You That I Want

Features, collaborations, guests, they're all a massive part of the music industry. Now in the world of hip-hop, features and collaborations aren't as prevalent due to the nature that artists want to be heard for who they are as an individual. Now a feature here or there won't hurt your reputation, but sometimes it seems as if it's just a cry out to show how much money you can throw around to get *insert high revenue artist here* on the track list of your upcoming record. No one should take any offense to this, if anything you should pat yourself on the back for spending your money to lock in your rap career with the big leagues. Although, like stated above, I think many rap artists do shine when they go about things on their own, much like Remy Banks stepping out from World's Fair temporarily to release his new solo record higher. It is how artists make a sound for themselves and further create who they are as an artist. Eventually, by doing this, an artist becomes the influence of artists to come, and I would like to believe this is every artists goal, money set aside.

By means of electronic music and production, it's more so an experiment of sounds and very different from its hip-hop counterpart. With so many genres out there, all with their names associating to the BPMs and influences of the said style of production, it's easy to get lost without a hand to hold. For example, Juke, an evolved form of ghetto house which garnished public affection in the early 2000s, distinguished by particular drum kits and songs are generally around 150-165 BPM. All of this labeling is slowly diminishing within the world of electronic dance music, or EDM. Sampling has become a huge part of this type of music, collaborative efforts to combine unique sounds, and visual experiences to coincide with live performances. This is very different from other genres for the most part.

Jamie XX recently collaborated with Young Thug and Popcaan to create the track "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)". Jamie XX didn't necessarily reach to Young Thug because he's without a question one of the top rappers in the game, but because of his distinct voice and style. The same goes for the dancehall artist Popcaan, when listening to all three of these artists individually they all have a very unique sound. In this scenario it was done for the art of the music and the audible experience, melding what are often foreign sounds together to create something new. Something to feed the consumers with, making a way for artists to gain feedback from others,  just to then again create a new genre.

It is now that we are seeing countless new artists, rap and EDM, chase after their passion to create music, both alone and with others. New rap artists emerge every day only to hope to make it to the next, but without features it wouldn't be that easy. Many fail, getting caught up on the over used subject of drugs and money, or simply not having enough money to fund their own career. As for EDM, many artists of the youth are collaborating with each other to make even more unique sounds. Today's music is run on collaborative efforts and social media platforms, there is nothing wrong with that. There even seems to be what is almost a collective of producers that roam the worlds of Tumblr and Soundcloud, all while drawing inspiration from each other and collaborating.

I had spoken with Cleveland based producer 16 yr old a while back and it had seemed there is a string of producers that are friends within these social networks.  DIVINE, a female producer from Salem, Oregon, had collaborated on a few tracks with 16 yr old and at times the collaborative sound was evident, while at others it had you wondering who contributed what. This is when things can get choppy, where as features with rap artists it's clear as to who's who, but EDM can be tricky. DIVINE is definitely worth a listen and does not live her name down one bit, but the real question is what separates her solo tracks from her collaborative tracks. And on top of that question, what seperates EDM artists as a whole. Where it is clear to distinguish Young Thug from A$AP Rocky, it isn't as clear to distinguish upcoming EDM artists like DIVINE from the others trying to make it. The challenge all artists must overcome, some genres easier than others, is defining ones sound. It may sound easy, but when the easier route is to get a big name on your track list for quick recognition, it can easily become a conflicting matter. What is your opinion on collaborations/features?