As the semester progresses further my research follows. Exploring the Hip-Hop industry via fan interaction on online field sites has been nothing short of interesting because of the plethora of resources I’m surrounded with.
If there ever was a time to follow in on the Hip-Hop field site it’s now but it still hasn’t come without its challenges.
One of my biggest findings across all the platforms is that on a week-to-week basis there is a large focus on the de-centred content. Every week when Friday rolls around the latest content circulating the field site are the new albums and songs dropping that night and the music from the week before (unless they’re monumentally large drops) are ultimately considered old news.
Noting epiphanies is part of developing and further understanding the ethnographic research and as stated by Michael Richards “Part of an authoethnographers research is noting down epiphanies that occur during their research” (Richards, 2015)
Building a Following
First and foremost, it has been somewhat difficult garnering attention on my own Twitter account as well as my Spotify playlist. Despite staying on top of both of these platforms and being active, progress is slow regardless. To remedy this I have branched out to further field sites to collect and gather information.
Prior to even starting this project I never even considered Instagram to be of much use for gathering data other than the fact that it would be a useful news source, but low and behold in the comment section of the posts there are some of the most vocal people in the community, comments and opinions that can ultimately help shape the way I orchestrate the running of my Twitter account as well as accumulate research , so after learning and experience this it is a must that I continue to scope out and screenshot comments from popular rap pages if I can’t get any traction on my own page.
Does the Playlist have Potential?
Spotify isn’t necessarily a ‘social network’ and going into this project I always figured that the weekly playlists would compliment the Twitter page as opposed to being its own separate project. However, following the pitch feedback I noticed a lot of responses saying that the playlists had notable potential to diversify the content I was producing on a weekly basis and help gather useful research. As a result of this I have decided to place a larger focus on the playlist for the duration of the semester and will use field sites to scope out any tracks that are circulating and are therefore popular within the public sphere.
The news media has also made the distinction that Twitter is a large online hub for Hip-Hop conversation for a while now, as this article from eleven years ago states how Twitter evolved into a medium that allows artists to better express themselves and connect with fans.
As mentioned earlier it seems important that I continue to de-centre the technology and focus primarily on the outside sources that influence the interaction within the community. “The technology is not always the focus” (Moore, 2020) and it will be imperative to explore the influences that allow the technology to operate within the Hip-Hop field site.
Until next week, I’m out.