Staring down the new decade, we find ourselves wondering what the musical landscape might look like in 2030. Will we be living in a truly post-genre world? What new and potentially hellish ways might technology dictate the parameters of art? And will Kanye still be Kanye-ing? We have no sure answers, but we do have a few decent bets.
- A highly controversial celebrity releases an album called CANCELED.
- Spotify is the biggest major label of them all.
- “Lo-fi hip-hop beats to chill to” overtakes hip-hop as America’s most popular genre.
- LiveNation/Ticketmaster buys Eventbrite, merges with AEG, and eventually controls ~95 percent of all music venues and festivals in America. :(
- At least one song “written” by AI hits No. 1.
- Apple starts selling individual AirPods because they know you lost one and you’re too embarrassed to buy another pair.
- Fueled by late-’20s fondness for the early-’10s vinyl boom, Urban Outfitters launches a vinyl subscription service to monetize nostalgia cash once more. (Or they just start selling CDs.)
- At the same time, MP3s experience a cult revival among younger fans who long for something “real.”
- James Turrell begins work on Kanye West’s eternal resting place.
- Lizzo hosts Instagram’s first official talk show, called The Juice.
- Lil Nas X struggles to overcome one-hit-wonder syndrome with an “experimental” phase that fans smile politely through.
- Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane musical debuts on Broadway.
- Justin Vernon is in his second term as the mayor of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
- Lana Del Rey is named America’s poet laureate. She writes a series of meta songs about this, and eventually gets together with Bob Dylan to commiserate.
- Big Thief debuts a line of sustainably sourced unisex culottes in Paris to rave reviews.
- Burial releases a second selfie.
- Advances in cloning technology allow Haim to quadruple in size and harmony power.
- Coachella offers a VR tier of hyper-real “experiences” where, from the comfort of your own home, you can not only stand front row but also be treated to the small talk of the guy behind you who just doesn’t care about this band. Oh goodie.
- Instead of actually attending DJ sets, many people watch individual clubbers on TikTok.
- The “gec” becomes an internationally recognized cryptocurrency, disrupting global markets and creating a windfall for early investors.
- Elon Musk recalls his Bluetooth aural implants, forcing millions to return for follow-up surgical removal. Meanwhile, Grimes asks her followers to please just hear his side of things.
- Rihanna becomes a billionaire, launches her own line of weed, and beats Don Jr. in the 2028 election. Her ninth album still isn’t out.
Originally Appeared on Pitchfork