The Magic of Lofi Hip-hop

Iʼm going to let you in on a little secret that exists on YouTube (also on SoundCloud and Spotify): the Lofi Hip Hop community. Live streams are popping up every day that stream endless amounts of lofi beats. So, youʼre not sold, I see. Well, thatʼs because you may not know exactly what Lofi is. The name stands for low fidelity, which are complicated words for music that purposely has imperfections. Meaning beat changes or dissonance, etc. Industry talk still not selling you? How about...chill beats. Yes, chill beats for you to listen to while relaxing, writing, doing homework, walking, etc. Imagine those calming indie licks repeated for one to two minutes, with a soft beat guiding it while clips from pop culture take the place of a drum fill. You close your eyes and you see a beautiful scene, maybe the beach, perhaps a waterfall, or ChilledCowʼs study girl. Did that last one pull you from your daydream? Well, check out Youtubeʼs top lofi stream.

ChilledCow is run out of France but still live streams 24/7. There is something about the music itself that makes me just feel so relaxed, motivated, and pleased all at once. The genre itself is submerged in a sea of aesthetically pleasing gifs. ChilledCowʼs study girlʼs incessant writing is looped throughout the day and the background changed per weather/time of day. Other streams feature a loop of coffee swirls, a raccoon surfing the web, and other just chill photos.

Itʼs the mix of the music itself with its repetitive beats and layers, the looped gif, and the community that floods the steam chats that make lofi such a unique genre. From my own personal experience with the music, Iʼve been able to concentrate on homework a lot more. In a dorm suite with six girls who all are really close friends, it can get hard to find a “quiet space” to study. Being an English Major, most of my homework is reading. I normally cannot listen to music I like because the lyrics distract and tempt me to sing. But there is such a wide array of lofi beats that unless you actually search a song yourself, it wonʼt repeat as often as you think. The streams are constantly being updated to make sure that any beat maker has the opportunity to be spread. With new songs that float on this relaxing beat, I can block out any outside distractions and truly focus on my reading. That may seem like a paradox, but itʼs worked for me!