Artists, label heads and industry schemers know that success in pop music today requires racking up plays on TikTok and streaming services. But there’s another, unlikely platform that’s picking up steam: Roblox.
Roblox is a game-creation engine, first released in 2006, that allows players to customize their own sandbox worlds, create mini-games on multiplayer servers and enjoy a second life online as square-shaped beings called Robloxians. Unlike Minecraft, a game that drops users into a fantastical “otherworld,” Roblox’s most popular mini-games (or, as Roblox calls them, “experiences”) are rooted in real life. They are “roleplays,” meaning the player performs a certain persona; you can be a sheriff, a parent adopting a child, a pizza chef.
Last year the platform spawned its own music genre — robloxcore. Mostly made by young teenagers, it’s a strain of chaotic, profanity-laden rap that’s overloaded with frantic sound effects. Tunes like “Threat,” by lieu, a 13-year-old musician, emulate being inside a digital dimension where every bass thud and synth shake is an enemy you’re blowing past, every vocal stutter and short-circuited squeak a new obstacle to avoid. The scene has made ripples in the underground music circuit, and earned a nod from Phoebe Bridgers on Twitter.
Music has become such a big part of the Roblox community for one major reason: Starting in late 2013, users became able to upload their own MP3s to the platform, which other players can purchase. Inside worlds, you can equip an item called the “boombox” — a sparkly, golden speaker system — and broadcast the music to players around you. The closer you are to another user, the louder the music is for them.
Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/16/arts/music/roblox-video-game-music.html