By Ahmed Sabi Abubakar
Tired of hearing “aye” and “yea” after every line in songs? Wondering why you don’t get to hear stuff you like? Phrases like “music has changed” and “there’s no good music out there” are very common these days.
Not just in hip-hop, but in music generally, however this article would focus on hip-hop music.
To be reading this article means you have access to the internet, and we all know how this thing called the internet has changed life as we know it. Music hasn’t been spared from its effect which we can see that from the decline in physical record sales. Hell, even downloading has declined. Streaming is king now, or so it seems. There’s still a lot of illegal downloads unaccounted for.
Legally, lots of consumers under 35 don’t even bother to download their music anymore, they just stream whenever they want to listen to their playlists.
How do they know what to look for? Are they still watching MTV, sure, but not as much as before, besides MTV is packed with reality shows.
How about radio? Sure radio is still relevant, but far less than before. Besides, there’s internet radio now.
Let’s get to it then, how can we find the type of music we like? Let’s start with;
There are so many of these services around the world, but the leading websites are Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and SoundCloud.
YouTube and SoundCloud are free, and SoundCloud does a good job introducing you to up and comers with its auto play mode. If you’re into underground and independent music, SoundCloud is the place to start.
These services also help recommend music using your history, which can be very helpful, and their playlists are a great place to find artists you would miss otherwise.
Basically playlists are a good place to go on these streaming platforms, but it does help if at least you know the type of songs or artists you’re interested in.
Music Blogs and Websites
Websites like 2Dopeboys, Hip Hop Wired, Ambrosia for Heads, HipHopDX, Hot New Hip Hop, and so many others (click here for a top 30 hip hop websites) are also great places to find good music.
Adding your email to the email list of the one that best fits your preference is the way to go with these websites. You could check up on artists they recommend and be kept informed when stuff you might be interested in comes out.
There are lots of podcasts you could subscribe to. Many of them are on YouTube now. There’s The Company Man, DJ Vlad, Drink Champs, Everyday Struggle, Sway in the Morning, Ebro in the Morning, The Breakfast Club and many others, where they interview artists or just discuss about artists.
Lots of music could be found out from following these programs; from their interviews with artists and discussions with each other.
Social Media platforms are also great places to discover new music and keep up with your favorite artists. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter are great for you to discover people into music you’re into, follow them and also check out hashtags of topics you’re interested in. Instagram is my favorite so far.
Apps like Shazam, MixCloud, 8 Tracks, BandCamp, Slacker Radio and a ton of others are very popular when it comes to discovering music. The music streaming services I mentioned all have apps, so they could also fall under this category.
These apps have their various strengths in keeping you on top of your game with new releases and music generally.
As a fan of music, you should have friends that love music as well, or even more than you. They could be around you or really far, it doesn’t matter. You could always find out what they’re listening to and check out what they’re on.
I’m sure there are other ways to discover good music, new or old. Concerts and festivals are other avenues to discover music, but they are too dependent on location.
Regardless of how you find your music, be aware that there are still lots of good music out there, new and old. There really is no good reason to complain about there not being good music. All you have to do is do a bit of searching, but it definitely is worth it.
Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions on how to find good music in the comment section below.