On December 16th, the always controversial Nicki Minaj took to Instagram to rant about the unwelcome white takeover on the rap scene. But after this Instagram post I could not help but evaluate the whole music scene and the changes that have happened in this ‘Snapchat era’ as I like to call it. Beware they are a BUNCH but these three made the shortlist.
Starting off has to be the ascension of white rappers. In 2017 unlike the N.W.A 80s, it is possible to find an assortment of white rappers that deliver a variety in terms of styles. From Logic to G-Easy to Post Malone to the late lil peep and the list goes on and on. My point being, the previously infamous and indigenously black dominated rap genre is breaking down the stereotypical walls and is going mainstream. Result being, massive airplay across the board for the rap genre and the introduction of rappers of Caucasian descent who have been absorbed into the culture and seem to be mighty successful.
This was forcefully brought to the world’s attention by Nicki’s previously mentioned Instagram post. This however was not a shout out or a love letter, as she played the race card, claiming there was foul play involved. According to Nicki, the ranking on US I tunes was purely fuelled by racial preference as the top 10 slots were all claimed by white rappers. The Queens’ rapper insinuating corporate sabotage and subsequent portrayal of white as good and black as bad. But question is, who exactly is sabotaging the black rapper? Is Itunes the enemy or is the black rap scene becoming too generic prompting people to wander beyond the borders and seek for something new from the white rapper. Well all I can say in true bad ass fashion, ‘to be continued in 2018’.
Next on my list has to be the sudden rise of Latin music all across the globe. Most recently proven by the release of ‘Google’s list of the year’ that placed the collaboration between Latin titans Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber as the most searched song of the year. Trend setter& queen of soul, Beyonce also got bitten by the Latin bug collaborating with J Balvin and Willy William on the club banger ‘Mi Gente’ . Whether this success can be attributed to Beyonce’s and Bieber’s star power, one thing remains unrivalled; the success Latin music has enjoyed in 2017. That’s why there is not much to say about this except, to keep an eye out in 2018 on whether a diamond in the rough has been discovered in the epiphany that is Latin music.
Finally and most significant to you and me is that it is cool to be African in 2017. This is verbatim what ‘classic man’ singer Jidenna said on an interview with Larry Madowo while on the trend, during his visit to Kenya. Many would argue that this was brought about by having a man of African descent ruling the most powerful nation on earth for 8 years. Then later on having the first African win an Oscar. Namely Barrack Obama and Lupita Nyong’o respectively.
Sidebar; all these incredible people descent from one country, you guessed it right, Kenya.
Back to music though, the achievements mentioned above seem to have opened the doors to the global success of African musicians. Before I go there however, bear in mind that Africans have collaborated with numerous international acts and have tasted global success albeit inconsistent. What makes this period special however is the consistency and influence that African musical culture seems to be having on people worldwide. That said, CONSISTENT global success on the African music scene was enjoyed first by Nigerian maestro, ‘Wizkid’ when he collaborated with Canadian rapper Drake on the monster hit ‘One Dance’ on his chart topping album ‘Views’. This track received global acclaim and received many nominations and awards most notably 7 billboard awards in 2017.
His exploits on ‘ One dance’ fuelled his upward trajectory to global platforms and later on got featured by numerous global superstars such as Zara Larsson, Wale, and most recently Beyonce and Young Jeezy with the former yet to be released to the masses. But WizKid isn’t alone in this global arena as his Nigerian counterpart Davido has also collaborated with numerous global artists. In his repertoire lies big names such as Tinashe, Young Thug, Rae Sremmurd and Meek mill just to name a few. This is fast becoming a trend as Black Coffee, Diamond, D’banj and Wande Coal have also recently joined the elite club.
As the year comes to an end, genre restriction seems to be coming to an end with it. In my relatively long music life, I feel I can confidently say this has been the most liberal music year. With the acceptance of a wider range of music on the mainstream platforms, music seems to be achieving its true purpose; unity. All we can do is hope 2018 will present new possibilities and consequentially, new opportunities.
This Article was written by Spreadzone Contributor :Steve Obudo