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Are we on the brink of a new genre of music emerging?

We spoke to music management exec Al Branch about culture and change.

Artist // YouTube

With a new generation of lyricists bringing so many uncategorizeable sounds into rap and hip-hop , it’s no surprise that people feel like a new sub-genre will, or should, emerge.

Drake himself made a few comments that contributed to this ongoing conversation when he felt as though the Grammy Awards' Rap category didn't encompass the sound on his fourth studio album Views. During an interview with DJ Semtex, he said:

"I'm a black artist, I'm apparently a rapper, even though 'Hotline Bling' is not a rap song," he says. "The only category that they can manage to fit me in is in a rap category, maybe because I've rapped in the past or because I'm black."

So is it time for a new genre of music altogether? To get some insight on this topic, REVOLT TV sat down with CMO of Maverick Management, Al Branch.

Al Branch
Al Branch

Echoing Drake's sentiment, Branch said, "He's right. Why couldn't 'Views' be in the pop category? Rappers no longer just rap. Rap is pop."

And based on that declaration, you'd think that Branch would agree that it's time for a new genre to be created to reflect this change in urban music. However, he feels the opposite.

"I don't think it's changed; I just think every generation gets their turn, gets their cookbook," he said. "Everybody is bringing their spin to the art, everybody is bringing their flavor to the art."

Branch got his break in the music business at the age of 21 when he started working at Roc-A-Fella Records. He has since gone on to work with some of the biggest names in hip-hop including Kanye West, Drake, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj, and one of Maverick's current clients is rapper G-Eazy.

Over those years, Branch has witnessed a lot of changes within the industry, which is why he believes that what's happening to music now isn't so much a new genre emerging, but a reflection on the current culture.

Al Branch, G-Eazy, Bryan Calhoun
Al Branch, G-Eazy, Bryan Calhoun

"These kids want to see someone that looks like them, they don't want to keep listening to T.I. and Future, no disrespect to those guys," he told REVOLT TV. "It's all about the culture and that's why, for me, I tell my clients, 'Let's go with the most culturally relevant record.'"

From Branch's perspective, the transition we see with rap and hip-hop today is what the music itself is all about.

"We always jacked different genres and made it ours, that's hip-hop. We jack genres and make it street."

So maybe it's not that we're hearing an entirely new sound, but that we're now seeing urban artists expand their sound to fit into multiple genres. What do you think?

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