How DMX Change Hip-Hop Forever, Swizz Beatz, Verzuz & Video Consumption
In early 90s, no one could predict that a battle rap artist from Yonkers was about to take over hip-hop industry by storm and unwittingly become one of the biggest rappers in the world.
At the time, P. Diddy and Bad Boy Records dropped hit after hit with lush production and silk Versace suits. And then came Earl Simmons aka Dark Man X aka DMX. He dropped his debut album ‘It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot’ and everything changed.
“That was the year DMX took over the world,” said Nas, who also called him “Gods Poet”.
His project was full of emulations of dogs barking and whining, the beats were rugged and skeletal, vicious nihilism, hair-raising tales of betrayal, vengeance and so much more.
Rather than being pigeonholed, his project skyrocketed to the top of the charts, he sold 251K in the first week in U.S only and records like ‘Ruff Ryders’ Anthem’ and Party Up (Up in Here) was heard out of every single car in NYC and beyond.
His thoughtful messages and distinctively gruff voice in his rhymes made him one of rap’s biggest icons.
DMX made a splash numerous chart-topping singles. He released 7 albums, earned 3 Grammy nominations and was favorite rap/hip-hop artist at the 2000 American Music Awards. It was impossible for anyone to sustain such meteoric highs.
He helped kickstart a new era of NY hip hop. DMX also brought the horrorcore genre and and paved the way for future eye-bulging experimentations. Artists like Eminem, Asap Rocky, Kendrick Lamar and many more followed his path.
Recently, DMX faced off against Snoop Dogg in a Verzuz battle, which drew more than a million viewers. Verzuz was started by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz. It is important to note that the Ruff Ryders’ Anthem was also produced by Swizz Beatz, one of many records that allowed him to carve out a name for himself in the early days as a Ruff Ryder. Today, Swizz Beatz has produced for Kanye West, Jay Z, Beyonce and the list of stars goes on. Swizz has embraced the role as a keeper of hip-hop history not only with his production but also with many initiatives like Verzuz. The rise of Swizz Beatz goes back to the days he used to DJ for DMX.
DMX was a dominant figure in hip-hop. He was like a prophet. Too deep. Too raw. Too authentic. X was more than a rapper. He made everyone feel special. The way he connected with people was just magical. His voice, his laugh, his spirit, just everything about him was so magnetic. X was everything.
Verzuz was one of many brands leveraging video during the pandemic. The pandemic has had a dreadful impact on nearly every industry possible. Meanwhile, video consumption has shifted substantially for Millennials and Gen Zers, especially on mobile. increasing penetration of mobile computing devices
Omnicom Media Group, Alter Agents, and Snap released fresh data on the immersive nature of the mobile video, shining light on the exact mobile behavior changes that millennials and Gen Zers are undergoing – in real-time.
The two-part study took place between July and October 2020, when they surveyed people aged 13 to 34, covering changes in consumption and mobile video behaviors during the Covid-19 pandemic. The first part of the study was conducted through a 15-minute online survey, responded by 1,000 Millennials and Gen Zers. The second study involved 35 Millennials and Gen Zers who watched a piece of a mobile video content. The findings were compiled by using immersion technology, a targeted neuroscience study where it “gives you information in real-time with clear graphs and easy to read comparison so you can understand what captivates your audience.” The study was implemented to shed light on the extent of the target audience’s emotional engagement with mobile video content.
Their findings included:
- Video consumption has increased during the pandemic, up to (61%) on social media apps.
- Most Gen Zers (50%) and millennials (60%) plan to continue consuming higher amounts of video content, even after the global crisis is over.
- Both generations responded positively to video content covering social justice issues, with 57% indicating that they would cease to purchase a brand that did not take a stand.
- Organic use of Snapchat is highly immersive and engaging, with an immersion score (a scientific measure of attention and emotional resonance) of 71, well above industry benchmarks and other popular social media platforms.
Video consumption was significantly inflated.
Millennials and Gen Z’s video consumption in 2020 have significantly risen, focusing on social media video content.
They stated that they view video solely on social media apps for more than one hour every day.
Over half (52%) of both Millennials and Gen Zers say this inflated video viewing is here to stay.
56% are watching more videos on streaming platforms/apps such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime and much more on TV.
61% are watching videos on social media apps such as Instagram Explore, Snapchat Discover, etc.
The pandemic instigated a movement worldwide, which is quite understandable. Most people, especially Millennials and Gen Zers, had their in-person interactions limited substantially, leading to increased mobile video consumption and a considerable boost to the video game industry.
Videos and platforms can influence users’ moods.
While Millennials and Gen Zers usually prefer to watch videos that are fun and uplifting, there are also a myriad of other reasons for their video consumption, from entertainment to lifting one’s mood to connecting with family. Driver-mapping indicates that watching videos on Snapchat helps Millennials and Gen Zers feel creative and relieve stress. The dark side of this implicates that video consumption on some platforms can cause stress and frustration. Findings from the study suggest that Millennials and Gen Zers watch video on Snapchat:
- To learn something new
- To unplug
- To lift mood
- To see what others are
While the term “digital transformation” may sound like a nebulous concept, the actual results are pretty easy to understand. We are already seeing an accelerated pace of changes that have come before.
The rise of new platforms, apps and solutions to fans like Verzuz and the proliferation of digital, not just as a technology, but as a media format, will continue to have profound and unexpected effects on 21st-century life.
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