What's “cloud rap”? As the story goes, the term was coined by Lil' B sometime around 2009. During an interview with a journalist, he pointed to a cheap airbrushed picture of a castle floating on some cumuli in the sky and said, “That's the kind of music I want to make.” True or not, the term stuck.
Since then, the sound has snowballed into an amalgam of Southern snare patterns, spacious synth pads, blunted lyrics and indecipherable ALT-key character chains on Tumblr -- and gave rise to new players like Main Attrakionz, SpaceGhostPurrp’s Rvdxr Klvn and Robb Bank$.
The third episode of Red Bull Music Academy's H∆SHTAG$ web series takes a look at the cloud rap scene and the Internet's role in its enormous growth.
Can legitimate hip-hop movements thrive without a firm regional rooting? What's the point of putting out albums when a Datpiff mixtape link will do? And most importantly, does the cloud-rap label even come close to describing the sound anymore? Main Attrakionz, Flatbush Zombies, Robb Bank$, SpaceGhostPurrp and Piff Gang weigh in alongside noted journalists and bloggers.
New episodes of H∆SHTAG$ premiere each Wednesday at Red Bull Music Academy.
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- H∆SHTAG$: The Renaissance of Contemporary R&B