By: Robby Ripchord
You might disagree with me but I don’t think you can deny that rap has become the mainstream music genre. I don’t have any official numbers in front of me but I would venture to guess rap music is the most popular among teenagers and 20 somethings in most major cities. If Jay-Z comes out with a new album it is automatically the top selling album that week and into the foreseeable future.
You may associate Pop music with of N’Sync, Backstreet Boys and the like. It also depends on your definition of Pop Music too. Some would just define it as “popular” while others would define it as :
commercially recorded music, often oriented towards a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple love songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.
The genre of commercial rap in general can be considered equal in most respects to the late 80’s hair bands, the early 90’s grunge band explosion. It’s been kind of cookie cutter for awhile now, a new act comes out that is similar to the established norm; same ghetto fashion, same mentality, rap about the same subjects (money, cars, hoes, selling drugs). Does anyone think that Jay-Z is really selling drugs?
Point being that Jay-Z and most other commercially successful rappers music are almost immediately accepted by the younger audience and to me that means Pop Music. To me if you’re on MTV TRL (which would have rappers on it if it still existed) that’s Pop Music and that’s where most rap is at right now. It’s accepted by the mainstream, it crossed over racial and age barriers, teenagers have been rocking Jay-Z since I was a teenager. That’s Pop Music end of story. Just because Jay-Z and the like can be considered rap doesn’t mean they cannot also be classified as Pop Music.
Certainly not all of Jay-Z’s music would be considered commercial. The man does come out with some stuff for the streets which for the most part does not get played on the radio or appear in commercials and video games. But the singles; if he releases a single, that’s automatically pop music.