LiFTED LiSTS: Predictions for 2024
Each year, LiFTED predicts what will be hot for the upcoming year
The domination of English-language content in global Pop culture is being taken on head first by the growing influence of APAC cultural leviathans such as Korean K-pop, Japanese anime, and Asian Hip Hop. LiFTED is here for the metamorphosis.
Each year, LiFTED takes a look back at what has gone down in Asia and finds the trends for the upcoming year. In 2023 and 2022, we predicted a lot of good things and even a few clunkers in there. [Remember NFTs? We’re hoping to forget them as well]. Read on to get the predictions for 2024.
FESTIVALS ARE NOW A PART OF LIFE
Fuji Rock. ZoukOut. Wonderfruit. Clockenflap. Head in the Clouds. Maho Rasop. Sunburn. Djakarta Warehouse Project. Summer Sonic. We the Fest. Big Mountain Music Festival. Rolling Loud Thailand. Ultra. Creamfields. It’s the Ship. Wanderland Music and Arts Festival. Songkran Music Festival.
In every corner of Asia, people want to get outside and listen to their favorite artists and blow a little steam off. Whether it’s Techno in a Quarry, EDM on a mountain, or Hip Hop on a stage with fire shooting out of it, Asia is not only focused on bringing big branded events like Ultra to the region but also building our own festivals from the ground up.
THE JERSEY CLUB-IFICATION OF HIP HOP MUSIC
Music went through many iterations this year and Drill was the king at the beginning of the year. Then, Lil Uzi Vert’s ‘Just Wanna Rock’ was a slow burn and started to gain steam when the NFL used it and got more than 500 million YouTube views. [The dance also helped.] By the end of the year, the Jersey Club uptempo sound is now the rage with so many Hip Hop songs in the 140-150 BPM range with hard drums and a thumping vibe. Drake has it in ‘Rich Baby Daddy.’ ¥ELLOW BUCKS & C.O.S.A. go full Jersey Club in ‘What?’ Bryn goes past Jersey Club into Drum & Bass with ‘So What.’ Even K-Pop’s New Jeans goes in that direction with ‘Super Shy.’ 2024 is the year Jersey Club and more go mainstream.
CONVENIENCE WEAR IS IN
A few years ago, Diplo appeared on a red carpet wearing a Kirkland Signature sweatshirt from Costco. Even though he has a net worth of US$50 million, this showed that he didn’t shy away from buying a US$15 outfit. Since then, Dadcore/Normcore/Cottagecore has hit all corners of the globe and even Grandparent chic is hot.
In November 2023, FamilyMart had a fashion show with models of different sizes and ages wearing socks, handkerchiefs, and T-shirts that have been selling like hotcakes in Asia. The biggest selling item? White socks with blue and green stripes on them like the FamilyMart logo with more than a million pairs sold in a year. Where’s my 7-ELEVEn tuxedo? When are those new IKEA kicks dropping?
BREAKING IN THE PARIS 2024 SUMMER OLYMPICS [BONUS: SNOOP’S COMMENTARY]
Like the celebrations of Hip Hop’s 50th birthday in 2023 showcased a lot of the legendary MCs and DJs who paved the way, 2024 is all about the B-boy and B-girl. This is because the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics will have Breaking as an Olympic event for the first time.
B-boys in bigger nations like the US are having to use GoFundMes to get money for training and flights, while smaller Asian nations are rightfully treating their B-boys and B-girls like the world-class athletes they are and fully funding their Olympic dreams. Expect a lot of Asian kids on the podiums on August 9 and 10 this summer.
[BONUS: Snoop Dogg has been added to the NBC coverage for the Olympics, so it’s a guarantee that his unorthodox style of broadcasting will make the Breaking event more fun.]
GIRL POWER GETS REALLY REAL
With the rise of Ice Spice, Sexxy Red, and other Female MCs who keep it really real when discussing intimate parts of their daily lives, Asian MCs are also heading in that direction. While Asia is more conservative than other places, AWICH, MILLI and RAMENGVRL are leading the charge and keeping it real on the mic. Other MCs, like Lil Asian Thiccie, are testing the boundaries of what people will accept in the region.
Andre3000 took a 17-year break from creating his own music and released an instrumental album New Blue Sun in 2023. While people thought Three Stacks was crazy at first, his record was well-received and had a lot of people talking about yoga, meditation, gratitude, and zoning out.
In 2024, LiFTED predicts New Blue Sun will be the catalyst for producers to showcase their varying sounds without MCs spitting bars all over them. Even tracks with MCs will focus more on chill-out vibes for deeper listening instead of screaming all over the tracks.
FULL ADOPTION OF AI TO EXPAND MUSICAL CREATION, EXPRESSION & PROMOTION
If 2023 was the year that AI changed everything and made its way into everyday life with ChatGPT and its clones, 2024 promises to blow that wide open in the music field.
Producers are already using AI to make their beats more interesting, but there has always been a disconnect between rappers and producers. Sometimes rappers don’t like the beats. Sometimes rappers don’t show up on time for the studio sessions. What if AI could rap the things that the producer wants over whatever beat they want using the rappers’ voices? This technology is right around the corner. Yikes!
Also, AI will be able to identify trends emerging from every region with data that can point MCs in the right direction of what people like or don’t like. While this is taking away the human element of making music, which will cause a backlash, an AI-generated song is guaranteed to be number one at some point in the near future. You heard it here.
MORE CONCERTS OR FESTIVALS AS FULL-LENGTH MOVIES
Beyonce and Taylor Swift produced two live shows separately that could be watched in theaters. This gave fans in Asia a way to get dressed up, go to a local theater, and experience their shows with great seats in full surround sound when neither artist made it to the region. Now take this a step further and imagine if people could experience Burning Man without getting dusty and musty for a week. What if people didn’t have to be crowded against a barricade in 47-degree heat to get a front-row view of all the rappers from Rolling Loud Thailand and could just comfortably party their way through a show in a movie theater? It’s coming for sure.
DRAGONS ARE LIT
When you are at the top of the chain for Chinese Zodiac signs, you know it. Starting now, dragons will be on sneakers, CLOT bags, tattoos, lanterns, and more. Asia loves the Lunar New Year, so expect a lot of dragon babies this year as well.
FULL SPONSORSHIP DEALS
Instead of just hawking shirts, hats, or liquor bottles, brands want to show off their cool by being part of the Asian Hip Hop lifestyle. This was executed perfectly recently by Chivas Regal and their New Regals in Hong Kong. Instead of picking just one ambassador, they chose a crew - JB, Akiko, Novel Fergus, Novel Flash, Novel Friday, and TXMIYAMA. The artists put out Chivas-sponsored videos, which benefits the brand and the artist, and they did a live show with all the artists doing sets. While this is just one example of one well-done campaign, expect sponsorship to get more creative in 2024.