The music game. It’s an ever changing, always evolving force that drives the feet to move and the mind to ponder. Such a miraculous thing that it can reawaken parts of the mind that may become lost to us.
Always taking its listeners to new and ever more beautiful places. From the original Godfathers of soul to the likes of Ludacris, Dr. Dre, and the Bigg Boss Dogg himself. From The Temptations to The Weeknd. The depths of human creativity know no bounds and we live in an age where it’s easier than ever before to share ideas and music with the world. And easier for industry folks to find the talent they’re seeking.
We have all seen the changes happening through the course of our lives, and I expect to bear witness to even more and exciting changes in what we affectionately refer to as, The Game.
Khalid made his way into the business in 2016 by way of SoundCloud. In 2016, he was #2 on the Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists Chart which garnered the young artist some well-deserved attention from the music world. He released his first studio album, “American Teen” in March 2017, and by that October, it was certified platinum.
He has had several well known hits; including “Location”, “Young, Dumb, and Broke”, and “Talk”. His recent collaboration with Kane Brown and Swae Lee called “Be Like That” has, as of this writing, over 2.5 million views on YouTube in a single week, according to Kane’s YouTube channel. With his smooth vocals and laid back musical style, he definitely brings a very relaxing vibe with his music. It is almost certain that he has much more to show the world, and millions of fans can’t wait to see what’s next.
From his first mixtape, “Owl Pharaoh” in 2013, to his most recent single release “The Plan” in August of 2020, Travis Scott has had a career to be envied. Early on in his career, he was noticed by Atlanta based rapper T.I. after moving from his home city of Houston, Texas to Los Angeles. Reportedly, T.I. freestyled over one of Scott’s songs during their first meeting. Scott has also managed to take his music into the digital realm in a whole new way.
April 2020 saw Scott working with Epic Games’ highly popular and worldwide multiplayer battle royale game, “Fortnite”. During the course of several online concerts, the game featured Scott performing in his very own giant Fortnite skin, and even the debut of his song “The Scotts” with fellow artist Kid Cudi. Introducing his music to a whole subset of gamers who may not otherwise be fans, without that connection to the game they love so much. An extremely smart move on Scott’s behalf.
Bruno Mars has had a career spanning the last decade as a solo artist, and farther back as a songwriter and producer. His first solo album, entitled “Doo Wops and Hooligans”, featuring the smash hit “Just The Way You Are”. That song holds the record for the longest running debut on the “Adult Contemporary” charts in the United States at 20 weeks.
The album also contained the viral hit song “Marry You”—a song which spawned countless viral proposal videos online, and made millions of girls very angry at their husbands for not being that cute. His style encompasses multiple genres of music, and he is a master of the retro ‘90s sound, as evidenced by his chart topping hit “Finesse” featuring Cardi B, released as a single in January 2018.
He has also been recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as the first male artist to achieve three 10 million selling singles. Bruno is always doing something different and showing the world that artists don’t need to be trapped into any one area of the business; as long as they have the skills and talent. Which Bruno has in massive amounts.
Post Malone came onto the scene in early February 2015 with a song called “White Iverson”. With a more “inward” style to his music, and some seriously chill beats to go along with it, he has amassed quite an impressive fanbase encompassing fans of all music genres. His explosive track “Circles” set records in August 2020, when it went to number one on the Billboard charts in both “Rap Airplay” and “Adult Contemporary”.
The sounds of the art of Post Malone is definitely unmistakeable. Leaving it’s listener with a sense of the way he truly feels, and tries to convey through his songs. Bending genre, and the ability to speak in soul. These are the main two reasons Post Malone makes this list.
A Canadian-born artist with smooth vocal stylings, and an almost throwback type of vibe, The Weeknd signed his first recording contract in 2012 with Republic Records. He released his first studio album in 2013, called “Kiss Land”. The hit “Starboy” featuring Daft Punk has received over 1.7 billion views since upload, according to his YouTube channel. Altogether, he has well over 3 billion total views, and climbing.
To get a feel for The Weeknd, simply check out his video with Calvin Harris, “Over Now”. The song reached fifty thousand views in the first twenty minutes after upload, showing that fans simply cannot get enough of The Weeknd.
The Weeknd boasts dozens of awards including being the only artist to have held the top three positions of Billboard’s Hot R&B Songs.
You can ask almost anyone, and they will recognize the name Snoop Dogg. He is a highly influential person in the music industry, even today. With a career like his, he definitely knows something about making music that people want to hear. Snoop is hosting a show on Apple Music he calls “Uncle Snoop’s Army Radio”. So, if you’re carrying an iPhone, make sure you tune in and listen.
Snoop released his first album in 1993, not long after working with Dr. Dre on his 1992 triple platinum smash “The Chronic”. Snoop is known for his west coast style and softer, yet still biting lyrics. In 1995, after facing down a murder charge and subsequently releasing a short film and album both titled “Murder Was The Case”, he founded Doggy Style Records; a subsidiary of Death Row Records.
His career now spans almost three full decades, and he is still dropping hits and collaborations on the ever-hungry masses. Whether you are in the mood to just chill, or in the mood to get wild, Snoop definitely has a song that will help with that. With his long standing sway in the rap game, the Bigg Boss Dogg was a must for this list.
What would a list involving some of the most influential, talented, and powerful people in the music industry be without the reigning Queen herself, Beyonce Knowles? Beyonce got her first taste of fame as a part of the group Destiny’s Child alongside Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams in the ‘90s.
The group gained more widespread attention with the release of their second album, “The Writings on the Wall” in 1999.
Beyonce began her solo career in 2003 with the release of her debut album “Dangerously In Love”, which included two Billboard chart topping singles; “Crazy In Love” featuring husband Jay-Z and “Baby Boy” with Jamaican artist Sean Paul. Beyonce has released a total of six studio albums along with eighty singles and five EPs. She boasts well over 100 million album sales over the span of her solo career, along with over sixty million as a member of Destiny’s Child.
She was recently cast as the voice of Nala in the 2019 remake of the Disney classic film “The Lion King”, and also directed a film highlighting her performance at the 2018 Coachella Festival. One of her more recent achievements is a self-proclaimed “visual album” she titled “Black is King” that she released on the Disney Plus streaming service in July of 2020.
Beyonce has rightfully gained a massive base of fans all over the globe. She is a very talented woman who knows how to connect with listeners in a way that makes her female fans feel empowered.
Her motives have a way that lets her fellow black Americans know that she understands their struggles in the current world, and that she is with them, and she is a role model for any young women who may feel alone and helpless in the world. She constantly shows them that their voices, stories, and experience matters. Therefore, Beyonce most definitely belongs on this list.
She is known for her impacts in the way of positivity and empowerment to those people and voices who need it most. May she continue to bless the world with her solid, reverberating vocal tones and a style smooth as anyone to ever make their way onto a stage.
What Do You Think?
While we hope that you would agree with this short list of artists who have come into the world of music entertainment and left their own touches with their art forms. However, even artists who are no longer around have deep lasting influence and impact on the world of music.
The true greats from bygone eras are always carried on through their influence on the artists of the next generation. And today, any artist who makes their mark in this world will be forever enshrined by the things they pass along to the young men and women waiting to take their place in the future. The game of music has been a part of the human experience in many different ways since the earliest days of civilization.
The music we hear today is merely an evolution from a mix of everything that has come before it. Share this article to your social media accounts and have this discussion with your group of people. I’m sure you will end up getting many different answers to the question, as music is a very personal and sometimes even emotional part of most every person’s life.
Songs that seem ground breaking to some just will not spark the same level of reaction in the next person, and that is the nature of the music business and the reason for such a wide array of styles and genres encompassed in the musical universe. May the Game keep changing, and may the next generation of artists push it on to levels we could never imagine possible.