-Dhruvan Juneja 12 ISC S
It’s been a tremendously busy summer for the mainstream music industry with several new releases redefining the global charts. Hip-hop has undoubtedly marked its place in the 2018 Top 10’s. There’s the feisty Afro-Latina rapper, Cardi B, who became the first female rapper with 2 Hot 100 No. 1’s. Cardi has most definitely given us our summer anthem with “I Like It” and has also collaborated with Maroon 5 for “Girls Like You”. Even after his death, XXXTentacion still has his place on the chart with Sad! . Drake hasn’t let us forget him, or his songs- I can guarantee that everyone reading this edition of Scribe has had Nice For What or God’s Plan stuck in their head at least once, if not all summer.
Over the past year, the lines between hip-hop and pop have gotten increasingly blurred. Hip-Hop has most definitely got a makeover. When it first started out in the Bronx in the late 80’s, hip-hop was everything that it is not today- some would even go so far as to say that it was anti-establishment. Until Run- DMC and NWA, the genre wasn’t even heard of, let alone had its place on the charts. The essence of the music was to give people a voice to express their opinions about the state of their lives and the oppression that they faced. Granted that the essence has been diluted, the tendency that most rappers have to speak out, rather brutally, on issues of cultural and political importance has not faded. Prime examples of this are “This is America” by Childish Gambino, “Ye vs. The People” and “Ye” by Kanye West and “NASIR” by Nas. Sometimes there are radical views expressed through hip-hop, like when Kanye implied his support for Donald Trump. We may disagree with their opinions, but in my view it is important to note that the subject of rap music has still remained meaningful; the positive impacts of this extend not only to the survival of the genre but also to a larger movement towards progressive societies, where political and cultural debate are encouraged on the large scale.
The music industry as a whole has also sort of become a symbol of progressiveness and inclusivity. Through their music, artists such as Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Alicia Keys and Selena Gomez among others becoming symbols of women empowerment. Frank Ocean, Sam Smith and Khalid have also challenged stereotypes by embracing their sexuality or just changing the conventional notions of masculinity. Logic and Alessia Cara also came out with a song with the purpose of suicide prevention and awareness called 1-800-273-8255. Streaming platforms took off all of R. Kelly’s music when he was accused of sexual misconduct. A lesser known band, but important nonetheless, Brockhampton fired their founder when he was accused of sexual harassment.
As illustrated above, social impact and role that music has extended past entertainment. It can proudly be said that musical artists are doing their bit in making the world a better place to live in.
I know that the title of the article is “What you should be listening to”, and I have strayed away from that in this article, but I felt the need to point out the developments that I noticed in possibly the most influential cultural industry. BUT I have still included my recommendations for this week:
The Now Now, Gorillaz
Saturation, Saturation2 and Saturation3, Brockhampton
The Blues is Alive and Well, Buddy Guy
Love Lies (Snakehips Remix), Khalid ft. Normani
Three Little Birds, Maroon 5 cover of a Bob Marley Song
Harlem Anthem, A$AP Ferg