Published Mar 13, 2013What is it?
Lo-fi, ambient hip-hop featuring unconventional samples, ethereal sounds and a tendency towards slow, blunted delivery. It's either the next evolution in hip-hop, or rap music for people who don't like rap, depending on who you ask.
Who's doing it?
The phrase was first used in reference to Bay Area duo Main Attrakionz (Pictured). Producers like Clams Casino, Friendzone and Canuck Ryan Hemsworth are also associated with the movement, as is dadaist weirdo Lil B. Some of A$AP Rocky's early work would also fall under the cloud umbrella.
Where to start?
Clams Casino's mixtape Instrumentals and Main Attrakionz 808s & Dark Grapes II, both of which came out in 2011, first caused the subgenre to get mainstream attention, and probably represent cloud rap in its purest form.
Cloud rap is almost certainly the next genre to get co-opted by the pop-industrial complex. A$AP Rocky is hip-hop's current darling, and Hemsworth is remixing people like Lana Del Rey. Can a Clams Casino-Taylor Swift collaboration be far behind?