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: “I want to travel to Washington, because I love the Twilight series and I'd love to see the place it's based on.”

—Female, 23, CA

Just how hooked on streaming are Millennials? According to a recent survey by TV tech firm Roku, 50% of streaming service users say they would give up caffeine over streaming, and 21% would rather give up brushing their teeth for a week than give up streaming. The most surprising: 70% claim they would give up social media than streaming. Not too surprisingly, Millennials are especially streaming-crazed: 59% of 18-34-year-olds say they’ve told others they were doing something else when they were actually streaming, and 40% have ditched other plans in order to watch content online. (We’ll be exploring what we’re calling The Binge Effect even further in our upcoming trend report!) (StreamDaily

Millennial women are making strides as entrepreneurs, and using their extra cash to make gains in the stock market, according to a new U.S. Trust study on wealthy Americans. When compared to previous generations, wealthy Millennial women are 3.4 times more likely to be entrepreneurs, and are more likely to have a higher or equal income to their significant other. About one-third of this group also say they are the primary decision maker when it comes to money within their households. They’re also investing more than wealthy Boomer and Xer females: “Millennial women are 2.8 times more likely to use hedge funds, 1.8 times more likely to try venture capital, and 3.1 times more likely to own impact investments.” (Glamour

The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah isn’t going anywhere and he has Millennials to thank. Since his start as the new host of the nightly comedy news show , Comedy Central has seen live-viewing numbers drop by about 40% from the last days that Jon Stewart hosted. But they aren’t worried. Young viewers are definitely tuning in—just digitally. When it comes to streaming entire episodes, the new Daily Show is the most watched late night comedy show among 18-34-year-olds, surpassing even Jimmy Fallon’s highly rated Tonight Show. The network reasons that traditional TV consumption numbers are at this point irrelevant, because their “core audience are Millennials.”  (Forbes

A few years of decline among young movie-goers have inspired some to rethink the movie-going experience, but according to theatre ad companies, Millennials are in the midst of a movie-attendance resurgence. National CineMedia has reports that their Millennial movie-goer audience grew 16% in 2015, and is up 8% in 2016 so far. Their data shows that Millennials are 50% more likely to name movies as a passion than the general population, and are the age group most likely to purchase movie tickets in advance. According to a Ypulse monthly survey, 57% of 13-33-year-olds prefer to go to the movies on a night out. (Adweek

Lay’s is bringing Instagram into offline marketing and creating hyper-personal packaging with their “Summer Moments Made Better” campaign. The brand is asking consumers for their favorite summer moments, providing 200,000 codes that allow users to have their Instagram photos printed on a bag of chips, and win prizes. According to the brand: “during the summer, Lay’s plays an important role in [consumers’] lives and in their moments,” and they are hoping to see more social moments focused on food. A similar, smaller campaign, which we covered last year, received “overwhelmingly positive” response. (brandchannel

Quote of the Day: “I really want to visit Tokyo, Japan to see the culture behind the growth of video games, and to eat the food.”—Male, 29, MA

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