The Negative Connotation Towards SoundCloud
Written By: Hakeem Shabazz-Norris
Nowadays everyone makes music. A good population of men (primarily African American) has taken the leap to start a rap career of some sort. That can get annoying. Every time some guy follows you, you go to their page only to find that they only take pictures in “clout goggles” and go by the alias of “Lil” whatever and that they’re rapping consists of multiple “yeah’s” and the occasional “I f*** on yo bitch”. Then there’s always someone who has a link in their social media bio with a song that you play about a thousand times. Either way, SoundCloud is a place that has given birth to some of the biggest names in the game right now and is a place where people, free of charge, can show the world that they have what it takes musically.
We get it, the “Link in Bio” jokes are funny, dropping that picture of the guy in a bucket hat with his earbuds in a trash can is funny, but let’s be real, SoundCloud gave birth to some of your favorite artists. PARTYNEXTDOOR, for example, is one of the kings of SoundCloud. Pulling in over 200 million streams, PND has been posting on SoundCloud since 2014, which got him a deal with OVO Sound. Bryson Tiller, Kehlani, Lil Uzi Vert, Goldlink, and even Post Malone have all started out as SoundCloud artists uploading their music on the website.
And I know what you’re thinking: “That’s only a few cases; there’s plenty of trash on SoundCloud”. Well, there’s plenty of trash in the music industry right now. Trash in the music industry did not start when SoundCloud was invented, and it won’t stop when SoundCloud leaves.
In reality, most people post on SoundCloud due to funds. Unless you are already heavily funded, you probably won’t be able to pay for sample clearance. Remember, we live in the age of sampling, and someone can flip a sample better than 40 flipped the Whitney Houston sample for Tuscan Leather, but if you don’t have $5,000 to clear that sample, you’re either going to post it on SoundCloud or that song won’t be released.
Secondly, putting your music on a streaming service costs money with little profit in return. According to Business Insider, every artist makes approximately $0.006 per stream on Apple Music. Hypothetically, let’s say your song somehow got streamed 1,000 times. Add that up and you made about $6.00. Now if you use Ditto Music, for example, for song distribution, a basic account costs $19. So, if you do that math together, you made about -$13 in profit. You lost money by putting your song on Apple Music.
SoundCloud gives people an opportunity to share our music that we spent the time to create for you all. Chopping samples, creating hooks, etc., is all a straining creative process that takes a lot out of someone. Yet we mainly receive negative feedback, not because of the song we created, but the platform we released it on. That’s pretty messed up if you asked me.
So, next time you see that link in someone’s social media bio, don’t judge; just click.