The direction music is going in is great to see.
2015 was one hell of a year for Hip-Hop. We got more music than we have in years and the amount of quality was really great. All of your favorite artists gave us something while maybe except for Frank Ocean. But on top of it being a monumental year, 2015 set us up for an even greater year in 2016.
In 2015, we saw the independent music artist movement really work towards its peak. Artists made movements with staying independent, doing shows, building movements, and working deals in their favor. Now more than ever it’s a thing to make music, get fans, and live the life that you want. You no longer have to go through the major labels to get everything you need. Brands are supporting artist, there are more shows & festivals available, and social media allows music to get delivered to the people with ease. We also saw many major artists rebel against their labels further reinforcing the fact that they are becoming less needed.
There’s good music coming from everywhere.
In 2016, I believe that as many artists follow the independent blueprint we’re going to hear more and more sounds. The sounds that we hear will start to diversify themselves as there is not just one avenue to get heard through anymore. We’ve already heard plenty of sounds but now with the people having more power in deciding what’s hot artists can really craft the sound of their choice. Different areas are getting recognition as well with the Midwest cultivating their own movement, New York is beginning to pick up again, the West Coast continues to stay solid, and the South giving us different sounds every other month. This is the age where personal identity shines through everything. You can make the sound you want and make money without worrying about what the labels want.
It’s your music and you can make it how you want.
Another thing I look forward to seeing in 2016 is artists making the music they actually want to make. The age of striving for a radio hit is gone. Artists are realizing that the radio will pick up whatever is hot and gets them listeners. Everything is catered to the artists. The artists no longer have to cater themselves for the industry. Soundcloud singles have made it to the radio and now artists don’t even have to do that much promo for their records to get picked up if it’s hot and the people carry it. Artists are finding themselves as well. They’re realizing that people can feel real. People love when the music is connected to the artists. That connection can’t be beaten.
Along with this, we’ll start to hear more artists connect as well. The game is fun again. Artists are having fun. They’re collaborating in the studio and giving us the records that we usually wouldn’t hear. It’s no longer just radio singles and albums. We’re getting free mixtapes, EPs, unreleased records, and everything in between. This is also giving Producers more power too. The producer is now just as important if not more important than the artist. Producers are crafting the sound behind the scenes. They’re pushing the envelope and helping artists make something different. I believe that producers will start to receive more opportunities to show themselves through interviews, behind the scenes videos, performance slots, etc. They’re really the pioneers.
The bond between listeners and artists is stronger than ever.
The connection between listeners and artists is going to be the highlight of the upcoming year. Artists are realizing that they hold more power than they thought and that the people are the ones who make their careers. The people are getting more in tune with artists and are enjoying how open the connection is. With social media and so many platforms, people are able to curate their own shows, put together their own radio shows, and able to share music with the people around them with ease. It’s no longer about getting the money to back your career to build your fanbase. It’s now about building your fanbase which in return brings you more money and offering from labels, brands, and companies. The power is in us and in 2016 I look forward to seeing how we as fans work together with the artists to create many more moments in Hip-Hop.