Soundcloud rap has been the big story in hip hop since 2015 and it has always had a lot of detractors. So when the recent overdose of noted soundcloud rappers XXXTentacion, Lil Peep and most recently, Juice WRLD, led some writers to pronounce the death of the whole genre, it felt a little over eager.
No, soundcloud rap is not dead.
The genre can also be referred to as mumble rap, emo rap, or a mixture of trap with a healthy does of a punk attitude. Common style choices include dreadlocks and face tattoos. Lil Uzi Vert, Travis Scott, and Trippie Redd are just some names that blew up on the music platform Soundcloud, which gave the genre its name. Popular soundcloud rappers include Playboi Carti, Kodak Black, and YNW Melly.
Playboi Carti was the first to use mumble rap, and was the one to make it popular. His second album Die Lit debuted on the US Billboard 200 at number 3 with 61,000 album equivalent units. Kodak Black’s latest album, Dying to Live reached number 1 on the charts, with 89,000 album equivalent units. YNW Melly’s single “Murder on my Mind” blew up as it was top 20 on the billboard, and is four times platinum.
Despite recent the recent deaths of soundcloud rap talents. the genre is actually still in its prime as there are so many young talents becoming so big so quickly. NLE Choppa and Lil Tecca are both 17 years old who have recently blown up on Soundcloud, and have the potential of becoming two of the most popular rappers.
Lil Tecca stepped in the scene when his song “Ransom” went viral in 2019. Ransom currently has 201 million views on YouTube. The 17-year-old continued to make music by releasing his first album We Love You Tecca on August 30, 2019. According to The Fader, the album landed at number 4 on the Billboard 200, with 68,000 equivalent album units. How many 17 year olds do you know that have done that?
Tecca knows the reason why many people like his music is because it’s different. The rapper said, “If there’s nothing different about you, you’re not going to get a special kind of fan base.” He is also a very hard worker his manager Giuseppe Zappala said. It looks like this young talent is only going to keep getting better and better.
NLE Choppa also became really famous when one of his songs, “Shotta Flow” went viral. Shotta Flow currently has 119 million views on YouTube, and the remix which features BlueFace has 123 million views. He later dropped an EP called Cottonwood on December 20, 2019, which had a peak position of 25 on the Billboard charts, which was on January 3, 2020. NLE had partnered up with Warner Records for his own label, No Love Entertainment.
So, no, Soundcloud rap is not dead. This genre will be around for many years as long as all these young artists make music for. Meanwhile, even younger people who have yet to even start releasing their music will no doubt be influenced by soundcloud rap as they add their own artistry and creativity to the culture.
Cover image: XXL Magazine