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It’s been a wild year for the music industry in the social media era. Artists Instagram accounts are creative canvases to announce album releases and tours. Beyonce, Drake and Chris Brown continue to shake up Instagram and your next favorite rapper is probably on a social media platform garnishing a strong following. The Shade Room and Bossip continue to spill the tea on problematic favorites and mindie artists.

1. Streaming controls the music industry now

Streaming is not supported in the royalty model (how an artist gets paid for their music)
The current industry model reflects only singles and album sales.

2. Your favorite artists are becoming younger in age

Virality is hard to achieve organically without paying for plays or follows. However, some of the hottest talent are under 21: from Lil Pump, NBA YoungBoy to Lil Yatchy Kodie Shane and the Sailing Team. Expect to see more hot talent being from generation Z.

3. Mumble rap is the best thing since sliced bread

As Future and Young Thug became more popular, mumble rap began to emerge as a style of rap. You know? the rap you can barely understand but has a fire beat. You will hear this same song on the radio, at a party and everywhere else until its played out. Some examples have been listed below:
Rich Homie Quan’s – “Type of Way”

Future – “Commas”

Lil Yatchy – “Minnesota”

Ski Mask The Slump God’s – “Catch Me Outside”

4. Soulection production styles are emerging in Hip-Hop and R&B
Soulection describes itself as a genre, community and collective making “The Sound of Tomorrow”. They use experimental sounds meshing your favorite 80’s-90’s hip-hop-R&B instrumental with electronica and house.

Here are some examples:
Johnny Yukon – “Snooze”

Goldlink- “Crew” ft. Brent Faiyaz & Shy Glizzy

Ta-Ku – “Down for You” ft. Alina Baraz

Artists seek to incorporate beats mirroring the collective to make their next hit.

5. Grime is solidifying itself in the US Hip-Hop scene
The UK’s prized possession of Grime, Rap music fused with a rigid electronic sound is blowing up in the US. Drake released a grime themed song featuring UK rapper Giggs.

Since then, Big Shaq’s “Man’s Not Hot” has gone viral as a gif and track.

6. Catchy singles are leading to super stardom
Some may argue that song lyrics don’t matter anymore and that its more about production styles. This is primarily on the rise for independent artists on Soundcloud who are becoming labels’ next set of talent. Some artists at the forefront of this movement include XXXtentacion, Lil’ Pump, NBA YoungBoy, Lil Uzi Vert and Rich Chigga.

7. Albums are dropping in more unconventional ways and are becoming longer in length

Since Beyonce released BEYONCE and Lemonade, she has inspired artists to examine album release tactics. Chris Brown has recently released Heartbreak on a Full Moon, a 45-song album this past week. Other artists have shifted to dropping unexpected EP’s. Album release executions are redefining and shaping how fans and listeners communicate with their favorite talent.

8. Streaming services are becoming a premium experience
According to Billboard, the US revenue is 17% over last year’s $4 Billion revenue while :Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal over the period ballooned to 30.4 million, up 50 percent from the 20.2 million in the first half of 2016.” However, prices to utilize these platforms (including SoundCloud Go) is becoming more expensive. But using a platform like Spotify is beneficial because they allow you to have access to pre-sale concert codes.

9. Smaller festivals are emerging more frequently in local communities
Local communities outside of major metropolitan cities are having musical showcases or festivals with your favorite talent. These experiences are quite expensive but offer a deal — for example: The Observatory OC is putting on Tropicalia Fest this weekend in Long Beach. Tickets range from $75-200, however much you pay grants you access to unlimited tacos until 4pm.

10. Attending festivals and concerts are becoming a luxury experience
Enjoying music in public is becoming unaffordable. Your favorite rapper or singer was cheap at one point: charging upwards of 5-20 dollars per ticket. Now, seeing your favorite artist like Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Gucci Mane is a car payment.

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Morayo Oduguwa

The wavy curator of this blog. I'm a 22-year-old college student pursuing a triple major in Advertising and African American Studies. I like to work out, cook, travel and explore the arts.
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