Image via YouTube

It’s not as if, let’s dub it ‘laid-back’ music hasn’t enjoyed great popularity in the past, shoutout to Enigma, but a recent trend is interesting nonetheless: Lately, more and more artists seem to relish a certain ‘slowing down’ with their art. Some less so, some extremely surprising:

One of the most recent examples is Willow Smith, who is already known as a musical chameleon. We’re talking musical trips into pop, neo-soul, R’n’B, folk, punk rock and emo. Her latest music video for, quote, “all the beautiful people who have ever gone into nature with their friends & been guided to a deeper understanding of life together by plant medicine” with its relaxed Imogen Heapish vocals and embracing of nature nevertheless still stands out. A conscious reaction to times of ever louder headlines and sensory overload, anyone?

In the case of another artistic 180°, the latter seems to be a very personal decision for a certain DJ from Atlanta. And it’s just as surprising: at least in the BSTN offices, being guided through a meditation by Lil Jon (!) wasn’t on anyone’s bucket list for 2024. But, yeah, the undisputed King of Crunk did just release an album called ‘Total Meditation’:

“Going through (…) all of the emotions of the divorce – anger and frustration and all of the ups and downs — I found meditation to calm me and to bring me more at peace; to look at life and situations in a different manner.

Lil Jon

Speaking of “bring me more at peace”, Doja Cat deactivated her Instagram account with 24 million followers too recently, and of course André 3000’s opus stands out as well: While arguably the entire hip-hop community was awaiting a new rap album, the ATLien lived up to its name and released ‘New Blue Sun’. The first album by the Outkast rapper/ flutist in 17 years dreamily hovers between ambient, new age and spiritual jazz. And instead of 808s, it features double bass, lots of Mayan and bamboo flutes, and other digital wind instruments. To sum it up: “It sounds like you’re chasing a butterfly through a garden”, according to Tyler, The Creator.

Fun fact: 3 Stack’s album was originally titled ‘Everything Is Too Loud’ – just another hint at pop culture’s resurgence of taking-things-slowly, maybe.

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