Rappers stay relevant with new releases


Andrew Lyons

Rappers are “making waves” in the rap industry with recent releases.

by Andrew Lyons, Reporter

The last two years have seen a rebirth for the hip-hop genre, prominently with the birth of the subgenre, “mumble-rap” encompassing a majority of the new generation rappers. With new sounds and subgenres, Only a select few manage to rise to stardom.

One way the rappers stand out in the crowd is their names, not their birth-names but their stage names. Another is rappers taking a niche sound into their music, or even a meaning consistently in their song lyrics. One technique that is different from the rest is collaboration. Collabs, are used to boost two artists relevancy and popularity by sharing fanbases.

When creating a stage name, rappers use prefixes, the most common one in recent times is “Lil,” which has been watered down due to overuse. The only two “Lil” rappers who have seen prominent success are Lil Wayne (21,696837 monthly Spotify listeners) because he was in the rap industry long before the “Lil” wave, as well as Lil Pump (31,827,595 monthly Spotify listeners) due to him being one of the first and spearheaded the mumble rap wave. All a stage name really needs to be eye-catching is to be unique, and a bit nonsensical. The names “Juice Wrld” and “6ix9ine” are more attention grabbing than “Lil -insert random noun here-.”

Rappers who take on their own niches and not conform to generic sound, which is considerably harder to do, see more success. Juice Wrld openly talks about his struggle with drugs and relationships in his lyrics with mellow beats to back up the usually somber lyrics. And 6ix9ine’s screamo rap is always in-your-face and loud, making the music hard not to pay attention to, positively or negatively.

The Migos are prominent in the game for their unique style. The three-man group always takes on unique sounds. Songs usually have a catchy chorus with each Migo having their own verse. It’s those that are willing to strive for something more that will succeed.

The last big way rappers stay prominent is through collaboration. Two or more artists will get together to make a single, EP, or even a whole album. Collaborations help by sharing fanbases and listeners of two different artists who wouldn’t listen to the other artist otherwise. If a less prominent artist collaborates with a very big, well known rapper, the fame of one makes the other better. A great example of a extremely effective collab is the recent October release, Future’s and Juice Wrld’s Wrld on Drugs.

Future has been hibernating since his chart-topper song “Mask Off” from his 2017 album FUTURE, but nobody expected Juice Wrld and Future to collaborate on a chart-topping album. Fans were anticipating a new album from Juice Wrld, since he has been riding the wave from his break-out album Goodbye & Good Riddance, and listeners of Future were surprised with an album featuring him. This is a prime example of effective use of relevancy sustaining techniques.

In the rap industry, uniqueness is how one survives and thrives, from Migos’ unique dynamic to 6ix9ine’s eye-catching alias. However, nothing in the industry is set in stone, and Hip-Hop could go through another rebirth with the new generation becoming the old generation to make way for new rappers but that could happen in two years or in decades.