This blog was inspired by a post by District Magazine, an Irish music magazine and online event guide to everything cool happening in Dublin every week, where they gave their five top artists that rustled some feathers in the Hip Hop music scene thanks in part to their access to the world through the internet. That article you can view here: http://districtmagazine.ie/five-artists-that-shook-up-hip-hop-in-the-internet-age/. They name Lil B, Chief Keef, Yung Lean, Young Thug and Tyler, The Creator as their top five and these are definitely people I would agree with have changed things up in the past few years . The two I wouldn’t know very well are Lil B and Chief Keef as they haven’t had the same impact, in my opinion, worldwide as the others but are hugely popular in their own right especially in America. Lil B for helping to popularise the use of the internet to share his music and Chief Keef for helping to popularise “drill music” which was a genre Keef thrived in due to it coming out of Southside Chicago and the dark and violent themes of the majority of songs coming from the genre.
The internet has helped many rappers to spread their music across America and then world wide and gain huge popularity over night. Two examples of this are very recently local Atlanta artist “SahBabii” gaining millions of views in a couple of weeks for his track “Pull up with Ah Stick”. He was practically unknown outside of Atlanta but now this track has five and half million views and he is hanging out with people like Young Thug and you can hear the influence of recent trends in his music.
I couldn’t write this post without mentioning the one and only Lil Yachty as someone who has seen his music spread like wildfire thanks to the internet and now he is popular all around the world. District did have him as an honorable mention but I wanted to speak more on him. Yachty a.k.a RD a.k.a Miles Park McCollum has helped to pioneer a movement of positive hip hop in the past year with many calling his music “Bubblegum Trap” however he isn’t too keen on that tag he prefers to refer to it as “Boat Music”. His whole demeanor has a nautical theme to it even with his crew commonly being referred to as the “The Sailing Team” which is made of artists and producers such as Burberry Perry and his producer brother Earl the Pearll.
Yachty, with his cherry red hair, blew onto the scene in late 2015 with his song “1 night” which is all about Yachty telling his current girl that she’ll never be his wife. The song was featured in a popular Vine and that was a big part in helping it get big which Yachty has no issue admitting to in interviews. People found his music relatable and I guess just a different change of pace to listen him and I have no issue admitting that I am a fan of Yachty’s he makes some good music and is helping to add another side to Hip Hop. He has been very divisive in the Hip Hop community with people generally loving or hating him but there is no denying that he has done very well for himself doing big time commercials with brands like Sprite and Target.
The internet has helped to spread Hip Hop across the world to countries that might have taken a lot for it to grow naturally in the traditional sense. For example we can see Hip Hop becoming big in countries like Iceland and South Korea, beginning to grow in China and of course England’s own form of Hip Hop in the Grime Scene.
The small nation’s capital, Reykjavik, has seen a booming Hip Hop community in the past few years with some of the artists gaining attention in the wider sphere of the internet. The most prominent of these acts at the minute is probably Sturla Atlas ( Yes I know I mention them a little too much). A group of Icelandic artists ,headed by Sigurbjartur Sturla Atlason, making big waves in Iceland’s music scene and also getting the opportunity to open for Justin Bieber when he came to the country. The internet has allowed them to have access to a genre like Hip Hop and then do their own take on it.
South Korea is a bit of an odd example as the country remained very closed off and very few foreign people lived in the country until the past few decades. The Hip Hop scene is growing immensely in the country thanks in part to the growth of Kpop globally. They have their own little industry with seperate record labels and even tv shows dedicated to finding the current years best rapper( The show is called Show Me The Money in case anyone is interested I would recommend it). The best example to use for the spread of Hip Hop from Korea to the outside world would be Keith Ape. Very much following the trends in the Trap side of Hip Hop he has gained worldwide fame for his re-work of OG Maco’s “u guessed it” with other Korean and Japanese rappers such as Jayallday and KOHH. OG Maco has acknowledged the song but hasn’t seemed to pleased about it in interviews calling it culture appropriation.He has since moved to America after a slew of hits and is trying to make his name bigger. With his crew, The Cohort, they are making a bigger name for themselves around the globe.
The scene is seems relatively small in China and I haven’t delved very far into it so the Higher Brothers are the group I’m going to talk about here. You would think that Chinese wouldn’t suit and at times it definitely doesn’t however the Higher Brothers is one example that I am quite liking so far. Yahh is a decent song and even features American rapper J. Mag who I’ll admit I haven’t heard of before. The flow is good and the beat is good even if it is quite typical of the Trap genre. Thanks to being featured on the YouTube channel 88rising the Higher Brothers have been able to get their name out further then China.
While some may disagree I think that the ability for many of these artists to record something in their bedrooms and have it blow up is a great thing. In saying that it has brought a lot of thrash music at the same time but the odd gem shines through and makes an impact. It is the trend at the minute to be the next “internet rapper” but there are still people representing the older forms of the genre and making big names for themselves. Let me know in the comments what you think!
Just like in Districts article I have a few mentions that why they didn’t make the main content for one reason or another.
Coming straight out of the hood of Indonesia Rich Chigga made some waves on the internet with his now hit “Dat $tick” gaining a massive 41 million view on YouTube last I checked. It got the ear of some big names in the Hip Hop community and lead to a feature on a new version of the song from none other than Ghostface Killah.
While I’m not really a fan of Kodak there is no denying that he has used the internet to spread his name further even including the infamous “Cash me outside” girl in his latest music video.
Hailing from South Florida, XXXTENTACION has been making a name for himself in the underground Hip Hop Scene. He has however been plagued with jail time for a variety of offenses which is where he currently resides but has been giving interviews from prison and will be releasing new music once he is out relatively soon. His music mixes a variety of different genres, including elements of metal, and features a very violent undertone but he has received praise for it and will no doubt make more music once he is released.