The music industry has been, is, and will continue to be a bureaucratic mess of corporate white guys in suits talking about a bottom line. The industry is a cutthroat cesspool that does nothing to present artistic ability in artists and instead hurts everyone involved.
There are legitimate artists that can't get signed to a label (not that they would want to) because they refuse to conform their sound to a shareholder's meeting. Pop rap artists have had to dumb down sounds and have been corrupted in their thinking because of this. The Smashing Pumpkins was torn down from the inside because suits felt different band members were worth different amounts.
It sucks. All of music is terrible.
Music has a powerful effect on us, they present different emotions and stories and can radically affect the mood we are in. This can be a wonderful thing—using music as something to pump you up, or get out of a depressive spell. But it can also dive us deeper into negative states of mind, or aggrandize certain things in our mind when we didn't think so before.
I've personally felt this before—listening to Nirvana or Black Flag whilst feeling angsty certainly develops those feelings more. Turning on some heavy metal when happy can take away from that joy even if you like the music, and can be dangerous when that's all you listen to. I like to attempt to match my mood with what I'm listening to, such as if I feel a little teenager-y I'll put on some hip hop, or if I want to feel like a dad driving a Ford F-150 I'll turn on some classic rock.
Noticing these effects is helpful if you are a constant music consumer, and as cathartic as some of that harder, more edgier stuff can be, it can be equally as harmful to your brain.
Even though I most likely classify as a music snob, there are glaring issues with this point of view that a lot of people seem to not take heed of. Those that call themselves "hip-hop heads" and judge newer artists for sounding too mumbly or not respecting the older generations of artists makes for an attitude that can damage the music industry in a big way.
Pop music, even if it's boring and borrows from contemporaries, still is popular and affects the culture around you. Those that turn their nose at anyone that enjoys a particular genre of music or particular artist (except the Chainsmokers) don't accomplish much. Experimentation and taking things to the extreme is good and innovative, but sometimes a good beat and meaningless lyrics fits the mood of what you want in that moment. You shouldn't feel shame for liking a Lil Pump mixtape (as I don't, it's quite amazing) in the same way you shouldn't feel shame for liking a death metal album if that's what you enjoy.
Music is ultimately about what the individual enjoys, and is incredibly subjective. Some music, yes, is objectively more boundary pushing and complex than others, but that doesn't mean you have to enjoy it more. Some music snobs need to take it down a notch and not look at the world with so much hate (though that's kind of ironic for the title of this blog).
What exactly is entertaining about rappers acting like toddlers and throwing tantrums about nothing at all? Now, this is mostly directed at Cardi B, because goodness is she something special. Does she know what mature human interaction entails at all? I don't really think so.
It adds nothing and detracts a lot for me if you act like a dumby in the public spotlight consistently. The aesthetic can be appealing in certain artists to act like a fun-loving teenager (think Ski Mask The Slump God), but when you are just hurling insults and getting into fights over nothing, people aren't going to view you in a positive light. Please just act responsibly and understand that you are an influence whether you like it or not. There are people that look up to you and a culture around you that you affect, and it doesn't do anyone any good to drag it down to your childish level.
It's very depressing to be excited for an album from an artist, and then it finally arrive and you see an hour and thirty minutes and twenty tracks. There isn't anything fundamentally wrong with longer albums, case and point being To Be Kind by Swans (or really anything by them), but when you load up a contemporary hip hop album with a whole host of tracks, you know its going to be tough digging for that diamond in the rough.
I am mainly frustrated by this because of Juice WRLD's new album, which I was quite excited for since the release of the single Robbery. Then, I started listening to it, and so much of the track listing was filler. Same thing with Culture 2 by Migos, or literally any Lil Yachty album.
It's just frustrating because I know there are artists with actual talent but its most likely their label pushing them to keep pumping out tracks to get more streams.
I published an new entertainment article about why expierimental and extreme music is important to the evolution of music! Go check it out! Sorry for the wonky title.
Nothing turns me off of an album quite like the overabundance of drama filled lyrics and sleepy beats. If the music is boring, I'm not going to pay it much attention. Having lyrics that make something out of nothing, or trying to create a narrative that is so cliche and so overblown (cough Memories Do Not Open by The Chainsmokers), only accomplishes a couple teens on the internet to say "bruh that's so deep." Dime a dozen lyricism about breakups and young love, while sometimes a nice break from hedonistic rap music, really is nothing special.
Sitting down and writing interesting verses and catchy hooks makes listeners want to repeat your tracks and albums. Now I get it, not everyone can do that or has an interesting enough story to tell in each of their songs. But even Loser by Beck, which features literally the most nonsensical lyrics one can make, was a hit. Taking care to craft decent lyrics can go a long way.
And making your songs moody does not make it more meaningful. Putting a random RnB beat and trying to sing about your breakup you had with a girl in high school to your Soundcloud mixtape does not make listeners all the sudden go "wow he has such range, really can make you feel" or something to that effect. It's just boring.