In today’s culture, online presence seems to transcend the music itself. I'm sure we’ve all been there: scrolling through our Instagram feed when suddenly you scroll past an obviously paid promotion for a poorly written and recorded rap song, that sounds exactly like some other rapper you already know. Just 3 seconds into listening you can hear the keyboards typing “free playboi carti type beat” on the YouTube search bar.
Not to be mean but why is it that so many new rappers are coming out nowadays? Sure the “SoundCloud” wave has revolutionized how the industry works, making it easier for new artists to be noticed, but it seems to be the ones, with the better online presence that survive and prosper. Music Videos, Instagram, Face Tattoos, Fake Chains and WordStar hashtags. Rappers nowadays value their online image more than the lyrical content itself.
Ok, look, I'm guilty. I enjoy rappers like Lil Pump, Playboi Carti, and 6ix9nine. You’re gonna tell me you don’t absolutely lose your shit when a song like GUMMO, D-rose or Magnolia comes on? These songs are perfect examples of what I call concert anthems. Songs that have a very reparative flow/hook making them ideal songs to mosh at a concert. There’s one other thing that ties these songs specifically together, music videos.
Lil Pump’s network clocks in at around 6.5 million dollars. Yes, you read that right. At the age of 17, he’s worth more than my whole family, combined. Now we could talk all day about how Lil pump is a lyrical genius (sarcasm guys…it’s the best) but we must agree that one of the main things that launched him into stardom was his persona. At 16 years old Pump was making waves in the underground rap scene for being a kid with tattoos and pointing a rifle in his mouth (in the music video for Ski Mask). Lil Pump was practically the poster child for the phrase “WTF”. Today, my mom knows who Lil Pump is and she’s never heard a word of his music. Yet she recognizes his name and face. Pink dreads, tattoos, white but trying to be black, people know him for his look, his style, all thanks to the modern age.
Social media is, and I would say continues to be the ammo that fuels the gun of Sound cloud and online rapping. Example; Just Juice...that can mean one of two things. Either it’s just juice, or it’s a musical artist. Just juice became famous for his Instagram videos of freestyling and looking like Action Bronson’s step kid. There are so many artists now that use Instagram as their main source of promotion and media outlet.
So, we know having a social media is the first step. But what sets you above the rest? What takes a 17-year-old kid with pink dreads to the cover of the XXL freshmen magazine the next year? Music Videos. For a videographer like myself, the name Cole Bennett carries A LOT of weight. Cole Bennett, in my opinion, is responsible for the launching of so many rap careers this year. Examples include Lil skies, Famous Dex, Lil Xan, Juice Wrld, Ski mask the Slump God. The list goes on and on.
Because of music videos and this great thing, we call Youtube, a rapper can establish, or further establish an online presence. Music videos give you a different look into an artist’s song. It gives you something to visually picture every time you hear the song. It puts you, and the rapper, out there. A music video has the potential to push your music career forward…a good music video that is. A good videographer is a rapper’s best friend. A camera, is a videographer’s best friend…so in other words …lets be friends.