In the past few weeks, popular Soundcloud artist and songwriter Lil Aaron has released 3 new songs, each opening with samples from classic emo/pop punk hits. It started with the track Warped Tour, featuring Paramore’s Misery Business. Then, a week later he released Hot Topic, which begins with Panic At The Disco’s iconic I Write Sins Not Tragedies intro. About a week after that, he released the most recent track, Top 8 which samples Sugar, We’re Goin Down by Fall Out Boy. His song Drugs also gives off a pop punk vibe on it’s own with no samples, and he even referred to it as being “like a Blink-182 song on drugs” in an interview with Pigeons & Planes just about a month before releasing it.
Of course, Lil Aaron isn’t the first or only artist to do this, although he does it well based on the reaction the new tracks have received. The integration of Soundcloud rap and emo/pop-punk throwbacks is a trend that’s been growing for a while now and deserves discussion. Lil Peep, another artist who uses Soundcloud as his primary platform and is a big name in the emo rap/sad boy culture, has featured samples of nostalgic hits by Brand New, Underoath, Explosions In The Sky, Death Cab For Cutie, Avenged Sevenfold, a track off Pierce The Veil’s most recent album, and even Oasis’ hit song Wonderwall.
Whether or not you enjoy the type of hip-hop and rap that comes from this side of Soundcloud, it’s still interesting to see 2 genres, that at times have been considered opposites, merge the way they have been with the new wave of artists. This could be because as the Soundcloud revolution gains speed and it’s proven more frequently that there’s money in hip hop, more artists with roots in emo, pop punk, and even metalcore are making the switch. Even Post Malone, whose debut hip-hop album released in late 2016 and has since gone platinum, auditioned for Crown The Empire in 2010. He is also rumored to have played in other local bands in his hometown as a highschooler.
Rising Soundcloud artist Lil Lotus based in Dallas, TX also made the switch after getting his start in bands like Be//gotten. He’s since accumulated over 8.5K followers on Soundcloud in about a year and has featured samples from Senses Fail in his song Bodybag, and Jimmy Eat World in the track At The Top Of Your Lungs. Both tracks are produced by the great Nedarb who also produced Warped Tour and various other tracks by Lil Aaron, Lil Peep, and many more of the reigning artists on Soundcloud.
Maybe this generation is simply obsessed with nostalgia, which isn’t too far fetched of a statement considering events like Emo Nite, which originated in LA and has since taken off in major cities around the country, drawing crowds of over 500 people to come together and sing along to their favorite throwbacks. Maybe we just miss MySpace. Regardless, it’s always interesting and worth noting when two genres and/or cultures collide to create an entire new movement. If you’ve got an open mind or already enjoy these genres separately, it’s definitely a trend worth checking out.