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The year is 2018, and the music genre known as Hip Hop/Rap is by far one of the most popular genres. Currently, the genre has been making a very subtle shift towards lyrics that focus more on emotions, rather than women and money.
Hip hop/rap is a music genre that is described as containing speech that often rhymes and is accompanied by rhythmic beats. This genre is most popular amongst the youth of today.
Hip Hop/rap music is much more prominent in daily life than it used to be. Films use specific styles of music to help portray the mood present in a scene, and that often means that Hip Hop is not utilized due to its subject matter. That all changed when Black Panther, the world’s ninth-highest-grossing film of all time, introduced a soundtrack that included popular hip hop artists such as Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Travis Scott, Future, and others to help evoke emotion.
Evoking emotion is all what Emotional Rap is about. The genre focuses more on recollecting on situations and how they make you feel; and being able to let the emotions flow, rather than be bottled up–because let’s be honest, not everyone can relate to being rich.
Emotional rap is not a new variation of Hip Hop: Highly acclaimed group known as A Tribe Called Quest having produced “8 Million Stories” in 1993, a song about depression and the frustrations of daily life.
More recently, rap legends such as Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Drake have dabbled with the emotional rap subgenre and have received positive reviews. Drake’s track, “Marvins Room,” is focused around him talking to his ex-girlfriend; the song was released in 2011 and is still popular today.
With more and more artists releasing albums focused on emotions, it has inspired mainstream rappers to produce similar content. XXXTentacion is a rapper that is mostly known for hardcore rap, with most of his songs featuring him screaming about his intense lifestyle. But XXXTentacion’s most recent album “?” focused on his emotions, with him grieving over his ex girlfriend, and his feelings on being alone. XXXTentacion is not the only artist taking this path, with up-and-coming rapper known as Juice WRLD, releasing his debut album, “Goodbye & Good Riddance,” on May 23, 2018. As of now, the album has received immense praise and is on route to be a success.
All in all, Emotional Rap is still a fairly new sub genre that has not resonated with everyone yet. But as more and more artists realize the genre’s potential, listeners will have no other option but to be in their feels.