I saw a tweet the other day; if 2pac and Biggie were alive today and stepped into your car, what album would you play for them? Personally, I would play Drip Season 2 for them, but then I thought, why not play them some of the new school? Or, the new ‘new’ school even? Yes, I’m talking about people like Lil Pump and Smokepurpp and them guys there. I think they’d appreciate their beats and take their incessant drug use as a way of ‘living life on the edge’.
When you think of rap music today, compared to 10 years ago, it’s a stark contrast. 10 years ago, Drake had just released Comeback Season and was still on the come up, Lil Wayne stood firmly on top of the game with Da Drought 3, and Kanye West had released (in my opinion) his best album, in Graduation. Now fast forward 10 years, the spectrum of music is so different. Drake is still arguably the hottest artist in the game right now, but the prominence and entering into the mainstream by artists such as Migos and Lil Uzi shows how music has adapted. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not a ‘classical’ hip hop fan at ALL. I’d much prefer to listen to Luv is Rage 2 than 80% of the albums that came out 10 years ago. Some music fans will agree with me, some will judge, but meh, that’s your own.
But as for what I like to call, the ‘new, new school’, I’m not a big fan. The SoundCloud generation we are currently in has birthed some truly great artists; Playboi Carti, Wintertime, Nav and the list goes on. But I think the Soundcloud stage has slightly gone a bit out of control. Everyone just sounds the same! I swear, all you need to do nowadays is have dreads, wear those clout glasses and mumble about lean and pills and girls for 2mins30secs, and you’re guaranteed at least 50k plays on SoundCloud. And yes, again, I’m speaking about artists like Lil Pump. I can give Smokepurpp the benefit of the doubt, because he actually has an iota of musical talent within his body.
But as for the majority of the new new school, it’s looking quite bleak. Music is, of course, subjective, but there has to be a point where you’re actually like, ‘ok what is this?’. But to be fair, this is what the majority of the hip-hop world used to, and still to this day, continues to say about artists who have blown up in recent years off Soundcloud, such as Lil Yachty, Lil Uzi, 21 Savage etc. I’d say Lil Yachty has got it the worst, simply because of his initial ignorance to the old school, and then his happy-go-lucky attitude just rubbing old heads the wrong way. But when you consider he was the 20th highest earner within hip-hop last year (he earnt $11m), you have to give him some sort of credit.
I love this SoundCloud generation we are currently in because not only has it given artists a higher level of exposure and accessibility, it has also caused artists to up their game with their mixtapes/albums. Because of Soundcloud’s accessibility (can you imagine being able to stream albums and mixtapes online without having to pay for it 10 years ago?), we are currently within an age where a LOT of good music is being produced. But please, I beg, can all these Xanax-fuelled, lean sipping, fake Lil Uzis of Soundcloud just try to find their own sound? It’s boring now.
Rap music has changed, and if you can’t get to terms with it, then have fun listening to your Sony Walkman and boombox.
p.s I take back what I said about Lil Pump after listening to his tape