Soundcloud rap is not dead

Rewon Shimray | Cartoonist

The world would be a stranger to songs like “Look at me!” by XXXTentacion or “Star shopping” by Lil Peep if it wasn’t for Soundcloud. This streaming platform is primarily used by hip-hop and rap artists and takes their songs from underground sensations to national phenomenon.

Soundcloud is a hassle-free way to upload your music and try to create buzz around the brand you are building for yourself. It’s more convenient than YouTube because you can play music while your phone is locked, and it’s specifically geared towards music creators rather than video producers.

Many artists have used their Soundcloud stardom to propel them into a recording contract. Hip-hop stars like Lil Uzi Vert, XXXTentacion and Juice WRLD all used their Soundcloud fame to capitalize on a record deal. The utilization of Soundcloud within the music community has been instrumental in starting careers and creating brands.

Recently many music fans, specifically from the hip-hop community, have been critical of the music coming from Soundcloud and the type of music that’s being produced. Many rappers that are now coming from Soundcloud are mimicking the well-known rapper “Lil Pump” and are trying to create catchy songs like the ones Lil Pump produces.

Because of Lil Pump’s controversial sound, many hip-hop fans say Soundcloud is “dead,” and the last good music came from the late XXXTentacion and Lil Peep. Both XXXTentacion and Lil Peep are from the Soundcloud generation that popularized “punk rap,” a form of rap that has been more widely accepted since their rise to fame.

Whether or not you agree that the last good music to come from Soundcloud was from XXXTentacion or Lil Peep, that doesn’t mean the streaming platform is dead. Many rappers coming out of the streaming platform now are cultural favorites to younger hip-hop fans who enjoy the style of music Lil Pump produces.

Soundcloud also still provides an outlet for artists who need a place to create a brand. Small indie artists or cover artists can grow in popularity without the restrictions a recording contract brings or copyright claims other artists are subject to.

The importance of Soundcloud in the music community cannot be overstated. It has blossomed many careers to bigger opportunities to share their art with a wider audience. Soundcloud is still as relevant as it was two or three years ago and is still producing musical icons that will shape a generation of music. Soundcloud gives artists a place to explore their careers and figure out what works and what doesn’t.