May 10, 2023
Blog by Thomas Lack
The fifth in Soundpaint's Pop 40 line of production-ready drum kits, Post is here to blend new genres and inspire new styles. Post offers immediate access to five customizable top-quality kits that cater to eclectic styles. It blends various pop music influences to deliver a unique sound and rhythm, with beats offering endless customization for creators seeking to break away from generic loops and cookie-cutter rhythms. And as always, the Soundpaint interface allows for easy creation and perfection of a distinctive sound.
One of the most fascinating aspects of music is how it can combine different styles and influences to create something new and original. Genre blending is not a recent phenomenon, but a long-standing tradition that has shaped the evolution of pop, rock, and hip hop, just to name a few. Like spoken languages, genres evolve as new ideas are introduced and tastes change, so one could easily argue that all genres are blends and there are few, if any, “pure” genres. Regardless, the lines between genres can be fuzzy, so while there are no precise formulas for genres blending into something new, we can take a look at some examples.
Pop music is a broad term that encompasses many different styles and subgenres (including a specific genre called “pop”). However, one of the common features of pop music is its ability to adapt and incorporate elements from other musical traditions, such as folk, jazz, blues, soul, rock, disco, funk, hip hop, and more. Some of the early pioneers of pop music who experimented with genre blending were The Beatles, who fused rock and roll with Indian music, psychedelia, classical music, and avant-garde techniques (#9). Another influential figure was Michael Jackson, who combined pop with soul, funk, rock, disco, and rap to create his signature sound. More recently, pop artists such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and Bruno Mars have blended pop with dance, electro, reggae, country, and R&B.
Rock music is another genre that has a rich history of genre blending. Rock music emerged from the fusion of blues and country music in the 1950s and 1960s. Since then, rock music has diversified into many subgenres and styles that have incorporated influences from folk, jazz, classical, punk, metal, grunge, alternative, indie, and more. Some of the notable examples of genre blending in rock music are Led Zeppelin, who mixed hard rock with blues and folk; Pink Floyd, who blended progressive rock with psychedelia and ambient music; Queen, who combined rock with opera and glam; U2, who fused rock with post-punk and ambient; Nirvana, who merged grunge with punk and pop; Radiohead, who integrated rock with electronic and experimental music; and Coldplay, who mixed rock with pop and alternative.
Rap music has also been influenced by various musical genres such as soul, funk, disco, reggae, jazz, rock, pop, and more. Some of the early innovators of rap music who experimented with genre blending were Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, who used samples from funk and disco; Run-DMC,
who collaborated with rock band Aerosmith; Beastie Boys, who mixed rap with punk and metal; Public Enemy, who incorporated elements from funk and industrial music; and De La Soul, who blended rap with jazz and soul. In recent years, rap artists such as Kanye West, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Nicki Minaj have blended rap with pop, R&B, rock, and electronic music.
Now, it’s worth noting that this is just one way to look at these styles. The lines that divide genres are not so rigid that a solid technical definition can explain precisely which category a song belongs to. Depending on your viewpoint, it may make more sense to examine specific elements in their own right as opposed to which genre they may be coming from.
Let's take a closer look at a specific genre-blender. Post Malone is one of the most popular and successful artists of the 21st century, but his music defies easy categorization. He is often labeled as a rapper, but he sings and experiments with different sounds and genres, such as pop, R&B, and more.
Post is not afraid to try new things and switch up his style depending on the mood, theme, or collaborator of each song. He can rap over trap beats, croon over acoustic guitars, or rock out with electric guitars. He can also adapt his voice to different genres, using auto-tune, distortion, or falsetto effects. For example, on his 2019 album Hollywood's Bleeding, he showcases his versatility by incorporating elements of hip hop, pop, R&B, rock, and even folk.
Taking inspiration from a variety of artists is an important element in blending genres. Post Malone draws inspiration from a wide range of artists and genres, from hip hop legends like Tupac and Biggie to rock icons like Nirvana and Metallica. He also cites country stars like Johnny Cash and George Strait as influences on his music . He pays homage to these artists by sampling their songs, covering their hits, or collaborating with them. For instance, on his 2018 album Beerbongs & Bentleys, he samples Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" on "Hollywood Dreams / Come Down" and features Nicki Minaj on "Ball For Me".
It is also important to add something new when blending genres.. Post Malone does not only copy or mix existing genres, but he also creates new sounds and styles that are original and fresh (if you are not a fan, you may disagree, but it is still worth recognizing). He experiments with different instruments, effects, and production techniques to craft songs that are catchy, emotional, and memorable. He also challenges the boundaries and expectations of different genres by adding unexpected twists and surprises. For example, on his 2020 single "Take What You Want", he teams up with rapper Travis Scott and rock legend Ozzy Osbourne to create a hybrid of rap and metal that features a guitar solo by Andrew Watt.