Wrong Generation, or Wrong Attitude?

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Music is arguably the most diverse form of media we have this day in age. Every genre has a subgenre, has a subgenre has a sub. With things like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and Grooveshark from back in the day, there is no shortage of music available to us today.

But all this access has become something of a double edged sword the last few years, namely with those who refute modern music of any caliber. I’ve been known to disapprove of what gets played on the radio, and have even subscribed to the mindset of being born in “Le Wrong Generation” as it’s been called, but after months of writing for Creative Control and a couple years of subscribing to premium Spotify, I can safely say that’s wrong.

I think people like to harp on the music of yesteryear because it feels more real, or seems like it has more emotion rather than made for quick and easy cash grabs. I’m not saying that people in the ‘80s or ‘90s didn’t make music for money. I think the music from those eras that remains relevant comes from the musicians who didn’t “sell out.” But if you look at it, how many Top 10 artists can you think of today? On the same token, how many could you name from before 2005? Or even 2000. The music of the past is looked upon with the rosiest of glasses, but for good reason.

The music that withstands the test of time does so because we now know that it defined a generation. Looking at the birth of heavy metal from the ‘70s, off the top of your head you might be able to name three bands because your dad’s generation grew up with them and you inherited his taste. Even bands from the ‘90s with the grunge era you had Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains and after that you’d be hard pressed to come up with more unless you follow the genre religiously.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with people who dig the classics; I’m a self-proclaimed hip-hop head and long for the sound of the ‘90s “Golden Era” to come back to the mainstream. But the beauty of living in the times that we do means that I can listen to Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Nas and Tribe Called Quest all I want and then dig through their back catalogue and find bands that sound like them from that decade and now. Today’s hip-hop may not be the same, but there are still great artists out there like the acclaimed Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky and the A$AP Mob, Joey Bada$$ and Danny Brown. My point being that while you may find some great artists on the radio, you have to sift through others to get to what you really desire.

To their credit the bands of the past deserve all the praise they get, but there’s a reason that we only remember handfuls of them for the decade that they staked their claim in before fading away. Artists withstand the test of time because their music was made timeless and can appeal to multiple generations and was ahead of its time. Right now those artists may seem few and far between, but give today’s music a chance and you never know what album or artist ends up surprising you.

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