Pop has always been the mainstream genre in the music industry. You can always find pop on radio stations and most radio channels regardless of their focus. But Pop is simply what’s popular and over the years that has changed.
Over this recent decade, we’ve seen tremendous transformations not only in the way we make music but the way we distribute and absorb it as well. We’ve moved from records and CDs to Spotify and Apple music.
Since everything has moved digitally we’re also hearing more crossovers, fusions, and blurred genre lines. Rnb and Hip Hop have monopolized the music industry.
Is it that RnB is incorporating more pop or vice versa?
It’s all interchangeable, let’s look at two artists for example Ariana Grande and Summer Walker. Ariana Grande is considered a pop artist however in her most recent album “Positions” and earlier albums she incorporated RnB – you can reference her song POV.
Now if we switched sides, Summer Walker, who is labeled in the subgenre ‘Trap RnB’, incorporated pop in her most recent album Over It. Reference her song “Come Thru” featuring Usher, RnB & Pop musician.
Blurring the lines between genres is a good thing. Given that music is an art form and is subjective, we should be able to test the waters and even dive into multiple genres not solely on an album but on singles and songs as well.
Donald Glover, whose stage name is Childish Gambino, is known for incorporating multiple genres in his music especially in his later release “Awaken My Love”.
In ‘Me and Your Mama’, Glover gives us soul, funk, and rock.
This is the same thing for Hip Hop, artists like Lil Uzi Vert have a reputation for rebelling from the rules of Hip Hop by engulfing sounds of punk and soft rock into his music while others like Trippie Redd tag along on this trend.
In Uzi’s viral song XO Tour Lif3 you can hear the influences of self-deprecating lyrics and vocal belts adopted from the rock scene.
This was the beginning of a transition however, for the sake of this analysis, I must mention Party Like a Rockstar by Shop Boyz & Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj’s single Knockout.
These singles prove my sentiments, however, they did not incite the transition XO Tour Lif3 did in this era of new-age rap and there are several factors that play into that of course. Like I mentioned earlier, living in this digital world songs like XO Tour Lif3 are hyper-streamed on social media platforms besides solely getting radio time and MTV air.
You can’t deny that this doesn’t have an effect on the way we make music today and it’s exciting to see the countless developments that will be made in the way we listen, distribute and make music.
RnB and Hip Hop becoming the mainstream is great for Black artists and Musicians as it gives them more exposure.
What’s your favorite genre and what other genres do you think would sound mesh well with it? Comment below.