Adam Levine Says Hip-Hop Is Behind All Innovation in the Music Industry. Heâ€™s Right
In a new interview, the Maroon 5 frontman explains why hip-hop is at the forefront of innovation in the music industry, while rock suffers
To have the headlines tell it, rockâ€™s day in the commercial sun is over.Â Hip-hop and R&BÂ are the most consumed music genres in the U.S. Hip-hop also capturedÂ 71% of theÂ BillboardÂ Hot 100â€™s top 10s in Q3Â this year. There are many more statistical examples tracking rapâ€™s rise over traditional rock. This week, theÂ Maroon 5Â lead singerÂ Adam Levine, whose career was launched by the softer sides of rock radio, piled onto the genre further.
â€œSomething unique to this band is that we have always looked to hip-hop, R&B, all rhythmic forms of music, from back when we were writing our first album to now. Rock music is nowhere, really,â€ Levine toldÂ Variety. â€œI donâ€™t know where it is. If itâ€™s around, no oneâ€™s invited me to the party. All of the innovation and the incredible things happening in music are in hip-hop. Itâ€™s better than everything else. Hip-hop is weird and avant-garde and flawed and real, and thatâ€™s why people love it.â€
It makes sense that Levine would know where the music industry is heading.Â â€œGirls Like You,â€which featured the rap breakout of the year in Cardi B, spent seven weeks at the number one spot on the Hot 100. Levine admits in the interview, he â€œbeggedâ€ theÂ Invasion of PrivacyÂ rapper to appear on the song and described her role as â€œvitalâ€ to its success.
This week alone, 50-percent of the Hot 100Â â€”Â â€œSicko Mode,â€ â€œMo Bamba,â€ â€œLucid Dreams,â€ â€œDrip Too Hard,â€ â€œZEZEâ€Â â€”Â is composed of hip-hop songs. None of them sound alike. Travis Scottâ€™s â€œSicko Modeâ€ featuring Drake and Swae Lee, features three beat switches, three samples,Â and cuts off the biggest artistâ€™s feature at its apex. â€œLucid Dreamsâ€ samples a Stingâ€™s 1993 â€œShape of My Heart,â€ while â€œDrip Too Hardâ€ is a sluggish western inspired trip into the minds of two Atlanta rappers most couldnâ€™t notice if they were sitting next to you.
So, Levineâ€™s take is hot, but it isnâ€™t scorching. Earlier in the discussion, he also laid bare the current state of rock music â€” and had harsh words for the Recording Academy.
â€œApparently being in a band is against the law at this point. Bands that are currently in the pop landscape â€” or have survived the pop landscape â€” who are they? Imagine Dragons, One Republic, Coldplay and Maroon 5. Thereâ€™s your category for best group. The Grammys had to change the fucking category because there werenâ€™t any bands. Now any [featured artist] can make it. Goddamn it, we cornered the market â€” then you fucked us, Grammys!â€