Lo-Fi Hip-Hop is Steadily Becoming a Cultural Phenomenon Around the Globe

Antoine Maurice King, MBA, MSIT

Lo-Fi Music Producer Donald Wayne Kinge.g. Spate Media

Lo-Fi hip-hop is quickly becoming a cultural phenomenon. The hip-hop beats and animations attract a new audience to what seems to be reincarnated jazz. Jazz always finds a way to come back, even when you look at jazz artists like Louis Armstrong in the 1920s and fast forward to the 80s with jazz stars like Miles Davis and Kenny G. Now you have what most people call lo-fi hip-hop. That is a blend of jazz music over 90s hip-hop beats.

Who created lo-fi hip-hop?

If you look at the origins of lo-fi hip-hop specifically, you have to talk about producer DJ Marley Marl. In the late '80s and early '90s, Marley was one of the first hip-hop producers to sample music and add a beat to it. Then you had hip-hop groups like Gangstar that blended jazz music over hip-hop beats. Some even credit J Dilla for inventing lo-fi hip-hop. When it comes to this new cultural phenomenon, lo-fi hip-hop Dimitri started a youtube channel and added animations that attracted a younger audience. Covid and quarantining help spread the word about the music. Students from all over the world began using lo-fi hip-hop as a study aid, and it spread across the globe. Lo-fi hip-hop is the perfect study companion because there are no lyrics, just smooth, relaxing beats. Once other hip-hop producers got a hold of the idea of putting animations and cool jazz beats together, they all ran with it. That made the music spread even more, with copycat channels and record labels popping up by the thousands. Even though lo-fi hip-hop producers started sampling, now it has attracted jazz musicians to start making music. Jazz musicians like Donald Wayne King are developing their lo-fi hip-hop sounds.

What's the future for lo-fi hip-hop?

New lo-fi hip-hop labels are increasing daily, and more producers are becoming interested in the emerging new culture. Lo-Fi hip-hop isn't necessarily a genre of music but more like a culture. People that want to listen to calm, relaxing music find an appealing channel and share it with their friends. It's more about community than a genre. You never know what the future may hold. It could turn into a genre, and artists in the future could win awards. Who knows?

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Antoine Maurice King, AABA, BSIT, MBA, MSIT Founder of Spate Media writer and blogger for www.spatehiphopnews.com. I love to write about music and entertainment, and local entertainment is something I find very interesting. I want to let you know about the best events, places to eat, and more in your area—over 15 years of experience working in media and technology.

Bronx, NY

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