Many people might not realize that hip hop and rap music as a whole were actually built from the growth of technology. At the same time, rap music has grown tremendously in popularity during the past few decades. Now, as rap music continues to grow, it is expanding, developing numerous subcultures that can lead to divides in the industry. One of the major issues that is present in rap music today has to do with technology.
During the past few years, vinyl has given way to cassette tapes, which later gave way to CDs. Now, the digital era is dominating the world of rap music. With the growth of cloud-based streaming services, both the RIAA and Billboard are deciding to join the movement. Now, YouTube and social media have both made an impact on rap music. One of the biggest ways that technology is changing rap music is how artists grow in popularity, aided by Rap TV.
In the past, rap artists used to perform for family members and friends before heading out to local clubs. Finally, they might get noticed by an agent who would offer them a contract. Now, younger rap artists are able to gain notoriety much more quickly. They might not even know what a cassette tape is. By sharing their beats on social media, including YouTube, they can amass thousands of followers in a short amount of time. This is shortening the life cycle that rap artists need to follow in order to make a name for themselves sin the industry.
In addition, technology is changing the substance of rap music as well. While some people might think this is a new trend, this has actually been going on for a long amount of time. For example, some people might remember that Missy Elliot did a song called “Beep Me 911” talking about beepers. At the time, pagers were central to numerous industries. Of course, pagers have gone away; however, artists in rap music are continuing to focus on technology. Even Rick Ross talks about selling dope off the iPhone.
Finally, technology is also having an impact on how rap music is recorded. The advent of digital recording and sequencing has given rise to new production techniques in rap music, changing the way people look at the industry. This major development is having an impact on the distribution of rap music, changing the way artists market themselves in the digital era.
Now, technology has widened the entry point for artists into rap music. It will be exciting to see what happens next in this growing industry. Without a doubt, technology is a polarizing topic in rap music; however, it has led to substantial growth as well.