If you’ve listened to the radio lately you may have noticed that the music you hear sounds a little different than it did 5-10 years ago. If you’ve bought any music off of iTunes you might have seen a new trend among mainstream hip hop artists. In the past you would typically hear Hip hop artists like Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, or Jay-Z putting most of their lyrics to hip hop beats. Nowadays, that is not necessarily the case. More and more mainstream artists are beginning to put their lyrics to pop beats.
Compare Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” featuring Jamie Foxx (released on his Late Registration album in 2005) to his latest song with Dev entitled “In the Dark”
Kanye West “Gold Digger”
Dev featuring Kanye West “In The Dark”
Notice how first song has a hip hop beat typical of hip hop music. It contains a sample of Ray Charles’ vocals within it. The instrumental relies mostly on its drum patterns and bassline to drive the beat.
The second track has more crossover appeal to the masses. The pop beat is filled with heavy synthezisers, catchy melodies and more of a driving drum pattern. This instrumental is a dance oriented song suited for being played in clubs.
For a second example, lets take Ludacris featuring Pharrell “Money Maker” (released in 2006) versus Ludacris featured on David Guetta’s “Little Bad Girl” along with Taio Cruz (2011)
Ludacris ft. Pharrell “Money Maker”
David Guetta ft. Taio Cruz, Ludacris
You can immediately see a similar trend in this second example. The first song with ludacris has a hip hop instrumental while the second song has Luda rapping over a pop beat.
In all likelihood, we will continue to see this trend grow among hip hop artists throughout radio as well as in television and film. These crossover styles and genres have allowed for artists to expand their fan bases and in turn make more money through the sales of their music.
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