How Music Has Impacted Generation Z

Throughout generations, music has made a difference. From Mozart to Future Hendrix. Generation Z brings new artists to share their own type of music digitally. 

Having smartphones has been helpful in the world today. Everyone can share fun moments and discover new places. People can video chat with others across the country and world. While millennials make up 27 percent of the US population, the next generation, generation Z is right behind them at 25 percent and growing. Through each generation, all people have had their love for music. Generation Z however, is the first to have access to our music digitally. Now with having streaming apps like SoundCloud and Spotify, new musicians are able to share their talents across the globe. A genre of music that has been concluded b  SoundCloud is called phonk.

Phonk takes samples from 90’s hip hop to create a “danker” sound to a song. A Miami rapper who has started off with “phonk” back in 2012 is now producing for 2016’s most followed artist on SoundCloud: Lil Uzi Vert. With Apple Music, streaming music is easy, which made it grow 54 percent in 2014 with over 164 billion songs.

Here’s a preview of where this generation’s music is taking us.

  1. “Mask Off” by Future.

This song gives a vibe of crime and violence, but would want to listen when it’s been a fun and crazy night. In this song, he talks about how drugs are not fun by calling Promethazine his “guillotine.” In other songs he repeats the message that drug addiction is hard and not enjoyable. He tells an interviewer, “Back then, I had no feelings, it wasn’t until I started doing music that I started to really have a conscience.”

  1. “Bad and Boujee” by Migos.

This song is nearly six minutes and kicks off with a catchy line that gets everyone onto the dance floor. The Atlanta trio is known from having hot beats. Having the bass shake when the volume is up and everyone singing the lyrics in unison.  This is an increasingly common trope in rap these days; many hip-hop artists insist they are rock stars to signal that they are at the center of today’s counterculture.

  1. “Side to Side” by Ariana Grande.

From her album Dangerous Women we see a different side of Ariana. The lyrics describe her sleeping with a bad secret boyfriend, keeping it hidden from her friends and family. Though Side to Side isn’t intentionally incredibly sexy, it’s more of an inside joke and not meant to be taken seriously.

Through music everyone is connected. Whether that be a live performance or through a phone. Music will live on and more genres will be discovered. Generation Z is the future.


“Generation Z New Music: New Insights to Understand Who They Are and How They Listen.” Pandora for Brands. N.p., 21 Sept. 2016. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

Haynes, Gavin . “What the phonk? .” The Guardian. N.p., 27 Feb. 2017. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

Barshad, Amos, Naomi Zeichner, and Hazel Cills. “25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going.” The New York Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.