Vol 9: Digital Overload; Why Streaming Alone Will Kill Music


Art, more so than any other discipline, captures the emotion of what it means to be human. And of all the art disciplines, music is the most powerful. And of all the music genres, Hip Hop, with its soul stirring beats and rhymes, is second to none. But we’re now faced with a dilemma—especially the heads who aren’t club rats.

When do we listen to dope music with other humans? As we mob through life with our earbuds in, streaming apps churning through data, never physically owning an album / tape / CD, music listening has become less human. It’s like being in touch with folks through social media, but never connecting in person. It’s cool to see pictures posted by people I haven’t seen since 8th grade, but it’s nowhere near as significant as grilling up a few burgers at the homie’s house.

And real Hip Hop needs significance.

We need to connect with other heads, break down lyrics, and debate who is and who isn’t wack (outside of the troll-infested comment section of some blog post) because it helps us understand who the hell we are as we navigate this crazy world.

We need to buy music and invest in our best and brightest because pretend rappers are getting paid by major media outlets to soft shoe, and real artists with integrity are struggling to pay rent.

We need to all know the lyrics to Radio Raheem so we can recite them in unison at night clubs, BBQs, and music festivals because it bonds us around our life experiences in an effort to uplift us.

Music makes life better. For some of us, music is life. Limiting interaction with it to the digital realm is less than ideal for anyone who strives to be real. While I maintain that a diet of digital distribution alone will negatively impact how we experience music, as the founder of a music streaming app, do I admit digital is here to stay and plays an important role in counteracting the mainstream.

If you want to hear music from dope underground emcees, be sure to check out the Vaytus app in the iOS App Store.

Music for the Rest of Us is an exploration of dope music made with artistic integrity— music that’s about something more than just the turn up. Written by Aniefre Essien.

By Aniefre Essien

Aniefre is a Los Angeles native with varied interests ranging from the Afro-Brazilian martial art of capoeira to an undying love of Lakers basketball, even in the lean years. He's an alum of both San Francisco State University (BS) and the University of Michigan (MBA), and is a firm believer in education as its own reward.