Why lo-fi is the perfect background music

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Lo-Fi hip-hop has emerged as a hugely popular genre and internet subculture. Its millions of loyal fans rely on curated lo-fi playlists and live-streams to write to, study to and even fall asleep to. Heck, we even wrote a good chunk of our book to Spotify’s lo-fi beats playlists. There’s just something about those ambient, spacey, plodding beats that place us in a state of determined zen. But what of its musical roots? Who are its stars? And why, despite its mass following on YouTube, Spotify and elsewhere, is it nearly impossible to spot on the Billboard? We trace lo-fi from its godfathers to its moments in the sun, to the complex creative ecosystem playing out on streaming platforms today.

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You can find music from this episode on this week’s Spotify playlist

Sign up for Cherie Hu’s newsletter Water & Music that sent us down the lo-fi hip hop rabbit hole

Check out Seneca B on Spotify:

Check out weird inside on Spotify

Check out eevee on Spotify

SONGS DISCUSSED

Brenky - Bye

Brenky - People

J Dilla ft. Common, D’Angelo - So Far To Go

Isley Brothers - Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time For Love), Pts. 1&2

Charlatan - Wasted Jazz

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