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SXSW Music 2014

Hip Hop: From Mixtapes to the Cloud

Since the early days of the tapedeck, hip hop artists have relied on the mixtape as a way to test material, build hype and engage their fan base. The mixtape will always have its place in hip hop, but artists are finding easier and more efficient ways to accomplish these goals and distribute their material through platforms like SoundCloud to RapGenius.

Jay Z, RZA & Snoop Dogg have posted original content on these platforms and continue to push the envelope by experimenting with new technologies. But beyond some of the industry giants, we are hearing underground, indie rappers, and up-and-coming artists posting new songs and actively engaging with fans from all over the world.

In this session, we will explore the old skool methods used by hip hop artists for promotion and distribution, but also discuss what tools artists are effectively maximizing today with the overall discussion focusing on advantages and disadvantages of the end of the traditional mixtape era.

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  1. We've noticed a growing interest in hip hop music among the tech elite in the last couple of years. Why is this vertical catching fire with this audience?
  2. Hip hop culture has become one of the most important forms of expression for young people on the planet. Do you feel the recent usage of technology to help promote hip hop is detrimental or positive for the industry?
  3. Hip Hop has roots in "creative resourcefulness in the face of limited resources” as legends did their own marketing and sold CDs/tapes out of the trunks of their cars in order to get an audience. Is hip hop becoming too mainstream thanks to technology? Have we lost the essence of the art?
  4. Is connecting online and sharing beats across the web where hip hop artists will find their hardcore fan base and urban youth?
  5. How has mobile impacted consumption for the hip hop audience?



Dan Dupree, PR Specialist, SoundCloud

Meta Information:

  • Tags: cloud, hip hop
  • Event: Music
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Technology
  • Track 2
  • Level:
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