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Gen Z made music subgenre emo rap go mainstream. 

Jul 29 2022

Gen Z made music subgenre emo rap go mainstream. Emo rap first took off on SoundCloud and has been the fastest growing genre on Spotify since 2018. The genre was arguably born when “more vulnerable-sounding rap from artists like Eminem, Kid Cudi, and Odd Future showed hip-hop fans that rap music was taking a different approach.” Then in 2017, Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO TOUR Llif3” reached Number Seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and from there, rappers like Yung Lean, Trippie Redd, the late Lil Peep, and Juice WRLD made emo rap reach the mainstream. While some argue that the glorification of drug abuse and suicidal ideation makes the genre harmful to young listeners, the themes of the genre clearly resonate with them. Today’s youth are growing up in a world with increased anxiety, depression, and social media addictions, all while there’s an “opioid epidemic, a gun-violence epidemic, and prescription drugs moving throughout high schools. Emo rap is kind of the answer to the intersection of all these issues at once.” YPulse research shows Juice WRLD and Eminem are in Gen Z’s top 10 favorite artists. (Rolling Stone)