Lookout! Hip hop is making a come back riding the coattail of indie pop. In the fading memory of auto-tune, artists like Wiz Khalifa, Hoodie Allen, and Naledge (of Kidz in the Hall) are making names for themselves sampling contemporary indie artists like Grizzly Bear, Empire of The Sun, and The Black Keys.
The recent trend not only highlights the importance of sampling in hip hop, but suggests possible new cultural marketing strategy. Much has been written about hip hop’s white audience (white males are biggest consumers of rap/hip hop music), but little has been said about artists’ targeting. Are hip hop artists choosing indie pop, which typically has a white audience? Granted, The Black Keys’ side project as Blackrocc (which had collaborations with many “classic” hip hop artists), suggests the group was already part of hip hop culture. Is this the ultimate marketing combo?
In a past interview with SFCritic, Double-O (Producer for Kidz In The Hall) argued that hip hop’s new indie pop flavor was a result of,
“The new, iPod generation, ushered in the ability to say, ‘I don’t have to just listen to hip hop,’ because I now have the ability to listen to every single song made in life. It became a stamp or approval. You were cooler if you were more eclectic than if you listened to just A Tribe Called Quest, just all Rawkus, Puffy music, just Top 40s. ” -Double-O (Kidz In The Hall)
Double-O’s statement suggests that technology (iPod) has affected hip hop’s new sound. If this is true, someone should tell the record labels that the illegal spread of music might actually be saving the music being killed by them!
What are your thought?
Wiz Khalifa (Empire of The Sun Remix): “The Thrill”
Naledge (Grizzly Bear Remix): “Grizzly Man”
Hoodie Allen (The Black Keys Remix): “Tighten Up”