Trend It Predicted: Merging of Rap Music and Modern EDM
Modern Examples: A$AP Rocky f/ Skrillex "Wild for the Night," Danny Brown f/ Purity Ring "25 Bucks," Nicki Minaj "Starships"
Today we know OutKast’s “B.O.B.” to be one of the best hip-hop songs of its decade, but when it first surfaced the reception was substantially chillier. Not only did the title reference poke at a sensitive spot in United States foreign policy (getting the song banned from MTV and some radio stations when real war broke out in 2003) but it did this over a risky, very avant garde, drum ‘n’ bass beat.
The musical conversation between hip-hop and electronic music dates back to the era when Afrika Bambaataa rocked crowds over Kraftwerk samples, Dr. Dre spun electro in the World Class Wrecking Crew and hip-house...did whatever hip-house was trying to do, but OutKast’s high profile modern EDM/hip-hop hybrid arrived as the “electronica” boom of the late ‘90s and early 2000s spread EDM values out into music it’d never reached before.
It seemed to open up a new round of collusion between the genres. “B.O.B.” stuck out like a sore thumb in 2000, but a decade or so later the barriers between rap and EDM have softened considerably. As a result, we’ve seen scores of cross-genre partnerships like A$AP Rocky tapping Skrillex for “Wild for the Night,” Nicki Minaj and RedOne teaming up for Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded cuts like “Starships,” and James Blake and Chance the Rapper making music together.