Though it was only a few years back, it already feels as if an eon has passed since the SoundCloud era, a time that introduced the world to rappers like XXXTentacion, Ski Mask The Slump God, Wifisfuneral, Lil Pump, and Smokepurpp. Though not everybody was particularly fond of the low-budget production, absent-minded lyricism, and rebellious attitude of the rising genre, it was those very same qualities that made SoundCloud rap so unique.
As one of the chief purveyors of visuals for many of SoundCloud rap’s prominent names, Cole Bennett had a first-hand window into the dynamic scene. It’s no wonder that he looks back on it so fondly, having played such an integral role in shaping its aesthetic. And though he’s moved on to bigger and brighter things, having recently joined forces with Eminem on two blockbuster videos, it’s evident that he’ll always hold a soft spot for the SoundCloud era.
Smokepurpp, an artist who rose to prominence through the SoundCloud era. Mike Coppola/Getty Images
“I miss the SoundCloud days,” he laments, taking to Twitter to wax nostalgic. “No Spotify/Apple playlisting, just genuine finds. “When the SoundCloud scene was at it’s height there were unsigned underground artists doing more numbers than mainstream acts. no label push, just a loyal audience. it was an era.”
“Then the labels caught on and nothing has been the same since,” he continues. “Everything feels so artificial now.” Though SoundCloud themselves slid into his comments pledging that they’re very much still present, Cole’s point certainly resonates. Close to the movement though he may be — it could certainly be argued that the SoundCloud era arguably caused a few negative trends in its own right — it’s hard to deny one key truth. It was the platform of the underdog, and though every dog does indeed have its day, alas — days end.
Do you agree with Bennett’s assessment? Has the SoundCloud era come to an end, and if so, will you be mourning it?