Hello, I’m MusiCommentator, and it’s no secret that trap music is big. Huge. I mean, gigantic! There is no doubt in that. Look at the Billboard Hot 100 charts and almost every song has some type of trap influence in it, whether it be the instrumental or the subject matter. Hell, 7 out of the 10 Top 10 songs right now feature rappers in them, and most contain those rattling hi-hats and dominating bass we are all familiar with now. I’m not portraying this as a bad thing, because I find a lot of trap music to be enjoyable, but the point is this: trap music is the big thing right now.
Looking back, every decade has a genre or two that basically defines the music made at that time. The 60s had classic rock, the 70s had disco music, 80s had hair metal and synthpop, 90s had grunge and gangsta rap, and the 00s had pop rock and a little bit of crunk/bling rap. Every decade seems to follow a pattern like this, and sometimes within the first 2 or 3 years of the next decade, the sounds of music start to switch until, by the middle of the decade, music sounds completely different than it did 10 years prior. Usually sounds of the next generation of music will permeate into the previous decade, but its inevitable takeover eventually happens when that decade turns. The decade we currently reside in is almost over, with less than a year and a half before the calendar reaches 2020, so I’m predicting a musical revolution to happen soon. It won’t happen suddenly–none of them do–but by 2025, I expect the radio waves to sound much different.
Now, 2025 is pretty far away, and trap is still firmly staking its claim in the mainstream right now, so what could be coming next? Well, I have a theory that international music is going to be the next big thing to be as big as–if not bigger than–trap music.
I believe this, for one, because international music is bigger in the West than it has ever been before. Many people are chalking up this craze of international music to be a fad, but I think the people who say this don’t comprehend just how big international music is right now. Trap is still bigger, of course, but let’s go back to the Billboard charts. As of November 1st, 2018, there is somewhere around 5 songs on the Hot 100 chart that have an international artist in it. You know how many songs contained foreign artists on November 1st of 2008? 2, and that’s if you count Pitbull as “international”. There are so many more popular international songs in America than ever before. Songs like “I Like It”, “Taki Taki”, and “MIA” currently have high charting positions and are songs people are taking very seriously, when one of the only international songs people liked 20 years ago was the “Macarena”. Surely this is a sign that international music is growing in popularity with Western audiences.
It’s not just Western audiences that are taking a fondness to this music, either. It’s also Western performers. More than ever before, popular American artists are doing collaborations with international artists. Looking at the three songs I mentioned in the previous paragraph, Cardi B’s “I Like It” features Latin trap rappers Bad Bunny and J Balvin. Cardi B is also on “Taki Taki” with international artists Ozuna, alongside DJ Snake and Selena Gomez. Bad Bunny, too, is on “MIA” with Drake. It’s not just the Latin scene that’s big in America. BTS is probably this year’s biggest boy band, and they’re a K-pop group. Along with just winning multiple MTV Europe awards, they’ve done collaborations with Desiigner, Nicki Minaj, and multiple songs with Steve Aoki. Another popular K-pop group, BLACKPINK, just released a track with Dua Lipa as well. And, of course, how can I forget about 88rising. The Chinese rap group Higher Brothers, signed to them, has popular songs with Famous Dex and Ski Mask The Slump God. Keith Ape–another signee of the label–also has a track with Ski Mask The Slump God, and another one with XXXTentacion. I should also mention that XXXTentacion has had many collaborations with Latin artists, including Maluma, Rio Santana, Judah, and Carlos Andrez. Plus, I guess it’s obligatory that I mention Justin Bieber’s remix of “Despacito”, which made the track the most streamed song of all time! Whether you like the songs mentioned here or not, there is no question that many Western artists are hopping on this international trend, and if Western artists keep doing this, it’s very possible that this type of music can become so commonplace in America as to make it the next big music trend.
Finally, I think it’s very important to look at music right now to predict where it is headed. Music tastes don’t just change on the flip of a coin: it’s a slow evolution. Many people throw around the term “mumble rapper” nowadays just to label a rapper they don’t like, so even though not all rappers coined with this term are actual “mumble rappers”, the acceptance of this term shows something important about modern music. Popular music right now is not all about the lyrics. I think a good songs should have a good balance of lyrics, delivery/vocals, and instrumentals, but many people like songs for the vibe they give. So, why should it be seen as such a far jump from people liking mumble rappers to people liking international artists. If you can’t always understand what they’re saying, it can still be liked if you’re feeling the “vibe” of it (from the mainstream’s perspective, that is). Really, the only big jump I think listeners would have to take is accepting the sonic differences in the way the instrumentals in trap music sounds from the way they sound in international songs. This, of course, varies by country, but if Western audiences keep getting exposure to these sounds (like Western artists are doing right now with all of these collaborations!), then it would be very easy for me to believe that international music might blow up in a major way.
There are a few others points I haven’t mentioned that could help my point, like the Pewdiepie vs. T Series debate, but I think with how popular international music is already becoming, and with how similar it sounds to some of the popular music today, I don’t think it would be ridiculous to say that international music might be the next big music trend. Of course, this is just a theory, as some genre might totally come out of left field at the start of the 2020s and blindside the whole music world, but I definitely think my side of the argument it quite possible.
Thank you for reading my international music analysis. If you liked this post, make sure to follow my website, Twitter, and Instagram, like this post, and be sure to check in to read my future content. Also, if you have something you want to see me review, tell me in the comments. Until then, keep on listening to good music! I know I will.