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The Explorer

The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

What happened to new music?

Rapper+Drake+has+been+an+extremely+influential+artist+for+the+last+decade%2C+and+his+fan+base+mainly+consists+of+high+schoolers%2Fteenagers.+His+most+recent+Number+One+hit+on+Billboard%E2%80%99s+Top+100+was+from+his+newest+album%2C+%E2%80%9CFor+All+the+Dogs%E2%80%9D+with+the+song+title+%E2%80%9CFirst+Person+Shooter%2C%E2%80%9D+%28featuring+J.+Cole%29.+Used+with+permission%2Fmusicisentrophy.
Rapper Drake has been an extremely influential artist for the last decade, and his fan base mainly consists of high schoolers/teenagers. His most recent Number One hit on Billboard’s Top 100 was from his newest album, “For All the Dogs” with the song title “First Person Shooter,” (featuring J. Cole). Used with permission/musicisentrophy.

How much time does the average teenager spend on TikTok? On social media? Or simply on their phones? Some may spend a few hours, some may spend tens of hours. What is not a debate is that phones have become a critical part of everyone’s life, even more so for teenagers. This is precisely why music has had such an impact, with apps such as Spotify and Apple Music being the most popular ways teenagers access music. This, in effect, has changed what “mainstream” music as a whole means, with new ways for artists to promote their music to their target audience. With this, however, comes bigger artists that get the attention of millions of people, as their platform gets more and more fans and attention from these algorithms.

While interviewing senior Jason Dement on his thoughts on famous rapper Drake’s newest album, “For All The Dogs,” he revealed that he claimed that the album was “bloated” and “cheesy” but that the songs were “sonically one of his best songs [Drake] has made in a while.” While Drake’s previous album with 21 Savage, “Her Loss,” reached massive success and garnered the attention of many people, it seems like no matter what Drake releases, people will listen to his music. Take Dement, who has eleven songs saved from this album and yet still rated the album only a six out of ten. Even other famous artists, such as Frank Ocean, who have not released new music in years, still have huge fan bases and seemingly unachievable amounts of success. But this type of music, (the “popular” music) currently changes on a monthly basis. A song that was famous may be revived by a famous TikToker using the sound, and the song will reach success, but they will then have to create their own unique sound. People don’t listen to music to listen to the same song over and over again; they look for a story, and to “experience” the song.

Although Drake may continue to make music that gets mixed reviews, music will continue to evolve and change. While the “mainstream” music will continue to thrive, it doesn’t mean that indie artists will struggle more. With platforms such as TikTok and Instagram reels, many solo artists have grown in popularity and have been given a voice. Dement says that “when someone says, ‘new music isn’t how it used to be,’ it means they aren’t spending the time to explore smaller or indie artists that are expanding our definition of new music.”

It’s easy to see “new music” as just the songs or artists that are popular, but there is a whole world waiting to be discovered behind them. Look for artists that have less than a hundred thousand monthly listeners. Follow them on Instagram. Watch them grow as an artist. And most importantly, listen to music you enjoy. Because a new Drake album shouldn’t be the reason why you open the Spotify app in the morning.

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About the Contributor
Kai Kurokawa
Kai Kurokawa, Reporter
Kai Kurokawa is a senior at Hudson High School. This is his second year writing for The Explorer. He mainly writes about sports but specializes in reporting on the football team and local sports teams. Kai is involved in many clubs around the school, including being Vice President for Student Government and the Director of Special Events in the National Honors Society. In his free time, Kai makes music on Spotify and Apple Music, plays the trumpet in the marching band, and runs the 400 meter dash in Track and Field. He hopes to pursue a career in sports journalism and continue his music career as an independent artist.
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