While being a moment of incredible turmoil, death and economic angst the likes of which America has never seen since World War II and the Great Depression, it’s interesting to mull what culture emerges out of the likely months ahead in quarantine. Music, podcasting and other entertainment streams are already seeing dips in consumption, but getting product to audiences who are separated physically has never been easier.
I thought often about my co-host Jamel Smith, who has been working as part of his father L. Spenser Smith’s team since he graduated with music business mastery from NYU. In the days when albums rolled out explicitly on a single date in Target and Wal-Mart, this would have been a moment of crisis for the music industry. Nevertheless, artists can’t tour or promote releases set for the rest of the spring physically. Fortunately for Mel, most of that promo for the album still set to drop Apr. 17.
Other artists have taken to Instagram live to keep their image in the minds of fans. Some have performed, though only Erykah Badu has monetized her online concert from what I’ve seen. Producers and performers have battled, though Bomani Jones noted there’s a noticeable lack of rappers battling on the stream.
Quarantine has inevitably been a hot release time, with Thundercat moving his release date up, Childish Gambino dropping his surprise album and Jay Electronica releasing his first album one decade in the making — or was it? Mel and I dove into that album as well as my quarantine playlist. Kali Uchis, Knxwledge and Megan Thee Stallion are discussed. Remember the running man challenge? That too: Kyrie’s last endearing moment.
Challenges have exploded since then and are now a critical component of music promotion. Mel and I dove into how the forces behind the scenes in music are pushing the utilization of Tik Tok and more to make songs like Meg’s “Savage” blow up.
Jamel attended DJ D-Nice’s Instagram with the likes of Mary J. Blige, Michelle Obama and Biden/Bernie in the house. Hundreds of thousands watched D-Nice spin songs live, is that the world we’re living in until summertime?
Dome Theory with Bobby Manning features Music Monday with business insider Jamel Smith, weekly interviews with sports/pop-culture figures and discussions with friends. Please subscribe and rate here.