"They’re the rap game’s best kept secret, but like most good things, they won’t be secret for long. Locals are starting to take Van Buren seriously. Kids at Brockton High bump Van Buren. A billboard with the “Bad For Press” artwork towers over the city. Luke Bar$ says that sometimes, when he’s walking past it, passersby see his face and make the connection. They might not yet ask for autographs or pull their phones out, but they stop and smile."

Back row, left to right: Home Invader, Lord Felix, Jiles, Andrew Regis, Saint Lyor, Ricky Felix. Front Row: Luke Bar$ and Kiron. (OJ Slaughter for WBUR)

Van Buren Records

Community is all about creating a feeling of togetherness that fosters a sense of belonging—elevating each other’s value and leaving a bigger impact than any one individual ever could. Van Buren Records is a community, but also so much more. Stemming from childhood friendships formed in Brockton, Massachusetts, Van Buren Records is an artist collective composed of rappers, producers, engineers, visual creatives, fashion designers, and more.

The last few years has solidified them as one of the strongest forces in Massachusetts, but their authenticity and intention has elevated the group to national visibility. Best of all, if you ask them, is that this is all going exactly as planned, with chess moves masked as music releases building momentum into their first group album , out now.