How Music Got Its Edge Back: Indie Meets Rap

Hip-Hop and rap are experiencing a strong resurgence of late (don’t call it a comeback!). After years of indie rock and pop ruling the airwaves, young people are looking for a new sound to call their own, branching out into electronic and rediscovering rap.At SXSW this year, fans could catch shows from heavy hitters including Jay-Z, Eminem, 50 Cent, and Wiz Kalifa, as well as lesser-known acts.Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg are headlining Coachella this summer.

The meshing of the indie and rap scenes is having an interesting effect on music. Taking a cue from indie bands, newer acts like Azealia Banks are creating a new sound that could almost be called “Indie Rap.” The Harlem-native’s songs are most definitely “R-rated” and fierce, but instead of rhyming about “thug life,” she raps about urban life, making her badass, but also relatable. It’s that cross-over potential that brings both rap fans and indie fans to her shows.

Urban music needed an infusion of edge to recapture the attention of young people. Hip-hop legends like Jay-Z and Kanye have gone mainstream, getting wider airplay and gaining older fans (while simultaneously cleaning up their style, rapping less about illegal activities and more about luxury lifestyle). Young music fans were looking for something to call their own — music their parents wouldn’t listen to but that they could still relate to. It’s the same reason they’re straying away from the indie genre: hipsters and soccer moms aren’t supposed to like the same music.

In the same vein as acts like Odd Future, Azealia Banks is making her mark by being irreverent and very NSFW, simultaneously alienating older audiences and intriguing young Millennials. The video for her biggest hit so far, “212,” has been viewed more than 7.5 million times, but contains so many naughty…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

“The issue I am most passionate about is jobs/unemployment, because I need a job.”

—Female, 24, OH

Half of all 13-17-year-olds are on Snapchat, according to Ypulse’s most recent social media tracker—so what are they really doing on there? One BuzzFeed writer observed his 13-year-old sister to find out how to “Snapchat like the teens,” and learned that the “app is [her] life.” She wakes up every morning to respond to about 40 incoming snaps with selfies, which she can do in under a minute. Responding is crucial, streaks (responding every day without a break) are “the MOST important thing,” filters are “VERY big,” and “EVERYONE looks at Cosmo on Discover.” When asked about her dad’s reaction to her incessant snapping she answered: “Parents don’t understand. It’s about being there in the moment.” (BuzzFeed

The Tab, a student-targeted site with articles on campus life and local stories, is not ready to let go of their 2.5 million monthly readers preparing to graduate—so they’ve expanded. The Tab National is targeting for 20-somethings, and describes itself as as “the Vice for people who don’t think that Uber or pop-up markets are necessarily a bad thing.” The Tab’s top-tier U.S. and U.K. university sites have captivated advertisers, who are guaranteed that their sponsored posts will get at least 25,000 page views—more than half of brand stories on the site are getting 50,000. (Digiday

You may have heard that Twitter is reworking their timeline algorithm, but what does that mean for brands? The new layout will use an algorithm to showcase the most relevant tweets, and “collated tweets from brands, athletes, politicians and other public figures will appear at the top of the timeline” so users won’t miss any trending conversations. For brands this means well-thought out content will still be key as “[t]he algorithm will likely favor content with higher engagement.” It could also mean more exposure: “organic posts [will] have the ability to drive enormous engagement and cause a buzz.” (The Drum

According to Pew’s new data, Millennial Democrats are far more likely than older generations and their Republican peers to get their political updates through social media, with 74% who are very likely going to participate in their state’s primary or caucus saying they learned about the election through a social site, compared to 50% of Millennial Republicans. Millennial Democrats are also the most likely to identify themselves as liberal: in 2015, half (49%) labeled themselves as liberals, compared to 41% of Gen X, 40%(of Boomer, and 35% of Silent Democrats. (Pew Research Center)

Luxury menswear brand John Varavatos’s shoppable, touchable video ad powered by Cinematique prompted eight times more Facebook engagement than standard videos. Viewers can click or tap clothing like as the video plays, and at the end of the ad are shown the collection they chose, leading to product pages on the website. According to recent data, 33% of fashion video are considered mainly “brand-building,” and only 16% of brands use shoppable videos. But that could shift as more marketers adjust to consumers’ video-consumption behaviors. (WWDDigiday)

Quote of the Day: “I participated in Bikram Yoga, because I found a few YouTube tutorials on it.” –Female, 24, MN

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