When it comes to hip-hop music, you can’t expect a one-track trend with it. You look into the current course of hip-hop and rap, and you’ll see a lot of shapes and forms of the genre. There’s the aggressive sound, there’s the mellow tune, there’s the emotionally expressive type, etc. Whether you like it melodic, catchy, or saber-rattling, the genre has a lot to offer. Here are the latest in trending hip-hop music.
What comes to mind when you think of trending hip-hop music? Whether you identify with indie artists or follow the mainstream personalities, hip-hop and rap has shaped cultures and formed conventions. Everyone has their own opinion about the genre. And everyone who is passionate about the music may have their inclinations. But at the end of the day, hip-hop will always be hip-hop. It’s more than just sound. It is a way of life.
If you followed the trends in music in 2017, the industry brought us many of the pop heavyweights. Last year, we saw much of Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. We also heard a lot of Bruno Mars and The Chainsmokers.
With 2018 underway, the year is already off to an exciting trend. To say the year had a busy start is an understatement.
In 2017, we also heard news of a massive legal action against Spotify. There were also high-profile festival lineups (and that one festival scheduled for the Bahamas and marketed as a ultra-luxurious event but ended like a hellish chaos).
Sizzling 2017 with the Latin Fever
2017 also marked the time of the Latin takeover. The duo of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee brought us the record-breaking hit “Despacito.” The song was followed by other hits with Latin roots, like “Havana” by Camila Cabello and “Mi Gente” by the Colombian reggaeton singer J Balvin (there’s a Beyonce remix too).
Swaying to the Rhythm of Samba and Caribbean Beats
Hip-hop also fused with pop and electronic music and mixed with influences like Samba and Caribbean rhythms. We saw plenty of that from big-name superstars like Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.
Speaking of the ladies, we can also look forward for female artists to push the envelope. Lyrics delivered with precision and much emotion creates a fresh, promising genre. Visionary women like SZA and Solange brought a whole new dimension to the trending hip-hop music soundscape. With their distinct mix of musical and emotional perspectives in their songs, R&B and hip-hop is off to a beautiful direction.
2018 Trending Hip-Hop Music
So what can we expect in 2018 for the music industry and hip-hop in particular? Perhaps 2018 will mark the year of another evolution in hip-hop music. Indeed an evolution it will be. Here are the trending hip-hop music developments we can expect this year.
Music Releases Will Be Unexpected
Great news for fans of indie artists. 2018 will be another year of mixtapes and music dropped for free to the public. And because there will be more platforms for the release of trending hip-hop music, fans are in store for a whole new year of interesting beats and fresh sounds.
Speaking of trending hip-hop music release platforms, will Spotify continue to hold the top spot, along with Apple’s iTunes? Early this year, news came out of a huge lawsuit against Spotify. How much money is involved, you ask? Slapped for about $1.6 billion.
Wixen Music Publishing is the company that takes care of the copyright management matters for artists like The Doors, Neil Young, and Tom Petty. The company sought damages for $150,000 for each song that Spotify used without a license and without compensation to Wixen; $150,000 is the highest permissible amount of damages awarded pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Act.
Also in 2017, songwriters also filed a class action lawsuit against Spotify for using their songs without license and without paying the corresponding royalties. The Sweden-based company later on settled the dispute for $43 million.
With these copyright headaches, we may wonder how will the music-streaming service fare in 2018. Although Spotify currently has a value of about $19 billion.
YouTube Will Join Spotify and iTunes in the Music-Streaming Game
Did you know there will be a new player in the music-streaming industry? At the moment, we have services like Google Music. And Amazon is also throwing itself in the mix. There are other players aggressively entering the competitive market too.
But one name rings a loud bell this time. It’s YouTube.
With over a billion hours worth of video and music streaming every day, YouTube endeavors to participate in the service. The company intends to execute all plans before the first half of 2018 ends.
Lyor Cohen, head of music at YouTube, thinks the company can make it big in this line of business, competing against big names like Spotify and iTunes. Industry experts like Jim McDermott agrees. “If it does blend video and audio in one service, interchangeably, why would you use Spotify?”
Seems like 2018 will be a year of big challenges for Spotify.
Will the Boy Band Music Make a Comeback in 2018?
When you hear the words boy band, what evokes to mind? If you ask us, the images of the 90s comprising the Backstreet Boys, *NYSNC, and Boyz II Men pop up in our heads. Call it boy band music, but they’re essentially hip-hop too.
They say a typical music genre will make its comeback every after 10 years. Guess what’s coming back in 2018? That’s right! Boy bands.
While the personalities have changed, the music and its leaning to hip-hop remains. Discover the fresh hip-hop vibes of Brockhampton or the Latin-inflluenced sounds of the five-member group CNCO. Korea’s fan-fueled pop sensation BTS also offers its distinct beats and composition.
2016 was the year when One Direction split up. This opened a race in search for the next group of heartthrobs. With one group bowing out of the scene comes another one dashing into the limelight. Enter Simon Cowell’s latest boy band creation PRETTYMUCH. With harmonies that can make you recall Boyz II Men’s music, this group is truly talented.
Synching with Justin Timberlake
Speaking of NSYNC, we saw Justin Timberlake busting some moves onstage at the Super Bowl in February. And we’re guessing we might see more of those moves. Pushing 40 years old, he will likely display his chart-topping form as he released his first album after a four-year hiatus.
Justin’s long-time friend and producer Timbaland said to Rolling Stone magazine, “The music we just made? It’s gonna put him on another plateau.”
Kanye’s Making a Comeback in 2018
After deciding to sit 2017 out, Kanye West looks ready to kick off 2018 with a new stage set-up and a whole lot of touring. After spending much time in the Wyoming mountains doing all-nighters brewing up album number eight, Kanye is back to his old form.
Also, gone will be the Kanye West circa 2016 stage fittings. Remember that floating platform from the Saint Pablo tour? According to reports, it will be replaced. With the doctors giving him the green light, Kanye locks and loads his barrels.
Drake Finishes New Album
Meanwhile Drake confirmed the completion of his new album. As promised, he also released a new video for his song “Nice for What.” He dropped the news about his new album when he made a short surprise appearance at Majid Jordan’s Toronto concert.
“The reason I’m here tonight is because I’m back in the city finishing my album,” he announced to the audience. “Nice for What” featured bits of Lauryn Hill’s “Ex Factor.” The video, on the other hand, starred Rashida Jones, Tracee Ellis Ross, Issa Rae, Misty Copeland, and Tiffany Hadish.
Will we see Drake back on the top of the charts and radio airwaves this 2018? We’re guessing yes.
Is Hip-Hop Losing Its Dominance on the Charts?
In 2017, five hip-hop tracks hit the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100. But with Billboard’s new regulations, this may mean hip-hop will lose its supremacy on the charts in 2018.
To get to the Billboard’s Hot 100, there are three components to look into: sales, streaming, and radio play. But by 2018, this will change. Billboard will start giving weight to video and audio streams. Particularly from streaming platforms that one needs to pay for to be able to get the music.
Forget YouTube or Spotify. Billboard will no longer give more weight even if these two platforms are two of the largest music-streaming outlets in the world. Hip-hop will take the biggest hit with these new rules.
In 2017, nine out of ten most viewed videos on YouTube in the U.S. were either trending hip-hop music or Latin pop beats. Also, nine out of ten most viewed artists are predominantly from the hip-hop, Latin pop, and R&B genre. To what extent these new rules will impact the songs, there is still no definite announcement yet. But there will be massive changes for sure.
The Return of Conscious Rap
Kids these days are tired of the same, old rap music—while catchy contains dumb, nonsense lyrics. Unfortunately this is the type of trending hip-hop music that mostly invaded the radio airwaves. But these kids want somebody who can offer songs with a lot of substance. Something that’s meaningful. Artistic. Soulful. Looks into oneself.
In recent years, there has been a call for a more intelligent approach to rap music. And hip-hop artists like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole answered that call.
While lyrical and introspective rap music doesn’t really rank high up the charts, a lot of fans look forward to it. Somewhat overlooked, forward-thinking rappers and their intelligent lyrics attract a bigger fan base than they seem to appear on the mainstream.
According to reports, 2018 will be the year when women rappers will pick up steam in the charts. Empowered female hip-hop artists like Queen Key, Molly Brazy, and Cupcakke will be pushing the stylistic ground, causing a gender rebalancing against the male-dominated trending hip-hop music genre.
Of course, there’s no definite way to tell the future of innovative rap and trending hip-hop music. But with the resurgence of female personalities, this may be a game-changing component that will set the music genre into an entirely new direction.
Trending Hip-Hop Music Dethrones Rock as the Most Listened Genre in the U.S.
For years, rock music is the top dog of all music genres. But in 2017, and for the first time in recent years, rock lost the throne. According to Nielsen Music’s 2017 report, trending hip-hop music (along with R&B) removed rock music from the seat of dominance.
In the report, eight out of ten most listened to artists are from the hip-hop and R&B genre. This was led by Drake and Kendrick Lamar. Rap was at a close second place while Latin pop music trailed not so far behind.
One of the best selling tracks of 2017 was from the hip-hop genre too. Post Malone’s “Congratulations” ranked high in the charts, according to Mediabase and BuzzAngle Music. Songs from promising rap artists like Migos and Cardi B also spent some time in Billboard Hot 100’s coveted top spot. And to wrap up the year of trending hip-hop music, four out of five Grammy nominees for the Album Of The Year award were hip-hop and R&B talents.
Of course, the world of hip-hop wouldn’t be complete without the presence of the type A personality talents. The outspoken and unreserved will definitely have something to say toward another. It’s only a matter of time when that word reaches to another unabashedly alpha-personality artist.
There was a time when disputes are settled in person. Fists are thrown in the air, and guns are blazing. If not ending up seriously injured, people will end up dead. Just like the 2Pac and Biggie. Thank God, that was over.
In recent years, hip-hop artists would settle their beef through rap battles and diss tracks. It’s a great avenue where great lyrical prowess highlights the truly talented. But in the digital age, hip-hop artists would take the fight online, 140 characters or less at a time.
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