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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Quote of the Day: “For Halloween, I’m dressing as Angelica from Hamilton (dress in period clothing and write unsatisfied across my chest).”—Female, 26, MA

Amazon is on track to take over the apparel industry. Their clothing and accessory sales are expected to grow by 30% next year, surpassing Macy’s apparel sales to make them “the biggest apparel seller in the U.S.,” according to a new report from Cowen & Co. The site has ramped up fashion efforts in recent years by launching private label brands, and sponsoring fashion week. Although respondents in a recent shopper survey did not rate Amazon Fashion highly in “site personalization and ease of use," they did mention the convenience and free two-day shipping of Amazon Prime as the biggest draw. (Business Insider)

In just 15 months, Tasty has not only become the driving force behind BuzzFeed video, it has also become one of top three publishing brands on Facebook. According to an analysis by Tubular Labs, in the last three months Tasty’s Facebook videos averaged 22.8 million video views in just the first 30 days, while BuzzFeed’s main Facebook page only averaged 4.7 million in the same timespan. Known for their “overhead shots of hands assembling delicious, bizarre and everything-in-between recipes,” the brand has recently expanded to include celebrity chefs in the mix. (Digiday

Millennials’ desire for convenience is leading the food delivery revolution. According to Mintel, Americans are increasingly choosing to order in than go out, and 45% of U.S. adults have ordered food delivery in the past three months. That percentage increases to 69% among 18-34-year-old males who live in urban areas, with Millennial women not too far behind at 58%. Among all respondents, the top reasons for ordering in were to catch up on TV shows and movies (41%) and eating alone (25%). (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Bordeaux is releasing a new video series to make itself seem approachable and less stuffy to young drinkers. Beyond Bordeaux is a 10-episode YouTube series where the founder of a food magazine visits the best BYOB restaurants to drink Bordeaux wine at, from “neighborhood pizza places in New York to taco joints in L.A. to sushi spots in Chicago.” The brand wants to shed its exclusive and expensive image, and show Millennials their wine can be fun, affordable, and accessible. (Adweek)

Disney and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art are pairing fairytales and fine art for a “fresh” Snapchat campaign. In bi-monthly stories that will be featured on both Disney’s and LACMA’s accounts, the duo will visually retell classics like Beauty and the Beast using works of art and hand-drawn overlays. Disney calls the partnership, “a natural way to add a little magic to art and storytelling to reach a new generation of art and Disney fans alike." LACMA has been using Snapchat since 2014 to playfully highlight and spread awareness of their artwork, winning a Webby for their efforts. (Ad Age)   

Quote of the Day: “For me being an adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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