Hip-Hop fan Ben Sauberman has worked strenuously to put together a list of regional YouTube video directors that propel emerging rappers into the limelight, boosting their fanbase and enhancing their career. I got the chance to talk with Ben on why videographer’s channels like Cole Bennett’s Lyrical Lemonade (among others) are so important for Hip-Hop today.
Ben Sauberman is a young music manager and future music mogul from Connecticut, Ben is currently studying Urban Studies at New York City’s Hunter College. Although Ben is still in college, he has been working on a list of over 700+ regional YouTube video directors who have been vital to the success of artist in their regions.
Ben has released a sample of the list for you to view here. The list features some of the most notable curators, influencers and music directors out now. The names on the list have worked with some of the brightest stars in Hip-Hop today.
Ben’s interest in music was sparked by growing up and hearing Jay-Z & Nas on legendary stations Hot97 & Hot93.7. Ben’s career in music began back in 2016 with him promoting concerts in Connecticut with Big Mike The Ruler. That opportunity allowed Ben to meet artist such as DMX, Lil Uzi Vert, Meek Mill, Tory Lanez + more.
A love for data and Hip-Hop pushed Ben to compile a list of how much YouTube channels directly affect artist
I study artist data, it helps with signing an artist. I realized a large way an artist will come up is through Youtube Channels. Just working in my city (New Haven) it’s a few videographers that everyone works with and try to get popping in their community first and videographers are the gate keepers.Bens reason on compiling a list of influential Videographers
Aiming to put an emphasis on shining light on the videographers being the backbone of certain scenes and highlighting the artist who are killing it on YouTube also aided Ben when creating this list.
I think different outlets work better with different genres and subcultures. Youtube is more receptive to trap and gangsta rap music videos. My focus was on the smaller channels (500-1000 subs) they’re low-key but at the same all it takes is one person to light up the fire. Ex:NBA YoungBoy and David G.
Baton Rouges David G has become one of the most popular music video directors and on YouTube. That popularity is directly connected to his work with fellow Baton Rouge artist and one of the biggest names in Hip-Hop, NBA Youngboy.
One of David G’s & Youngboy’s earliest collaborations was on 2016’s insanely popular “38 Baby“. The visual is just one of the many videos that David G has directed for NBA Youngboy with over 100 million views.
Many people view the success of David G’s work with Youngboy and expect that to instantly happen to them but Ben says artist are just setting themselves up to be disappointed.
Artist become too reliant on videographers. People think because they drop on a channel and they’ll get 50k views in a week but it doesn’t happen.
Although many artist don’t always get the results they aim for, Ben highlights that there is a positive in Videographers being able to bring their community together and put on for their respective city.
Back in January, the Billboard 200 chart began to factor in another major platform for album sales, YouTube. The video sharing platform which has been around since 2006 now has a direct affect on artists’ careers.
Compton star Roddy Ricch can attest to YouTube’s affect on artist streams. Roddy had the number one album in the country with “Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial” all while simultaneously having the number one single “The Box.” According to Billboard, audio streaming made up about 91,000 units of the rapper’s total activity, while video streams from Youtube made up under 4,000. However, according to YouTube Music Charts & Insights at the time, “The Box” was the number one music video, the top song, and top 10 in trending on YouTube helping propel his album to number one.
Ben’s extensive list is compiled of over 700 names but familiar names such as Cole Bennet, David G, and Drewfilmedit and DGaines1234 are just some of the big names that have provided the platform for a lot of the emerging artist we know today.
In today’s world, music visuals are released more frequently than ever before. While some people may think the game is over-saturated, I view it from the standpoint that young kids are getting into the game earlier and are attacking music video directing with a hungry and passion that the game has yet to see. This is just another step forward in the evolution of Hip-Hop and music visuals.
While you’re checking over Ben’s list be sure to listen to his podcast about his list with Chartmetric here.