Here Are the Most-Searched Hip-Hop Topics of 2020

Here Are the Most-Searched Hip-Hop Topics of 2020

With this year's trip around the sun coming to an end, Google has unveiled the most-searched topics of 2020 on the platform before 2021 hits. While words related to the coronavirus pandemic ended up on the list, many hip-hop topics also appeared. One thing's for sure based off the results: rap fans were hitting Google plenty of times this year.

On Wednesday (Dec. 9), Google released their yearly round-up of search trends called Google's Year in Search 2020. For general searches, obviously, coronavirus came in as the No. 1 searched topic of the year. While election results, Kobe Bryant, Zoom and IPL made up the rest of the top 5 general searches this year, hip-hop was included elsewhere in categories featuring searches for lyrics and concerts that took place.

In the lyrics category, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's "WAP" has become the most- searched song lyrics of the year. 6ix9ine's "Gooba," the first song he dropped after being released from home confinement for his federal racketeering case in August, trails close behind at No. 3. Jack Harlow's "Whats Poppin" came in at No. 10 for the year's most-searched lyrics.

Live concerts and events may have taken a back seat this year to help slow the spread of COVID-19, but that didn't stop Travis Scott from turning lemons into lemonade. Travis' virtual Fortnite concert was the fourth most-searched musical event of the year under concerts. The performance, which landed the rapper an overall deal that was recently reported to be worth $20 million, was the only hip-hop show to appear in the top 10 most-searched concerts.

Tragic moments like the loss of men and women such as actor Chadwick Boseman, actor Naya Rivera and George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer in May, showed up on the loss list. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who won the 2020 presidential election, were among the most-searched people this year. Joe came in at No. 1 while Kamala took the No. 4 spot. Kanye West and August Alsina landed at the No. 7 and No. 9 positions, respectively in this category as well.

These Managers, an A&R, Touring Rep, Video Director and Publicist Explain How Coronavirus Changed Hip-Hop

Peter Jideonwo, Artist Manager

Works with: Trippie Redd, The Kid Laroi and formerly Juice Wrld

“[The coronavirus has] affected a lot. So with the loss of income, for example, Trippie [Redd] on his Love Me More Tour, we had to cancel the last two shows due to the pandemic. For the last four or five months, we haven’t done a booking. That’s a kid getting $150,000 three times a weekend or twice a week. That loss of income is irreplaceable. With The Kid Laroi, he had [$179,000 U.S. dollars] offer to perform in Australia for the Listen Out Festival all the way in December. And they pulled the festival.

I’ve seen a lot of artists now try to focus on [selling] merch to supplement their income. And as the manager, we have tried to get livestream concerts and stuff like that done here and there. I don’t think that model has been figured out yet [to the point] where it’s lucrative for the artist. For example, on a livestream earlier this year—like three months ago for Trippie—he did a concert in his backyard for about $150,000. But that stuff got over a million streams, you know? On TikTok alone it had 400,000 concurrent viewers. So, once they see that performance, most of the time, they’re not gonna watch it again. Virtual performances [are] good, but they’re not the best. They’re not the best because it’s like, boom, you perform. [Fans] are not gonna wanna rewatch the same songs over again. So, it's very limited on what you can stream virtually. It’s not like touring when we go to 40, 50 cities and rock out every night to the same performance and make the same money every city. With the virtual thing, it’s almost like a one-and-done. If you're that hot, maybe you can pull it off two or three times. That’s why the model doesn’t work.

It’s overall just a loss for the artist, not only financially, but being able to get your music out there more because touring really helps push your streams. ’Cause people will go to the stuff, see you performing, giving it energy, and that kinda just translates to just them going back home and listening to that song even more. Or they repost the song on their [Instagram] story. That’s just like their friends watching like, ‘Yo, I love the energy for this guy’ and then you just get more. So, it will affect them financially, not only just show money, but also music money in their pockets.

I don’t think touring is gonna ever be the same. I’ve already seen Live Nation saying that they want artists to take a 20 percent reduction on deals that they already have struck, which is literally taking money out of their pockets. Live Nation has to take loans out, you know, to make sure their company stays afloat. I know AEG is not doing that much better because they own property, the Staples Center. Imagine you have one of the best state-of-the-art facilities for months, and, you know, you can’t use it and it's empty, and you need to figure out how to pay your bills. So, you’re saying that Live Nation wants to propose that they are gonna start doing percentage deals instead of guarantees.

So, I feel like touring is definitely not going to be the same, at least when it starts back up. When I first got into this, I was a promoter. I think that it’s gonna be a lot different ball game and it’s gonna take the right managers to be able to create the right deals for [artists]. And it’s time because you have a bunch of random stuff, people hit us up for drive-in concerts, all types of craziness. They’re not reasonable because like if you’re getting like $20,000 $30,000 or you're making $100,000 a show or something like that… A drive-by theater most likely is going to hold in 200-300 cars at the most, right. And each car is, what would you stay? Probably like four people at the most. I don’t even think it’s that much. I’d say three person, that’s 200 cars. That’s only 600 people you know. So, that model doesn’t work as well for bigger artists because if you're doing that, you just can't afford it, you know? Like, no artist is going to fly down to another state to do a drive-by concert, drive-in concert for like the travel fee. That doesn't work for a lot of people— maybe like smaller rappers or musicians, smaller pop stars. But once you get to the bigger scale, that model also doesn’t work. That's why you don't really see like a lot of people doing it now. If an artist decides to do an intimate show just to do it and is not about the money, then I feel like that model could be successful.

I feel like if we do get shows back, independents are going to win. And then timeline for shows, I don’t know if we are going to get a festival until at least maybe late next year. And if that. We’ll see though. Like I said, all the big boys are really… obviously, they can call the shots. And they can offer more money and they have to have the buildings and all that. They have the buildings and all that stuff, so, they can sorta dictate on what they, you know, what they want to do with the shows and what not and they're proposing... And since they are proposing not paying artists guarantees and spaces, things like that…obviously, a lot of artists would rather get a guaranteed check. And because of that, I feel like they're going to lean more towards promoters that are independent. Especially in the hip-hop space.

I feel like we are a bit away from even doing shows in general because, you know, like I said I don’t know if you saw, but DaBaby did a show [in July] and he was hugely criticized for it. And I’ve had, you know, potential clients and things like that reach out to me like, ‘Hey, can you please help us get shows?’ I told one of the people I work with, I said, ‘There is no prize in being the first person to come back.’

I feel like even when shows come back we’re definitely not gonna see meet and greets for a while. Maybe if, you know, an artist is just money hungry like they're going to take that risk. I just feel like [meet and greets are] not going to happen. Because let’s say they do a show for a thousand people and then they all mosh pit off for an hour straight. If I was an artist, or if it was one of my artists, I would tell them ‘No, don’t do it ’cause you’re putting yourself at risk.’ For what, $50, $100 [to receive per fan]? Doesn’t make any sense. I mean, you can’t have a meet and greet that’s 6 feet apart. What are you gonna do? Wave at them? Also, I feel like you can’t do it because you have to be close to them. They wanna hug you. Meeting somebody is up close and personal, that is what they pay for. So, if you cannot provide that and ensure the safety...

Not only that, it’s also a fan safety issue, too. Because an artist, imagine an artist is doing 20 shows and every night they are meeting different people, and then the artist gets COVID and is asymptomatic. And then is meeting 50 kids a night and infecting them. So it’s a both sides issue. It is not necessarily just the artist. It’s also not necessarily the artist’s safety issue... [That’s] the last part that's gonna come back, meet and greets. I'm gonna say probably another two years for that because people stopped doing meet and greets a lot anyways. All the craziness that happens with it. The artist getting killed during a meet and greet. You know, kids doing weird stuff to the artist and to add a part to it, makes them not a good look to even want to do it. I would advise, at the end of the day, we work with the artist and make sure we give them the best advice possible. That’s what I would do. I would advise against it.

[We do] streaming on different things like Instagram, Twitch, Caffeine. We’ve been using stuff like Community. Community is like, you know when a person posts a cell phone number and says, 'Text me, I’ll text you back.’ Been doing a lot of that. Community is good though. Community is just good because if you can get like 300,000 numbers on Community it’s like literally having like 10 million followers on Instagram. You know, we’ve been doing different things like that. I mean really just, at the end of the day, everything happens on social media. Instagram is a very powerful tool. Most of the stuff that needs to be done and who you need to be reaching can be done on Instagram, unfortunately.

You gotta just take some time, you know? And be as creative as possible, you know what I’m saying? Doing other shit, man. Just gotta work on other shit. Documentaries, things like that. With Trip, for example, we’re gonna do like a Paperview. We’re gonna like revamp his footage from the Love Me More Tour, and we are gonna try to stream it for people that didn’t get a chance to see it. You know, with a target focus on Europe.

Fan’s like fanmail. We spend time just thinking a lot, man. Thinking how to just make the artist stay on top of everybody’s head. Just, you know, keep them fresh and relevant. Responding to DMs, comments and through the music. At the end of that day, that’s what fans want, through the music."—As told to Peter A. Berry

Ebonie Ward, Artist Management at Emagen Entertainment Group

Works with: Future, Gunna

"[Future and Gunna's projects] came out during the pandemic. Gunna also gonna [put out] his deluxe... but I think it really shows the strength of your team. And when I say that, it really forces you to be extremely creative, and innovative and really forces you to have a real strategy. I think with both of the artists that I work with, they're in completely different positions in their career. So, we had to approach it differently with both where Future still has this mystiqueness about himself. He doesn't do a lot of interviews, he doesn't do a lot of press. We were able to do the cover of XXL, we had our own digital cover as well. That definitely gave us a push as far as having him in the limelight and in people's eyes when his project was released.

Whereas with Gunna, we put together a virtual rollout plan where he did a lot of the things he'd be able to do physically, he did online where we did a lot of Zoom calls, a lot of phone calls as well to make sure that he had that impact. We did magazine covers, but we did them from our home. Even with all of the press that he was able to do with XXL and a lot of other platforms, we recorded them ourselves. We had our editing team edit them and we sent them to the different media outlets just so he could still have that presence on those platforms. I really think it's about definitely really having the team. Like, we have an amazing in-house video team that was able to work hand-in-hand with all of the different outlets, so they can really deliver the quality so it wouldn't be lacking or doing everything on an iPhone. We really had the cameras, so, they felt like they were in-studio. So, I think that we really had that advantage and just really being patient with ourselves and not... of course you have these high expectations when you're delivering projects and you have all of these plans, so it's just about being able to adjust.

[The strategies that have been implemented due to the pandemic but will continue to be utilized] is allowing social media to be an asset and enhance what we're doing, but not necessarily lead what we do. With the filters and the TikToking, with all those things, we just use those things to enhance our vision, which they're all tools. So, just continuing to use all the different tools and all the outlets to our advantage, but also making sure that we do things with purpose.

I think now promos are run digitally with ads and Instagram, FaceTime. Nothing is like things that are tangible and when you could really connect with your fans, but now because people are so consumed with their phones and, honestly, it's a safety concern. Nobody wants to be in a position to where you have an in-store or you have a pop-up shop or you have a promo run and your fans come and someone gets sick. So, that's a whole different liability that people haven't... everybody's in a rush. And I'm telling everyone, I'm like, 'Everybody, you're just in a rush to get sick or make someone else sick or make someone's parents sick.' So, we don't need to be in a rush to do anything. We can still connect. We can still connect with your fans. We did the YouTube streaming event that we did for George Floyd and his family. You're still allowed to connect with your fans through music, if music is the core. Just figuring out different ways to engage with them and connect with them in another way, in another form. But, physical promo runs, for right now, are just on a standstill.

I think that once America as a whole gets the pandemic under real wraps, because there are so many unknowns, [that's when album release parties will be considered]. We haven't even had the coronavirus in our presence for a year to determine the after effects of what people who already have the disease are gonna go through.

Every day there's something new. So, I think, with that being said, everyone is tryna figure out new ways to experience those events and those parties. And I think that's why the virtual element has become so crucial to our business and what we do. Now, they have geofilters and all these different things with technology to where you can have a private listening party virtually. The only people that are gonna be able to engage with people are those that you do invite. So, I think that people need to really start embracing technology more because in all actuality that's the safest and best option for everyone. And, when you look at things like Verzuz and when you look know, you see things that have been able to be created and be successful during this time, you understand that it is viable and it's impactful, but it's all in how it's positioned. So, I really think that people need to start...and that's something that my clients have done.

Gunna did a private virtual event for a college the week of his album release. We did the YouTube event and that was to celebrate and to play his new music and also give back, but it was kind of like a listening party. We got to play his album and he was able to engage with his fans. So, I think that more artists, it's time that they completely embrace that, and what that is and take full advantage of it and get fans more excited about it.

I think also they're gonna be new things that are on the horizon that people are gonna figure out how to operate, and how to use it and add more functionality to the tools that we're being able to do. With YouTube, fans are able to donate money, you're able to purchase your merch. They are able to do so many different things. People can do exclusive drops on there. I think there are a lot of cool things with technology that we can do that we haven't taken advantage of that I think a lot of artists are gonna start indulging in and also creating new things for themselves on their private websites...

People, for a long period of time, people weren't even really going to people's websites at all, period. They really weren't caring, but understanding the powers that you have as an artist, and the control and response that you get with your fan base...So, I think that more artists are gonna get in complete control of the stance that they have with their fans and connect with them directly. So, the e-mail blasts, all the things, the data—everything is also about data—so, I think that more artists are gonna start seeing more controlling over the data that they're able to collect with their fans, whether it be the things that they're purchasing. Whether it be all the analytics there that they're getting that they have on all of their social media platforms, but they're gonna start figuring out different ways how to make the data work more in their benefit."—As told to Aleia Woods

Derrick Aroh, Vice President of A&R at RCA Records

Works with: Goldlink, London on Da Track, Childish Gambino, Brockhampton and more

"It wasn't until April, May when I realized that, OK, this is going to be the rest of the year in terms of being in the house and locked up and we're going to have to figure out a way to be productive. The first month or so it was hard to be motivated because what you're used to as an executive and particularly A&Rs—on top of just going to the studios and being with artists, flying to different places to find artists, meet artists—it's also going to shows, going to festivals. I have a couple of acts that were going to have really good festival seasons. I had acts getting ready to do Coachella. I had to realize I wasn't inspired because all that was out the window.

This time period, if anything, the world moves so fast, man. I used to say like in 2018 and 2019, I spent so much time on a plane, taking one-day trips to Los Angeles, three-day trips to New Zealand. That type of shit. And I think this year, it kind of says, 'Sit your ass down. Sit your ass down and figure out how to be good at your job considering the fact that you can't fly.' I just have this as the new normal. I have to figure it out. Whether it's, I got to be open to not being around with an artist while doing features or say, ‘Fuck it, I'm just going to do it.’

I talked to a lot of artists and their teams and just listen. I want artists to get records out and move, but if you're not in a place where you feel like ‘I'm motivated’ or ’I'm so locked in to what I'm supposed to be doing as an artist,’ you need time to heal yourself. Even if you do fight through it, the product ain't going to be what it's supposed to be.

It's been a lot. I think I will say this whole process has allowed me to be more creative than I've ever been, in terms of making sure that I'm listening to everything that comes in my inbox and responding back to people and just [being] communicative with my team in terms of my artists, to the label. I do think that people are recording at home and there are some people that's going to studios in places open, but if you have the set up, I think a lot of people are just going to stay home and just do it. But the only issue with that sometimes is if you don't know how to engineer yourself, you need an engineer and somebody to come. That's another person in your house.

I've done it a couple of times for artists where they wanted to record at home, they found out the speakers they wanted, they found all this other stuff and we take care of it. There's a lot of artists that their setup is their home and then there's some artists where they don't want to be even nowhere close to, they don't like recording at home. Even if they have the setup, they want to just go to the studio because that's where they are their most creative.

I do think that a lot of studios is going to be a little bit more strict. I think there's going to be an overall objective to make sure that the studio environment and the people in the studio is as clean as possible. There's no clear answer for anything. It's different strokes for different folks. I have some artists that are, like, ‘We’re not making any music,’ then were making a lot of music, then weren't making any music. I have artists that were staying steady, making a little bit of music throughout the whole process.

One artist that I work with right now that, to me, has been someone who has done an amazing job of just navigating and increasing their energy from pre-quarantine to where we are is Mulatto. She's somebody that before the quarantine, she was doing her thing, but during the quarantine, she's taken advantage of the fact that people are at home. She's extra present on Instagram, Twitter, but at the same time, being a studio rat, continue to be writing, putting stuff out, getting things done.

I think this situation has shown the people who were meant to play that lifestyle, they are doing that lifestyle. The people who aren't, not saying that it is a bad thing because it's not, but they found or some will continue to find unique ways to be productive either in front of their fan base or away from their fan base. I think there's no right or wrong way to this at all because this is a very, very traumatic time period for everybody on this Earth. This situation has taught me the most about knowing for every project that you work on, what your role is and how to be the best at your role. If you're somebody who's consistently a studio rat and that's all you can do and that's all you feel like you just have to do, then you figure out what you're going to do. If you're the guy who collects records and sends beats and ideas and you're trying to get things done, then that's that."—As told to Robby Seabrook III

James Rico, Director and Editor at Reel Goats

Works with: DaBaby, Stunna 4 Vegas and more

“[The change that the music video industry has experienced due to the coronavirus is] I think that it's slower. You just have to take more time and prepare more. You have to take a lot of precautions on set. It's more of a health concern and making sure that people are safe when they're working around each other. And honestly, it's probably better that way. It definitely makes the set feel more respectful now than prior. In terms of creativity, I think it limits you a little bit on what you can do. You’ve obviously gotta think outside the box, which I think there are a few people out there creating content that feels like it's still really creative outside of the fact that you have to be safe. It’s pushing people to be more creative.

Some states like Los Angeles or New York are probably not as easy to shoot within or to shoot around just because of the population. So, going to smaller areas and more comfortable locations are going to be seen more often. You know, smaller sets and smaller spaces that feel like they're not claustrophobic. We’re having an open mind in how we get around. Flying is something that gives you paranoia. If you’ve been on a plane since this all happened, you feel the difference. You’re worried about other people being around you and protecting yourself. It’s just being very aware of what’s going on and doing everything you can to make sure you’re safe and make sure other people are safe. Every time you get on that plane, you feel a little bit of spider senses or something.

I feel like the budgets are probably going to get higher because of the coronavirus. There are all of the extra precautions you have to take, all of the masks and sanitation products. You have to have a COVID-19 officer that’s required to be on set to make sure that everything is staying clean, making sure everyone is wearing their mask and making sure the food is laid out right and is handled by one person who’s giving it to other people. You have to hire a few more people to pay attention to that. You also have to move slower as a crew. It might take you more than one day to get a job done and because of that, I think budgets will increase. I’m sure that they decreased for some people because they won’t be able to do a full live action production. So they have to revert to animated videos and stuff like that, which we’ve seen quite a few people doing. And there’s some cool, unique ones out there. So animators will have their time to shine and come up with some cool creative stuff for directors. Hopefully they get the budgeting means to do all of that because I know it's a very intense process to create animated videos and it’s probably overlooked.”

You always want to limit the amount of people that are there [on the set of a music video]. It’s just abiding by whatever rules are set in place in terms of who. You can keep it limited in that perspective.

I think for hip-hop artists and artists in general, finding ways to be creative is up to them. I don’t think it changes whether or not an artist is involved in their videos. It’s the filmmakers coming up with the idea. But if there are artists who are involved in that process and do love their music videos, then yeah, they’re probably coming up with very great ideas and trying to be original. You don't need that many people to create a cool, funny story. It doesn’t have to be a lot of people. It can be three or four people who come up with a really cool idea.

We’re always aware and trying to pay attention to the cleanliness of locations, making sure everything is good to go. And we’ve also been trying to make sure that we just slow down. That’s all. We don’t try to rush ourselves. We’re trying to continue to put ourselves in positions where we feel comfortable. We’re making sure that we’re paying attention to the crew's needs and the artist’s needs even more. We’ve been respecting those needs.

Honestly, I think that [the affects of the coronavirus on the music industry is] going to give certain people opportunities to showcase their work. Especially because there’s not as much work coming out. So, when the work is showcased, it’s on a bigger platform. Moving forward, it will honestly change the way that people interact with each other. The masks help. Even when it comes to people being sick in general, no matter what they have. It's nice to see the cleanliness of the set and I think it should remain that way regardless of the pandemic or not.

As far as creativity, I think people will take the gems that they’ve learned and try to push them forward when they’re actually able to have a larger set. I think that people during this time will write and come up with new ways to improve their writing and work with other people in their collaboration process, connecting with people they wouldn't normally connect with. During this time, everything is slower so, you have more opportunity to get to know someone at other companies. People will use this time to perfect their personal craft and grow.

When it’s all done, all of the things you did from connecting with people to supporting people during a time that was hard, that’s going to change the industry once it’s done. You might not realize it now, but in about a year, we’ll see the fruits of the labor in terms of what’s being done right now. I think this is a great test for people to overcome that external force that you can’t do anything about and they'll have to push yourself to the next level to overcome it somehow, in your own way, however you figure it out."—As told to Kemet High

Dominick Prieto, Talent Buyer, AEG Presents/GoldenVoice

Works with: Rod Wave, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Day N Vegas Festival and more

"A handful of artists have been taking to some really interesting opportunities. You look at what DaBaby and Roddy did… DaBaby had this outdoor concert, this drive-in concert. Roddy had his performance for BET, you know? Those are kinda like really, to me, in-the-moment opportunities, you know, people trying to maximize the opportunity right now that they can given the circumstances.

But I do think that, you know, next year, as things, hopefully, as they get better and we get a vaccine, you know, we are in a better position, we will definitely see people coming back to concerts and artists kinda planning around them. Because to be honest, it’s only the financial opportunity on the concert side can’t be replaced with streaming, you know, at least not yet, not now. We haven’t totally figured that out and I don’t know if we will, you know? It’s different for like, sports. The NBA gonna... looks like they’re gonna have the remainder of their season without any fans. But they have TV deals, they’re in a lot of markets, so it’s different. It’s a different ball game.

I talk to managers on a day-to-day basis. It hasn't gone to like the artist's perspective like, 'Alright, we’re gonna have to tour with five people instead of 30.' I don’t think we’re there yet. I do think that you will see venues are going to have to take a more practical approach to how concerts are actually treated from the fan perspective. You know, you’re gonna see even when concerts get back underway, you’ll see more sanitizing stations. There will probably be a different check-in process in terms of going through security. And I think that’s more important than figuring out right now at the back of house. The backside of the venue is the artist, the production team and stuff like that—a lot less people we're dealing with. And there's probably a little more quality control and, you know, the COVID side, then we could on bringing in 2,000 fans inside a venue. There’s a lot more we have to take into consideration for something like that. It’s kinda out of all of our hands right now. A vaccine is everyone’s hope, and until we kinda have that place, it’s hard to really see what concert life is gonna be like in three months or six months. There’s places like New Zealand that are pretty much free of the virus. They’re back to resuming concerts at like a regular scale. They're doing 1,000, 3,000, 5,000-capped shows out there.

There were shows that artists were coming off an album release, they were having a real moment. Music is like that in general, but particularly hip-hop. It's like, you know, Lil Baby dropped his album and it’s kinda been like the No. 1 album for, you know, a couple months now. But that moment, I don’t wanna say it’s come and gone... Like you know, how did he serve his fans? You know, they still wanna hear that music. It’s interesting. At the end of the day, fans have been deprived of this experience. And they have been deprived of being able to connect with artists in like a real-life moment. And I think that musicians, artists, everybody, they will be able to come back and play to a certain demand. Especially someone like Lil Baby or, you know, I have this Freddie Gibbs & Madlib show that was booked and like that was kinda like a crazy show. And I think that, you know, as soon as DaBaby and Roddy come back and all these artists, Iann Dior, whoever, like they’re still going to be able to get out there and do good business. I think from their perspective though, they're definitely gonna feel think, 'Alright, I gotta get back to the studio and I need to keep the music coming out.'

We’ve just been trying to figure it out. You know, I work in a 2,000-capped space a lot in 3,000, 4,000 all the way up to 7,000, 8,000-capped venues. And, you know, those are sizes that are kinda like drastically affected by this change. Those are the sizes where the local government is gonna be like, 'You don’t want 5,000 people coming together!' So, we've talked like, 'What do we do? Do we set up seats? Does a 5,000 venue become a 2,500-capped venue?' It’s all conversation that we’ve been having and I think the biggest thing is, you know, we’re keeping our eyes on the live sports sector and also like stuff like DisneyLand and theme parks. What are they doing and are they are doing it right? Like how can we improve what they’re trying to do? It’s difficult. We’re all trying to figure out the best way how to go about this new world we’re living in. And it’s not easy, it’s not simple.

Man, if I’m being honest I don’t know if I can watch anymore livestreams. I think that was a moment. It was a moment in music where, you know, everyone was trying to kinda not just stay ahead of the curve, but to be active. And I think that we’ve kinda hit a little bit of a ceiling with it. I don’t see that happening, you know, artists reverting back to or promoters like “Alright, we're just gonna do all livestreams,” because there's a space for that, you know what I mean? There is a space for that, usually with award shows or television appearances, you know, that’s not concerts. That takes away the core of what a concert is.

I do think that we’re looking at the business and saying, 'Alright, we may have to, you know, like Live Nation doing some drive-in things.' We may have to look at things like that or just having a venue that just doesn’t have as many people as it normally would, you know? That’s probably gonna be the steps that we start to take, but it’s also gonna come down to just the local counties and the officials in those counties, you know, what they’re going to recommend is feasible at that given time.

I’ve already rescheduled a bunch of shows and now working on, you know, trying to get a couple shows done at the end of next year and the middle of next year with some other artists who are really starting to have moments. That’s kinda where I’m at, and honestly just being present in music. When we're in the regular day-to-day concert, life is crazy. I’m at the office all morning, all day and then I go to a concert. Sometimes I lack just sitting down, listening to everything that’s come out and really seeing what people are gravitating towards, but that’s kinda been a bulk of my time. And then, you know, just kinda keeping artists updated, keeping each other updated. Now more than ever, it’s a community effort on figuring out when’s the right time for an artist to tour. They have to feel comfortable telling their fans, 'This is the day that I’m gonna do a concert, and I truly feel like it’s gonna happen at this moment,' you know? And as promoters, we have that credibility on our mind and a relationship with fans in terms of trying to, you know, do right by them. And making sure that we’re putting everybody in an OK position.

Look, whatever we have to do to get back into a space where artists can connect with their fans in real, you know, like an intimate environment. If that’s wearing face masks, I’m looking forward to that. You know, like I said Lil Baby probably that was my favorite album this year. I feel like, man, I wish I could be at that show. You know, like I wish I could. That was gonna be a big show for L.A. So, I’m just looking forward to that. We’re gonna have to follow the local guidelines. Some people realize that and that’s what it’s gonna be until there is a vaccine. And also I feel like that’s the other part to it—until we have a vaccine."—As told to Georgette Cline

Michelle McDevitt, President and Cofounder of Audible Treats Publicity Agency

Works with: Young Dolph, Shoreline Mafia, Rolling Loud, TikTok, 03 Greedo and more

"The new normal has been in place for... months now. [The] dust has settled, people know they are in this for the long haul, so every company has pivoted toward doing interviews either via phone or a video platform. We all decided March, Friday the 13th, was the last day that anyone was going to be in the office and so, the next week to two weeks, I was super proactive in having my team reach out to all the outlets and asking them how they are pivoting and what they are covering right now, so, we could funnel and pitch the right stuff that would get picked up.

And so we made a crazy spreadsheet, that we literally named 'Corona Opps'—opp like opportunity—to keep track of what outlet had pivoted and what they're doing now and all that kind of stuff because we couldn't pitch our regular list of things and having that bible of opportunities helped us really stay focused and pitch things that were relevant.

Companies [have scrapped] verticals that were very successful for them, that they've had in place for a long time and created new verticals out of necessity. Everyone in media is used to having to change things on a dime and be really flexible. I think coronavirus [has] really shined a light on that skill set because people are just really coming up with cool interesting ways to do content now, out of necessity, but it has been very inspiring.

I am very proud of everyone for stepping up to the challenge and coming up with ways to make up for the inability to do in-person press. Specifically, Zoom interviews, FaceTime interviews, IG Lives, phoners, things on Twitch, other components that a lot of outlets have embraced is giving assignments to the artists themselves to film the content has been interesting.

Nothing can replace human interaction in real time, in real space, as social beings and especially with the art of interviewing and being able to pick up on social cues. There is a huge loss in not being able to do business in person. They vibe off the energy of the person interviewing them, but, also, just the space that they are in. So, knowing that they are in an XXL office, they kind of step up to the challenge.

[As far as fan interaction goes], I think there is going to be more exclusive fan experiences that are gonna be labeled as private parties, like VIP fan clubs, [like a] fan club experience. So, either there will be private parties where you pay a certain amount to enter or it's like a lottery type thing and maybe there is like 10 fans with an artist and they get to answer questions that go on for like 15-20 minutes.

In the live space, it can be the same but more private parties that warrant very high price tickets where it’s smaller intimate venues with a limited number of guests, almost like hiring an artist to do private parties for you and 30 of your friends. I can see these very small exclusive parties with high price tickets being something that is launched in the future to help make up for that."—As told to Zoe Johnson