Why EDM Doesn’t Work with Most Hip-Hop Artists

Global icon, G-Eazy recently released a track with Dillon Francis – an electronic dance producer (EDM for you party kids), and I think this is perhaps the worst feature he’s ever done. Now, I heavily believe that artists deserve the chance to experiment and broaden their musical horizons, but perhaps maybe not all experiments should be released. This song, ‘Say Less’ is a horrific upbeat that makes G-Eazy chase the instrumentals until the bitter end.

Story | Sara Loretta

Image | DJ Booth

EDM music is meant to be played for a crowd who could care less about vocals, instead want a beat to dance to while they trip out on drugs. There are producers like Calvin Harris who have created instrumentals for specific artists like Frank Ocean but a true EDM track like ‘Say Less’ isn’t built to handle a mainstream rapper who historically released radio / sing-a-long records.

– Related: The Lunch Table’s Interview with Marty Grimes

Young Gerald isn’t a rapper who does well with beats that don’t allow him to articulate. He is a slower rapper and there’s nothing wrong with that. So when Francis brought him into this EDM / club party song, G-Eazy should have walked away because this murdered him. I do think however, that G-Eazy could rap on an EDM producer’s beat as long as the instrumental was made for him, instead of a pre-made track being presented to the Oakland rapper.

For instance in Suicide Squad, Rick Ross and Skrillex teamed up for a song on the soundtrack and the track equally balances both artists without overpowering the differences of style.

Then you have the infamous 2016 hit, ‘Starboy’ by The Weeknd. Produced by Daft Punk, the track was built around The Weeknd’s high range-vocals and the instrumentals don’t race his usual lyrical flow, where he holds most endnotes out at each line. I suppose you can say that The Weeknd isn’t a “rapper” but instead mirrors Michael Jackson type R&B.

Finally, I came across this old Sway in the Morning interview with Flosstradamus, an EDM group that incorporates rap into their sets. This interview was definitely a bust for Sway, but their live set about half way through this video, shows what they do; stand around a deck and text on their phones as the record plays.

But back to my original argument, I think there is a difference between a “trap beat” and an EDM song. There is no denying that G-Eazy can handle a trap beat, see his recent song ‘Eyes Closed’; where he’s casually following the beat and the fluidity between vocals and instrumentals aren’t distracting to the listener. I do think however, for Gerald to continue his success as a rapper, he needs instrumentals that don’t pull him out of his normal lane, as he doesn’t naturally experiment in his music.

One thought on “Why EDM Doesn’t Work with Most Hip-Hop Artists

  1. It’s true the song is not very good. However, using the song to lambast an entire genre is wrong and hypocritical. If it becomes acceptable to describe EDM goers as drug loving ravers, then you must also accept the stereotype of rap lovers being ok with misogyny and drug dealing. You are in fact looking at the extreme negative of a genre to describe on collaboration that you dissaprove of.

    Not every rapper does their work like Nas or Kendrick, but not every EDM producer or artist plays on their phone during performances either. I challenge you to look into the processes used to develop Daft Punk albums, or the amount of work required to truly create Dr. Dre’s beats. While the genres are different, the effort, creativity and love of music is all the same. Lambasting a genre to prove the song is bad is not only bad journalism, it’s down right ignorant.

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