YouTubers are taking over all forms of traditional media whether it be creating and starring in movies, penning books, and even diving into the music industry. One of the latest YouTube successes is Cameron Dallas the latest teen heartthrob who gained 15 million combined followers on social media and 3 million subscribers on YouTube in less than a year, while branching out to other projects including starring in a movie in 2014 (Expelled) and recently releasing music.
I can admit that I’ve spent a few nights going through the massive collection of some YouTubers channels and I understand the hype. People like Grace Helbig, Jenna Marbles, Miranda Sings, Tyler Oakley and so many others have found a way to create very lucrative careers from simple videos made in their bedrooms, doing random challenges and just showcasing their personalities. It’s interesting to see how these internet starts are using their fame and after hearing “She Bad” I really want to see where Dallas goes with his music.
“She Bad” is a very radio friendly, Billboard destined banger that has Dallas rapping over smooth and current sounding production. The lyrics aren’t too insightful but seriously what top charting song is nowadays, “See her lifestyle / Stay bankrolled / But she work like it ain’t though / Yeah she might get ratchet / But she know she bad though.” Dallas rap style reminds me of artists like Hoodie Allen and even hints of Wiz Khalifa’s debut album Rolling Papers. I can already see the outpour of hate for Dallas and other artists like him who don’t scream rapper at first glance but rap isn’t exclusive to the streets and hip hop culture anymore. Every generation has a genre that defines their world at the time, and rap definitely represents so many people especially with rappers of every, age, race, gender and sexuality vying for some sort of success or recognition.
Authenticity plays a big role in rap because the root of the genre was telling stories about living through difficult circumstances or tough environments and how those experiences can lead you to getting out of rough times through music. I know Iggy Azalea had a rough year with critics questioning her authenticity and what she brings to the rap conversation but with huge singles and sold out shows, it’s obvious that there is an audience that wants to hear what she has to say and I expect the same to be said for Dallas.
I don’t want to get too deep with this review because in the end “She Bad” is a nice party record that won’t change lives but could led to another YouTuber branching out to mainstream success which hasn’t been done in the rap genre yet. With other internet stars tuned musicians like Troye Sivan, Jack & Jack, Niykee Heaton and the obvious huge Canadian performer Justin Bieber finding success on different levels, I expect more artists to continue to find creative ways to build audiences and create lasting careers in the music industry. Who knows what YouTube and other media sharing platforms will become in the future. Maybe they’re are destined to be the new ‘traditional media’. All I know is that consumers will always be here to embrace new forms of art and artists need to continue to provide content for those people in innovative and exciting ways.