Rap

First Quarter Report 2019: Rap

First Quarter Report 2019: Rap

As we begin to close out the decade, 2019 presents a number of daunting issues related to the future, namely those revolving around the internet. Like all music, rap depends on the internet for distribution and circulation as never before, and it’s been extremely apparent these days given rap’s status as the most admired of popular music. That said, all the utopian arguments that the internet would prove to be a boon to the genre and make things easier for artists and audiences alike have proven futile. History and information should be easier to get ahold of, but they’ve instead become easier to disregard. Nearly anyone can guarantee their music gets on the major platforms, but so much stratification for whose music is emphasized makes painfully noticeable the artists who aren’t heard. For all the promise that technology would make rap feel better than ever, it’s somehow managed to make it feel more difficult to explore.

The songs selected below do a great job at demonstrating how strange 2019 feels. It includes multiple generations, rappers from all across the nation, and even some from across the Atlantic. Similarities persist in some of the selections, but the differences are incredibly prominent and create a baffling sense of what can be considered “now.” So much of rap’s past is still impossible to shed, and so much of the so-called future feels illusive to point to with confidence. This isn’t to say that any one thing in particular feels exciting or enjoyable, it’s just difficult to do justice to it all with the endless sprawl of talent that continues to make itself known. For the readers: I hope these selections do their best not only to satisfy, but to confound. One can only imagine what the 2020s hold, but for now we have another year to marvel at and to endure.

The 50 Best Rap Songs of 2018

The 50 Best Rap Songs of 2018

To conclude 2018, we acknowledge that this has been one of the more fruitful years for rap this decade. There’s been an immense shift in the genre as we find it now past 40 years of Rap, Hip-Hop or however you’d like to call it, with multiple generations and movements across the nation pushing and expanding the field in as many directions as one can track, perhaps too many. With the 2010s starting to come to a close and a whole new decade of the genre to anticipate, few genres emerging feel on track to achieve the success and seeming universality of rap. For now, rap remains still one of the cutting edges in music, and is destined to do its best to keep that up and even exceed our expectations.

Third Quarter Report 2018: Rap

Third Quarter Report 2018: Rap

As we revisit the rap climate of the year, we have a summer behind us and more than a number of strange and enticing records. While much of this column is dedicated to the revival of the city that was once hailed as the center of hip-hop culture, a like amount concerns the feeling of unease and confusion emerging from the current capital of the genre. From both coasts, many pockets in between, and even across the ocean, we cover rap that veers from the raw street-oriented material to the more elusive and experimental approaches. Now with the last few months of 2018 to anticipate, let us see where the year’s departure seems to bring us…

Second Quarter Report 2018: Rap

Second Quarter Report 2018: Rap

With yet another chapter of 2018 seemingly resolved, we’ve seen numerous developments in rap continue to unfold. Whether from the various pockets of the West Coast, mini-scenes of the once-destitute NYC, parts of the country with little national rap history, or even ‘across the pond,’ changes are still underway. Once again we have a number of selections here at Tone Glow to provide you with just a brief hint at the endless possibilities that rap has to offer, and a showcase for why this year has been endlessly intriguing. With only half the year concluded after all, one must wonder just what will stand out among the pack and will continue to linger in our memories for years to come. But for now, here’s just a few choice cuts to illustrate the infinite supply of gems.

First Quarter Report 2018: Rap

First Quarter Report 2018: Rap

Ever since its inception, rap has benefited from being one of the most unique genres of its time, and the last few years have proven such is still the case. Despite how accessible various forms of rap have been made thanks to the internet, the narratives and attention more often become dominated by market forces. Rarely do we get to sit back and study the genre in an overall view gauged not by success or recognition but for resonance. So, here are at least a few examples of developments in rap that are most certainly worth keeping an eye on...