If you know me, you know I love mixtape culture. I think I’ve been making my Fourth of July mix for 10 straight summers, and this year is no different. My passion for finding new music and sharing it in a digestible, curated format knows no bounds.
The industry continues to evolve as does music production and lyrical content, but curated mixes are more important than ever in an era where tens of thousands of new songs drop daily. I’d like to think I’m helping some folks keep up.
Somehow it’s harder to find what’s right for you even though there’s more to choose from. And keeping songs in rotation when faced with unending newness? Forget about it.
The algorithm is not your friend. It’s basically just a new form of payola. I am beginning to wonder if the DSPs are going to start charging artists for priority listing in the algorithm. Maybe by 2024?
On top of that, mass culture is dominated by TikTok. TikTok is no longer just kitschy dance videos; it can sell products better than any other platform. But music is still its biggest driver. Every day, people pen catchy verses from their bedrooms and watch them explode all over the world. Occasionally, these songs crossover as real hits.
Does TikTok drive any form of “relevance” though? How many of these viral songs build long-term artist careers? More importantly, is music still art or is it just “content”?
I know my audience is grown, and many of you might be looking for more family friendly tunes, so I kept that in mind this year. These are the 1PM backyard BBQ jams, not the 1AM afterparty poppers. This that Twenty-Twenty-Two Nue-new!
As we have the past few years, we’ll be adding songs throughout the summer, so make sure you follow the playlist on your app. We don’t have a 2022 Jay-Z summer smash yet, and you know he won’t let it stay that way. Hopefully he and Bey have a banger tucked away.
Feel free to send recs of any summer jams I missed! I’m definitely on the look out. Happy 4th of July weekend, y’all.
Also published on Medium.