Now & Then

Today we’re going to take a deep look into the very roots of Hip-Hop and ask ourselves, is Hip-Hop better today than it was back in the 90’s or the other way around?… There’s several factors you have to take into consideration when asking yourself this question. Sure, you’re always going to have the OG Hip-Hop heads saying that the 90’s boom-bap was where it was it.  Well of course, you guys grew up on that, I wouldn’t expect anything differently. Anyways, back to the factors.  I think one major factor would have to be modern day technology. Nowadays when you get into the studio, the engineer can basically do just about anything with your voice to make it sound a certain way. Whereas back in the late 80’s/early 90’s, artists weren’t using voice effects like Auto tune and all sorts of other pitch corrections. It was more straight forward and raw. So perhaps it took a bit more natural talent to sound good on a record back in the 90’s?

You also have to take a look at the difference in style between now and then. Back then, you’re talking Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Big L, N.W.A and a bunch of hard, street type rappers. Nowadays it’s Drake, Lil Yachty, Soulja Boy, and Two Chainz. Music is simply not the same anymore. It has evolved overtime. A new sound has been developed that was non-existent back then. I would say that Rap/Hip-Hop nowadays has a heavy “Pop” influence within it. You don’t strictly just have many artists that just rap nowadays, they’re singing or performing melodies on their songs as well.

That’s why I believe music is all about your opinion. Were there some great Hip-Hop artists from the 90’s? Absolutely. One could even say these artists had a major impact on not only the artists of today but in the foundation of Hip-Hop music as a whole. At the same time however (with the exemption of some artists), I would say there are a lot of very talented artists in today’s generation as well.

It’s a whole different era. Things change and develop over time. I personally don’t find myself listening to much 90’s rap unless Biggie Smalls “Juicy” comes on at a party and I’m feelin’ groovy. What I appreciate about today’s music is that artists are actually trying to stand out and be innovative. They are coming up with complete new sounds, flows and concepts that have never been done before. Does that make it better than 90’s music? Well, that’s up for interpretation. I think what you grew up listening to has a lot to do with it, along with what types of songs draw you in and you connect to the most. Music is forever evolving and that’s why it is the best art form out there. A new type of song the world can never expect always awaits us.


Social Media: The New Wave

Social media has become an everyday norm in today’s society.  This generation is GLUED to their phones.  Devices such as Apple’s iPhone just make it so easy to access all their applications.  With all the different forms of sites such as; Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and more, it seems as though opportunities for networking and direct communication have become so accessible.  The question lies… How can we utilize such apps/forms of media to get great, undiscovered music viral!?

I think it all begins with your marketing skills.  How do you stand out from others? Is your page professional in appearance or do you just come off as another frat bro from some college? You’re going to want to start by defining your image.  It doesn’t necessarily matter what that image is, but it must stay consistent throughout time.  This means your Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages should always portray a representation of yourself.  Also, ALL of your social media pages should therefore be correlated in terms of the company or artistry you represent.

Now how does one go about building a following and really getting their music/art out there?  That seems to always be the tough spot.  With my experience, I would suggest trying to hire some form of promotional manager or agent to help you along the way.  It’s often times very difficult to do everything yourself.

Once you start building a small following, try to pick up on who exactly is following you.  Does this match your original target market or should you re-plan your blueprint to cater to who is actually becoming fans of your work/image.  When these people comment on your page, don’t be afraid to comment back. Engage people! Show your fan base than you actually care about them, don’t be selfish and distant.

I think the absolute most important aspect to making it viral is to release GOOD material.  You’re material needs to connect on some sort of emotional level with people.  When it hits people in a certain way, where many people can relate, that’s when you will start to bloom.  Therefore, make sure every aspect of your art is performed to the best of your ability.  In terms of a song, the vocals, flows, production, lyrics, EVERYTHING has to be top-notch quality.  Same thing goes for visual content.  I mean, you want to be taken seriously right?

I don’t have all the answers, as I am still an up and coming musician myself.  And even though I have a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and have been studying it for years, that doesn’t put me on any sort of pedestal.  Us artists are all in this together.  I think it’s important we continue to try to network as much as possible and exchange connections and resources when possible.  There’s a hell of a lot of undiscovered talent out there, let’s help make sure it gets heard!