This is the script of a paper I gave at the Royal Musical Association 58th Annual Conference, hosted by the University of Durham, on 8 September 2022. Introduction Hip hop is the most popular genre of music in the United States, with a comparable lead in the UK and Europe. Since the mid-2010s, Nielsen Music, … Read more
This is the script of a paper I gave at the Challenge and Change in Popular Music IASPM UK/I Conference, hosted by the University of Liverpool on 31 August 2022. It is a more concise version of my longer data analysis in two parts on lofi hip hop during COVID-19 (part 1, part 2). Introduction … Read more
This is the script of a paper I gave at the Climates of Popular Music: IASPM 2022 Conference, hosted online by Daegu University on 9 July 2022. It makes reference to the research published in my data-driven analysis of annual top 100 albums, Hip hop’s hold over Top 100 albums, 2000–2020. Introduction When, in 2016, … Read more
This is the script of an invited research seminar I gave at the University of Bristol on 1 February 2022. In April 2020, the video game platform Fortnite announced a special in-game event called Astronomical. Billed as a ‘virtual concert’ featuring hip hop artist Travis Scott, the event series broke records, reaching a global audience … Read more
The story of hip hop’s commercial success in the 21st century is one of a steady decline followed by a striking ascent. At the turn of the millennium, hip hop held a major presence on the charts, but never accounted for more than a sixth of the best-selling albums. By the end of 2020, hip … Read more
How do rappers address the internet? I’ve identified five broad trends: embracing the internet as an educational and performative space; dismissing social platforms as fake, inauthentic places of activity (usually contrasted with a ‘real’, ‘offline’ life); viewing the web as an arena for confrontation or disrespect, often mockingly so; using social networking sites to pursue or maintain sexual relationships; and criticising the internet as a source of privacy violations or producing negative psychological effects. As an introductory analysis, this look at how song lyrics implicate online practices, digital technologies, and specific platforms enables a clearer picture of artists’ and listeners’ contextual understandings of the internet and its place in everyday social life.
For the first post on lofi hip hop before and during COVID-19, please see here. Lofi as a genre, and its antecedents To what extent can lofi hip hop be considered a genre, and to what extent do its producers, curators, and listeners participate in a virtual community? At present, there is a broad understanding … Read more
Introduction In the past, I have joked that I do not trust anyone whose YouTube suggestions do not include lofi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to. Since the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic, as we (privileged sheltered) have receded to our homes to continue day-to-day life, leisure, and work, we have adopted … Read more