Everyone involved with hip hop, from artists and labels to fans, knows that hip hop culture sets trends that other genres end up following. When something takes hold in rap culture, the world listens to it, sees it, and imitates it. In 2016, hip hop artists and rappers found new ways to express themselves and drive their music forward. While the rest of the world catches up, hip hop will always be creating new forms and new styles. What are we looking forward to in rap music this year? Here are some trends you should expect to see and hear in 2017.
2016 was quite a year, both politically and beyond. Heightened awareness of social conditions and injustice has already found its way into the lyrics of many hip hop songs over the past couple of years, from legacy acts like A Tribe Called Quest to newer rising artists like Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper. Rap has always sought to redefine cultural norms and start the conversation on its own terms, and in 2017 we should see rap retake the hold that it had on popular culture in the 1990’s.
The role social media has played in promoting new artists should also continue to grow in 2017. For popular artists, social media has been recognized as an effective platform for promoting awareness of various issues in addition to the lyrical content of their songs. New, local artists will still primarily use the power of social media to grow their fan bases and promote their shows and music. These artists, however, can also use social media to bring awareness to local issues with their local fan bases.
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