During the 1970’s, hip-hop music began underground in local areas. Today, music is more accessible because of the evolution of technology.
The streaming platform SoundCloud plays a big role in today’s society because it makes it easier to share your music with anyone in the world. Some of our favorite rappers, like Lil Uzi Vert, Chance the Rapper, Post Malone, Bryson Tiller, and Lil Yachty, all started off streaming their music. Tyrese Depina, a 17-year-old senior at City on a Hill Dudley Square, states, “SoundCloud is the reason everyone blows up now. Back then, you had to go spit a hot 16 bars in front of a rapper before his concert.”
In the past, it was difficult for artists to get their name out there because it was harder to spread the word quickly. The majority of people started selling CDs and cassette tapes in public to gain a reputation. Legends like Jay-Z, 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., Lil Wayne, and 50 Cent gave away their CDs at the start of their careers, for the public to either enjoy or end up throwing in the trash.
Artists had to hustle their CDs in the streets and still got hate for pressuring people to purchase their music. These artists took time out their lives to record a project and spread the word, only to be dismissed by the public.
Today, a new music genre teenagers are listening to is “ignorant rap.” This genre is all about how catchy a song is and how “lit” you can be when the song plays, without thought to how many times the hooks are repeated.
Dopeman, a local SoundCloud artist, states, “Mainstream businesses are seeking the new wave of hip-hop mostly through social media. They tend to gravitate all of their time to try to find the new things kids like us are listening to. But once they get a hold of it, they have the power to shut it down, which is the only part I hate.”
Mainstream businesses try to get new artists they find online to sign, but this leads to the artist not hustling as hard as they were before. The label gains control of what the artist should do and when. This takes away the artists’ hustle to grow on their own, which is how the whole hustle movement in hip-hop began.
Some argue mainstream hip-hop is dead because the lyrics have lost meaning. A perfect example is artists trending on SoundCloud charts like Lil Pump, XXXTenatcion and Famous Dex. These artists started the new wave into hip-hop culture that is becoming more popular. Their excessive style of rap keeps teens intrigued because of how catchy their songs are.
Not only are the lyrics catchy, but productions that artists use go amazing with their flows. In the past, it was difficult for artists to find producers that had similar tastes as them. Now with the power of the internet, it’s easier to hustle with producers and other artists from all over the world.
Juan Gonzalez, a 17-year-old senior at Boston Community Leadership Academy, states, “Before, music was more of the same beat with a little extra sound. Now, it’s a big difference with more beats, adlibs and more. This taste in music is what is now bringing many artists all over the world together.”