Whether you were at a frat party, jamming to new music in the car or anywhere doing absolutely anything, you've heard Lil Nas X's song "Old Town Road." The catchy tune has remained atop the Billboard Hot 100 for the second week in a row, and the world doesn't know whether to call it a disgrace of a country song or the worst rap song to exist. I call it one of the most successful examples of a cross-genre song.
Genre-bending, or the concept of mixing two or more genres of music into a single song, has been around for awhile, but it has gained popularity in recent years.
This video published by NPR Music demonstrates genre-bending for over 15 minutes.
Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile And Stuart Duncan: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert YouTube
Not only is creating cross-genre tracks a reflection of a versatile artist, but it is a skill that demonstrates creativity, thoughtfulness and talent. Artists like Mac Miller (R.I.P.), Kanye West and Jesse Rutherford from The Neighbourhood use genre-blending in much of their music, and they do it well.
Mac Miller's song "2009" from his most recent album Swimming begins with a classical intro before beginning the talk rap tune that he did so well.
Jesse's "Tunnelovision" begins as an upbeat rock song but transitions into a trap-like rap intermission at 0:41 before returning back to rock-n-roll.
While some are opposed to cross-genre songs, others are welcoming the style with open arms. It's refreshing, it's pushing boundaries and it might even save the music industry.