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

Quote of the Day: “This year, I’m planning on taking [my] wife and kid to the Philippines so he can experience his mother’s culture. His mother is Filipino while I am African American.” –Male, 32, CA

Over the last few years, airline flight safety videos have become marketing clips, with some going viral and brands getting more creative with their messages to stand out. Delta’s new in-flight safety clip is no exception, and they’re trying to speak young consumers’ language with a parade of internet guest stars. Meme celebs like Nyan Cat and Overly Attached Girlfriend make appearances in the “walk down Web culture memory lane” that has been viewed almost 2 million times in two days. (The Next Web)

The start and stop years of generations is hardly agreed upon, and many distinguish teens as a completely separate generation from Millennials—one that brands are paying more attention to. Tips for connecting with Gen Z (aka Plurals, Homelanders, iGen, or post-Millennials) include exposing your quirky side (or getting a little weird), having #NoFilter, and engaging with them on the social platforms they use. (Adweek)

Back in 2013, we told brands to prep for the future of e-commerce, including subscriptions beyond the beauty box—and we’ve been keeping track of the trend ever since. The founder of subscription box startup Carnivore Club has some thoughts on where the popular industry will go next. Expect even more niche product offerings, luxury services sold en-masse, and big retail brands joining in on the subscription model craze. (PSFK)

Nothing says summer like a baseball game—right? Maybe not for the next generation. The number of casual young players is dropping, and some Little Leagues are struggling to pull in players. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, the number of seven to 17-year-olds participating in baseball fell 41% between 2002 and 2013. New preferences for other sports like lacrosse and soccer, and kids’ focusing on a single sport for the whole year, could be reasons behind the drop off. (WSJ)

The promposal trend, which we spotted last year, has only been growing and now brands are getting in on the public “will you go to prom with me” spectacles. MTV launched “Promposal Mania” last month, orchestrating promposal stunts with pop stars and broadcasting them on Snapchat and Periscope. Sour Patch Kids has asked teens to submit their promposal stories on social, and is hosting a prom for the winners of the competition. (The Drum)

Looking for a quick stat on young consumers to get you up to speed before a strategy session? Searching Ypulse is the best place to start! Silver and Gold members have access to 10,000+ articles, 20,000+ curated news items, and thousands of statistics on Millennials and teens drawn from our monthly national survey of the generation. Your search can begin and end with us. (Ypulse)

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