The end of the year is always an interesting time for music. With a little under two months left in the year, its always interesting to see what tricks artists have up their sleeve to close the year out. Recently, artist G RIEL has shown signs of closing the year out strong with the release of his new visual for his track “Sum Slight”
With a troubled past, a controversial present and a promising future, Xxxtentacion was certainly an underground artist whose name became a hot topic for the hip hop community within the past year and a half. With his unusual appearance, an unorthodox perspective and a musical approach that was quite unique in comparison to what hip hop has become used to, Xxx had become an artist that some hated but many people came to love. In his music Xxx promotes individualism and the power of being confident in yourself. In addition to this, Xxx spoke a lot about dealing with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and other topics that are not spoken on frequently enough in hip hop, making his music a source of comfort for so many people. Although the rapper had a hard life as a child as well as a lot of legal issues he was facing, Xxx recently had been showing signs of changing, getting his life on track and was inspiring many of his supporters to do the same. However, on Monday June 18, 2018 the underground hip hop community was faced with some very grim and disheartening news, Xxxtentacion had been shot and killed in Broward County, Florida, his own hometown.
The news took everyone by surprise, so much so that some thought it was a joke, but unfortunately the news was true; Xxxtentacion really had been killed. Social media took to a frenzy shortly thereafter and there were hundreds of tweets and posts circulating sending condolences, talking about his impact on fans as well as theories of who the killer might have been. With all of these things going on and all of these people talking about how much Xxx had impacted (and for some, saved) their lives, one thing is clear; Xxxtentacion may be gone but he is not forgotten.
Today, R. Locko has released a track in memory of the fallen star entitled “So Many Demons”. The track is produced by Polo Golf Club and speaks on the suffocating effects of depression, which Xxxtentacion spoke on quite frequently in his music. At the end of the track, Locko gives listeners a short speech about realizing that we all go through the same issues and that we all need to be there for one another during these struggles instead of being so quick to judge one another.
Check out So Many Demons x R Locko here. R.I.P. to the underground legend Xxxtentacion.
Many of the featured artists on this website all have very unique, noteworthy traits which make them the creatives that they are. This new series we’ve entitled “#MeetTheArtistMondays” is designed to give listeners a closer, behind the scenes look into some of the dope underground artists we have come to love. Our first spotlight artist for this series is one who has built up quite the hype for himself with his distinctive, wild, in your face style, Zero The God.
With his crazy wordplay, aggressive delivery and insane ability to dominate on any beat he jumps on, Zero The God is a Massachusetts born, Virginia raised artist who is really beginning to make quite the name for himself in the 757 area. What is quite noteworthy about this artist is the fact that he gained his buzz without any major endorsements from any platform but from just pure talent and hard work. His aggressive, hard to ignore, sound is another interesting feature that sets the artist apart; a great example of this delivery is on his “Look At Me” cover he did for the “Virginia Is For Ragers” collective mixtape (check it out here) Recently we got a chance to catch up with the artist and he answered some of our questions we had about his rap career, the underground scene and more. Check out what he had to say below.
In a huge contrast to the times of the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, the hip hop scene of today has become quite saturated with mosh pits, leather jackets and new wave self proclaimed “rock star” rappers. Although the exact time when this transition was made is unclear (remember when all of this “rock star” talk was considered “white people stuff”?), with all of the avant garde fashion statements, dark subject matter and glorification of the rockstar lifestyle, hip hop has definitely entered into its “goth” phase and we are totally here for it.
If you know what you’re looking at, its quite easy to see how the hip hop scene has been influenced by rock n roll legends such as Kurt Cobain and Marilyn Manson. Dating as far back as 2010 when Lil Wayne dropped the “Rebirth” album and when thru his rockstar phase, rock n roll culture has been infiltrating hip hop. Rapper Lil Uzi Vert often refers to himself as a rockstar and is heavily inspired by Marilyn Manson, so much so that he got a $100k chain with a pendant of the rock singers face in all diamonds.
Many rappers of today can even be seen sporting T Shirts of popular bands such as Iron Maiden and Slipknot as a fashion stateme
nt. Artists such as Uzi, Playboy Carti (who is a self proclaimed rock star as he states in his song “Wokeuplikethis”) and the late Lil Peep have brought “goth” inspired fashion to hip hop as well by sporting leather jackets, distressed clothes, super skinny pants as well as literal chains on their clothing; this all pulled together in a look that resembles something you’d see at a Nine Inch Nails concert. These fashion trends, although some may see them as something new, are actually classic looks that were once sported back in the 80s and 90s by some of our favorite bands. Fashion in hip hop today is definitely inspired by the rock n roll culture in more ways than one. This, however, is only the beginning of the hip-hop/rock n roll phenomenon.
There have been many changes in the sound of hip hop in recent times, many of which can be attributed to rock n roll culture. We all are familiar with Lil Waynes rock influenced track “On Fire”, which samples Amy Hollands “Shes On Fire” This song was only the beginning of the whole sampling rock music in rap trend. A lighter, more happier version of sampling rock music can be seen from rapper Lil Aaron who has songs entitled “Warped Tour” (which samples “Misery Business” by Paramore)
and “Hot Topic” (which samples Panic! At The Discos “I Write Sins Not Tradgedies”) playing off of the whole “emo” side of rock culture. For a darker version of sampling. rapper Xxxtentacion uses a lot of heavy metal samples in his music, one being on his song “Off The Wall” in which he samples Slipknots “Spit It Out”. Another style that has become prevalent in hip hop is screaming which is represented heavily in rock n roll music from bands like Metallica and Slayer (compare by checking out the links below)
Hip hop has also taken a dark turn as far as subject matter as well. While there is a lot of music that still talks about the stuff we are used to hearing in hip hop such as partying and flashy lifestyles, we are finding that it is now acceptable to touch on darker subject matter in hip hop such as depression and suicidal thoughts as well. Artists such as Lil Peep and Lil Xan discuss depression and drug abuse in their music with a mantra that is similar to the lyrics of doom metal band Black Sabbaths “Solitude”. (Compare at the links below)
More influences of rock culture in hip hop can be found at the actual concerts themselves. Mosh pits have become a common thing at hip hop concerts. If you’re unfamiliar with what moshing is, heres a rundown: picture a huge circle in the middle of a crowd at a concert with a bunch of hot, sweaty, people throwing themselves into eachother in rhythm to music that is playing at extremely high volumes. While some may find this a bit scary, moshing can actually be a fun and relaxing thing if done correctly and safely. This moshing/slam dancing phenomenon was actually something that was done at rock concerts years ago and in recent times the trend made its way to hip hop, adding to the lit factor of seeing artists perform live in concert. (compare at the links below)
The influences of rock music in hip hop culture have resulted in not only a awesome new spin on hip hop but it also has created a way for fans of one genre to potentially become fans of something else they never knew existed. What do you think of how hip hop is being influenced by rock culture? Leave a comment below!
If you are subscribed to my YouTube channel then you may know this already but this week I am introducing a new facet to my website called “Chrissys Pics of the Week”. With these posts I will show you all my favorite new music, visuals and events that I find during the week and want to share with you all. I know I post about local artists a lot but these posts will feature some mainstream artists as well. Today’s article is the first installment of this series of posts so I hope you all enjoy!
Lil Aaron – Warped Tour
I came across this video on Twitter and instantly fell in love with it. You all know I have an infatuation with Vans so I was attracted to the fact that he incorporated Warped Tour into the video. Also, the track samples Paramores “Misery Business” (another one of my favorite songs). If your’e one of those people who need super deep lyrics to enjoy a song then you won’t like this track but I found the song pretty dope and extremely catchy.
Conscious Kane – Good Good
If you like lyrical rappers, Kane is someone you want to pay close attention to. Normally he’s spitting knowledge and serving severe lyricism on his tracks but on this track he keeps it pretty chill and just talks about having a shorty he can kick it with. The track also features Huey Supreme and Nicole Black.
Xxxtentacion – Look At Me
This video has sparked so much controversy in the last couple days but fore you say anything, just watch the video. The video was directed by X himself and has a pretty thought provoking message behind it.
Doe$ki – Love My Choppa
Doe$ki dropped a visual to his “Love My Choppa” freestyle which I found pretty interesting. With all the hair shaking, gun toting and jumping around that we love Doe$ki for, the visual presents a hood aesthetic that is quite satisfying.