningLynguists, MosDef, etc. Look for them to start vying for a bigger name in the Midwest, and to start tapping into the biggest markets of Seattle and Minneapolis in the upcoming year.


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