As a freelance music journalist, I often cover different areas and their respective musical cultures. The industry moves in waves, with a couple of artists popping off from a particular city with the rest of the city following soon after. It’s what’s been happening in Atlanta for the past couple of years, with the spotlight from Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan providing the springboard for a whole city of musicians to achieve national prominence. Over time, the city comes to be the center of everything, with new housing developments and gentrification making it the pinnacle of millennial existence. Everything starts with an inkling of snow but eventually turns into an avalanche of new artists and attention.
Detroit’s been bubbling for a long time now. Eminem and D12 are only two of the tremendous number of talented artists to come from The Motor City. Recently, Big Sean’s success was the first snowflake to fall on the city. His frequent rep of the D-Town made people take notice of the city, even more than the fading light initially allowed. Dej Loaf’s success also placed a spotlight on the city, providing another snowflake to fall.
Now, it seems as if the snowflakes have been falling for the last couple of years. Allstar JR, Kash Doll. Rocky Badd, and a number of other artists have been the talk of the town, with their music frequently going viral. Molly Brazy may have gone viral for reasons outside of music, but the focus was on the town. Eastside Peezy, Payroll Giovanni, Lil Blade, Jeno Cashh, and a score of others achieved brilliance through music alone; altering traditional trap rap in new, exciting ways.
With the flurry of snowflakes now falling steadily, another chapter in the world’s turning pages comes to a close. 2018 is nearly here. What will this mean for the growing lucrative scene in Detroit?
In one word: dominance.
America has begun to look to Detroit for some of its favorite artists and emerging talent. “So Good,” by Big Sean and Kash Doll – a bridge between the established and the emerging that has been a gut punch for expectations – is much more than a song about sex. It’s an indicator of the sounds and soul of Detroit and the camaraderie that exists when two artists of high caliber hop on wax. It’s been called one of the year’s most catchy songs. There’s much more where that came from.
Snap Dogg’s never referred to himself as a rock star. He’s simply “The Problem Child of Detroit,” a moniker he bestowed upon himself. But the frantic nature of his music videos shows that he’s destined for stardom in a way that Lil Uzi Vert currently is, but Snap’s movements are more fluid and authentic.
Another aspect of the city’s growing movement is the unflinching honesty that artists use on wax. Eastside Peezy’s catalog – from this year alone – include some of the most honest records of his to date, touching on things that most rappers glamourize instead of speaking truthfully about. This truth shows the maturity that translates to more trusting listeners in the future.
As the days of 2017 come to an end, we have a new age on our hands. Detroit music is opening up in exciting ways and will continue to push the culture forward as the year begin’s a new. I introduce to the world, the Age of Detroit.
Russ Is Right, Exploiting Drug Addiction For Money Is Wack
Russ has made it clear for over a year now that he’s not for the glamorization of drugs for money. He recently got into a Twitter scuffle with Fat Nick, a known user of lean and narcotics, with the two debating about his fascination with drugs and how the latter makes money off of it. Nick frequently posts his drugs and merchandise that contains drugs online and sees nothing wrong with it. Russ however disagrees. And, after seeing both viewpoints, I daresay I agree with Russ. Glamorizing drugs is wack, point blank.
Rap music was founded in tough times. The best hip-hop to come out of the genre’s Golden Era focused on the hardships that people faced during daily life. Coping with these hardships came natural. Drug use isn’t new. However, the way that drug users are fetishizing these drugs is. Lean, Xanax, and Mollies have become as popular as the music itself. With rappers posting their drugs on social media and dedicating so much of their creative energies to showcasing their fascination with drugs, many kids try them out because the artists they look up to love it.
Nothing good comes out of this besides addiction and death. Xanax pills look fun until you’re trying your best to kick the habit while the withdrawal symptoms kick your ass. Let Mac Miller’s story inform you about the dangers of overdosing. Lil Tracy had a heart attack because of his drug usage. There’s nothing good to come out of using these drugs. Yet, new age rap stars align their aesthetics with drugs because its in and it sells.
This exploitation is no joke and needs to be talked about. Starting a conversation about it will enable the proper action to happen and, hopefully, the way that drugs are exploited for money can be addressed.
Why Ella Mai’s “Trip” Is Better Than “Boo’d Up”
Everyone thought that “Boo’d Up” was the one. Ella Mai’s viral summer single became the talk of the season, a meme due to its widespread popularity across many age, racial, and gender groups. Many thought that Mai lucked up into the DJ Mustard-produced single, attributing much of the song’s success to the producer. But little did they know, “Trip” would come behind it and show that Mai is much more than a one hit wonder.
“Trip” released on August 3 and has been somewhat of a slow burn for the public. It’s a lot darker and moodier than “Boo’d Up”‘s ceiling-less mood. There’s a lingering piano that acts as the song’s lifeblood. When Mai comes in with her surprisingly deep voice, she offsets the equilibrium and swings things in her favor. As it goes on it become a catchy earworm that far outpaces the ceiling of “Boo’d Up”
With all of this said, her debut album, expected to arrive this fall, will be interesting to take in. Has she exhausted all creative avenues in her brilliant two first singles? Or will she continue pushing the culture? “Boo’d Up,” was one thing. “Trip” is another altogether, showcasing that she has a lot still left up her sleeve.
Listen to “Trip” below.
Bay Area Music That You May Have Missed This Week
Here’s our weekly collection of music out of the Bay Area that you may have missed this week. This week’s collection is one of our favorites, with a majority of the tunes being bombastic, lively jams to bolster the energy coursing through your veins. Tune in below: