Playlists and the Modern Artist: Cash Campain

Playlists are life. At least for me. They are the thing that gets me through the day at work but they are also VITAL to finding out about new artists, new music, new vibes. I spend the day on Spotify jumping from different ones, trying to discover that GEM that sets your mood off in just the right way.

Here’s the thing though.

Most of the playlists that are promoted, pushed and pop up first when you start scrolling (on Spotify, Tidal, Google Music, whatever service you use) are going to be the playlists that are directly related to the corporate entity that houses the playlist. I get it. It’s a branding thing.

The problem is, that much like everything else — once it becomes a corporate entity, the structure starts to change. Politics start to play a factor, and you begin to notice a subtle shift that can be quantified by counting how many times the same artist/same song pops up on too many playlists to be coincidental.

If an artist is being pushed by a label, lets say, and that label has the right kind of money/connections to, lets say, make that artist shine while perhaps greasing a few wheels by paying for premium placements.


Now you as a fan are forced to wade through the musical muck and mire to find something that ACTUALLY hits that vibe you want, without being force fed.

The brilliant thing about the recent response to this, is that it is the ARTISTS themselves who are responding to the call to create better, do better, and present better, well thought out, crafted and curated lists for your listening pleasure. While the playlists act as a way for fans to discover new music recommended by someone they — fans are also slickly getting the opportunity to learn much more about the artists they followed than even they would realize, artists are becoming noticed by other artists and connections are forming, and everyone starts to feel a little more connected to the bigger picture of music as a whole.

Let’s face facts. Regardless of how cliche it may sound, music is THE universal language. It allows any one to find themselves in the lyrics, the rhythms, the melodies and rhymes. It allows us to communicate love, hurt, joy, sadness and a gamut of other emotions without the barrier of language holding you back. In music, you don’t need to understand the meaning of certain words — you can FEEL it connect to your spirit.

Lately my spirit had been in an odd place. I wasn’t really sure where my mind was at, I knew I needed to smoke, vibe out, and relax. I was feeling frantic, and a little frenetic. In times like that I look to friends to help me out in a myriad of ways, whether it’s an ear to listen, a blunt to roll, or a glass of whiskey to warm the soul (#bars).

In this instance, that just wasn’t going to be enough. There would have been nothing short of just the right kind of music that could have soothed me. As luck would have it though my slightweight debaucherous ass had been on a hard core trap kick for a few weeks, and my brain was so stuck in the 808s, I couldn’t find music to facilitate the wave I needed to be on.

Then Cash hit me.

“So I been working on this playlist…”
Which is one of the many reasons I cannot stand him. Damn mind reader.

“Well that’s fucking weird, since I had just been scouring for one that put me in a chill mood. What you got for me?.

So he sends me the link and I press play. Instantly, I am immediately struck by… how much this dude loves Eric Bellinger. Seriously the first 8 songs were Eric Bellinger. An artist who I admit not really listening to up until this playlist, so I suppose the point was made… but still. LOL. After I convinced him to rearrange things a little on the EB tip (you’re welcome world) what he put forth was a vibey, smoke a blunt, sip some Henny, take a walk around the corner in the rain, maybe give your man some head in the car kinda playlist.

At least that was the vibe it gave ME. After I ran through it, I hit him back.

Resident Stoner: “So why did you create it in the first place?”

Cash Campain: “I needed a playlist absent of politics that I could play to create peace within myself. You and I both know when politics are introduced quality can become a distant second.”

You see why I can’t stand this fool? No one asked him to be on my wavelength. LOL

Jokes aside though, the fact that artists are feeling that same thing as the audience that they cater to is a true sign of the times. The music industry and the way that the digital world has altered it’s traditional structure has in a sense, broken down the walls between the givers (artists) and receivers (fans) and has put them on a level playing field where both of them have equal stake. Fans are just as invested in your careeers are you are at this point, and we want you to hit that next level. In a similar vein these artists are looking for something more. Something to raise the bar. Something to challenge themselves to rise to new heights.

Also let’s be fucking real — there is NOTHING that makes you step your game up more, in my humble opinion, than seeing that some of your fans vibe out hard as fuck to someone else’s music as much as they vibe out to yours.

Which is a risk you take when you create a playlist that has little or nothing to do with your own music, and everything to do with the vibe it creates. From what I can see thought, it is a smart fucking risk.

Imagine walking into a store, and they don’t have what you want, but the counter clerk tells you what other store you can go to right then and there, to find exactly what you need. Would you forsake that store for sending you somewhere else?

Or would you know that the next time you have to go spend money, you will go back to that store that gave you the help? Because you know that they are doing it for the right reasons…

RS: “So about all that Eric Bellinger….”

Nah I am giving Cash a hard time. I actually discovered three different artists that I had yet to listen to — Tiffany Gouche, ELHAE, and Jake & Papa — on top of giving EB more of a chance than I ever had before. That’s four artists that over the last week have been getting an influx of spins from me and any combination of the now 5k followers Cash’s playlist has.

Right. 5K followers. In one week. That’s nothing to shake your head at, that’s some real ass, modern day, music marketing right there.

It also just happens to be a damn good playlist.

Click play below and vibe out with me. Its hella friendly in here.

Luckily for us Sacramentans, Eric Bellinger will be here at Bloq Pacific Fest on May 27th, so if you happen to press play on this list and find EB appealing to you: now you know where to find him:


And of course, if you are looking for me, you know where to find me:

FB: www.facebook.com/thelivstyler
IG: @thelivstyler



Olivia Monahan

May 18th, 2018

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