It is clearly evident that within relatively the past fourteen months artists Symere Woods and Miles McCollum, respectively known as Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Yachty, have absolutely dominated the musical industry. In addition to this, both artists actively wear and promote designer brands that in turn earned McCollum a Creative Designer position for Nautica at the very start of this year. With such guiding light and presence in the music and fashion industries, this inevitably paves way to colossal financial stipends for the two young gentleman that has been quite rare up and to this point in time.
In a recent article posted on DJBooth, it was stated that Lil Yachty tops all other artists (tying Bryson Tiller) raking in roughly 100k per show while LUV earns around 60k. Despite these two rap artists gaining exponential popularity as of late, they have also accumulated recent disapproval from some artists of the senior generation of hip-hop such as 50 Cent, Waka Flocka Flame, etc. Why would this possibly be? Is it the red, beaded-hair, wearing of women’s clothing or questionable front flips into crowd-surfing that deters our older entertainers? It really is difficult to point out, but you know what “they” say, history does always tend to repeat itself.
Back when the era of “rock & roll” was transitioning during the late 60s into the early 70s, these feelings were mutual. British Beatlemania segwayed into the legendary, psychedelic realms of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Eagles, etc and this transition was met with conflict. The then older generation was also weary of the new “styles” and sub-genres being introduced within the boundaries of “classic” rock that they felt had already adamantly been defined. Despite what people and contemporary artists thought back then and what they believe now, Uzi and Yachty remain unfazed because they themselves each remain an individualistic icon within a much grander scale. As stated within an interview with the New York Times at the end of last year, Yachty declared: “I’m not a rapper, I’m an artist. And I’m more than an artist, I’m a brand.” The importance of the key word ‘brand’ perfectly goes to describe the creative mindsets of these two and how they naturally promote themselves.
It is not every century you see a prominent societal figure, influencing millions of youth and the younger generation, proudly rocking an acutely iced-out Marilyn Manson chain just about every where he goes. Going off of that, during an interview with The Guardian in January 2015, Manson is quoted stating: “I created a fake world because I didn’t like the world I was living in.” A cynical approach to our planet nonetheless, Manson’s own ‘brand’ has helped reshaped the overall historical course of music. That being said, just like Manson manufactured his own method, Woods and McCollum fabricated their own alternate universes as well because they too ‘didn’t like the world’ they had been born into. Don’t be a sheep. Make & create your own path.