What do you just not "get"? What are your "gaps"?


Thought it might be interesting to ask everyone if there’s any music out there at the moment (or older) that you just don’t “get”?

Not stuff that you actively dislike etc… but scenes and music that you just don’t really understand or have a frame of reference for. I’m hoping that maybe we can fill in each other’s blanks? :slight_smile:

For me, I never really understood the whole SoundCloud rap thing. Forgive me for using that name, I’m sure it’s problematic in some way, but I’m referring to the whole Lil peep/XXXTentacion/etc… thing. I think I just missed it when it was on the come up? Now it’s had this influence on a lot of other music, but I still feel like I never really found my entrance point into it and don’t understand it as much as I could :thinking:

I guess another way of asking this is: what are your musical “gaps”?


The whole soundcloud rapper thing was actually quite mad. X was one if not the first rapper to get an audience at the scale he did on soundcloud. At the time the only real plausible and easier way of getting such a large audience and fan base was to go through large labels. He didn’t do that, he basically said fck you without realizing it. Not only that but the guy spoke the truth, he spoke how he felt and what he felt with no filter, no ‘ice ice’ 'yuh’s or trying to be someone he wasn’t. The guy inspired and influenced 100s and 1000s of people. Others followed such as Lil Peep. He did the same.

The big labels didn’t like it one bit, a small underground rapper from florida has managed to gain a huuuge fan base. Of course they wouldn’t like it, the amount of money they lost out on will be insane. They did everything they could to put a stop to it, I won’t say any more about that bc it’s massively off topic.

But yeah I think the soundcloud rapper scene thing whatever you want to call it emerged from peoples creative cry for help. Young rappers emerging from nothing and creating something huge for themselves and millions of others!


i really don’t get 80s hip hop drums — those typical 1bar rock drum loops

they are always too loud and a frequency band whom i don’t seem to enjoy much? don’t really understand what was the kick of that sound


triple x + peep is sooooo 2017. (half-joking) It’s funny how much success rappers got around 2017 when, at the same time soundcloud had severe layoffs and rumors of shutting down. There’s been exponential growth for SC in the past few years. I love to anecdotally quote tweets - Mr. Mitch once tweeted that soundcloud used to be a platform for sharing ideas, posting drafts and getting feedbacks with community-orientated actions in mind. And that’s true - in 2013 the main things I listened to were radio rips, long-form mixes, and unsigned tracks.

To an extent, people still use soundcloud for the aforementioned things. But soundcloud is now used as a viable, legitimate platform for intensive growth. It’s the primary platform for a lot of indie artists.


there should be a soundcloud discussion thread! it’s an interesting conversation


Haha yeah they absolutely are! But that’s also why I’m curious about it. I didn’t really ‘get’ it at the time, but I feel like I need to go back and reassess, in part due to the influence that music has had on a lot of other music.

@SHIRK Your reply gives me an idea of what other people saw in that music - seems like there’s a lot of parallels with various punk and DIY scenes, although at a kind of scale that most of those scenes never see?

Re: how soundcloud is changing - I feel like there were already people using soundcloud as a kind of “growth” platform in 2013, or a springboard at least, but the scale wasn’t quite as big. IIRC some artists were quite focused on using soundcloud popularity to entice people to shows*, where they could actually turn a profit (I feel like this era was really defined by a somewhat nihilistic attitude towards digital music). Maybe the changes are that these were much smaller artists than they are now, with much smaller followings, and maybe the money is coming from places other than live shows now?

*There’s actually a whole other world discussion in this, too. Although I don’t wanna derail my own thread! Do online popularity and IRL popularity seem more separate than before, or more linked? If you’re big online these days, do people make it to the show? Why/why not? And, a more fundamental question, if the internet gradually decentralizes (as many seem to be pushing for), what does big online even mean anymore? What does it look like?


I feel like this tune ties everything together nicely:

I think there’s a few reasons 80s hip-hop sounds like that. One is the technological limitations of the time. There were some great drum machines in the 80s, but also a lot of not so great ones. Digital sampling and was in its infancy, and DACs were usually 8-bit and very crunchy! Add to that the fact that a lot of the people making hip-hop then didn’t really have the same access to gear that, say, the Pet Shop Boys did and you can see that people were working within certain limitations.

As for the kick of it, and why it works as an aesthetic, Questlove has a nice little bit in his RBMA lecture that I’ll paste here with a link to the full transcript below:

“So then from ‘82 to ‘87, the golden age of hip-hop, ‘82 to ‘87, that, to me, was like the Cokie 900 stage, the 40-ounce stage of hip-hop, which was quasi-advanced. I mean, you had cats like Teddy Riley coming in to do “The Show” by Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick. And you had Larry Smith’s work with Run-DMC. [sparse beat] Like, the idea of big drums, very sparse. The classic period of hip-hop, which I consider ‘87 to ‘92, which is the crack era, ‘cause Chuck [D] and Hank Shocklee actually wanted their music to reflect the drug of the time. When he said that, I was like, “Oh, OK.” So every period of hip-hop is the drug of that moment.”

Basically, the vibe of it is to pack as much energy into a tune as could be managed - which is why the drums are loud and why there’s stuff in there that feels kinda uncomfortable to listen to. It’s conveying the discomfort and energy and anger of the time/place through the production, as well as the vocals.

I think there might also be a part in Jace Clayton’s book Uproot where he talks about a similar thing re: Public Enemy, but I don’t have a copy on hand at the moment to check. Hope that gives a little bit of insight though!


i definitely agree there. it seems that being ‘big online’ doesn’t do much these days


+1 on this. If you’re acting high and mighty IRL boasting about being an “influencer” / youtuber / internet personality 99 times out of 100 people will tell you to fuck off.


yeah but the whole craft of writing is going by the wayside at the same time…

to each their own, but i miss emcees that pushed themselves to surprise you with rhyme schemes and wordplay. it honestly feels like most of these modern rappers are actually R&B singers

which is fine. it’s just not what the emcee used to be responsible for


sometimes i wonder if this isn’t also related with the internationalization of hiphop. back in the 90s it was mostly a US thing, so making complex lyrics would be ok because it was mostly heard by native speakers. now its a global pop event, so ‘simpler’ records do better? i dont know…


If you want a laugh

Then xxxtentacion comes in… https://youtu.be/aO12BCNUlLU?t=125


thats a super interesting take that i never really thought about before


Yeah the Soundcloud Hip Hop explosion has been a massive thing, and while i liked some of the Emo Rap stuff the EVEN more modern stuff like HexD, Glitchcore, Trance Rap, etc is subgenre overload for me. I haven’t tried exploring them and I haven’t seen other’s volunteer to help out. There’s just so much there, the lines are very blurry, and its not something I’ve wanted to tackle or get.

I’ve always avoided getting into Vaporwave due to the whole laziness of slower bpm sampling of it. As fan of plunderphonics I SHOULD enjoy it but all the overlapping subgenres and movements for it, which quickly died out for new ones, just seem way over the top. Except for Future Funk (actually happy and listenable) I’ve always just avoid all the vapor genres as a willing blindspot.