As a person who considers himself plugged in to popular music culture, I found myself growing older and doing that thing that older people do: criticizing the new thing, because it's "not as good" as what you grew up with.
And I thought "Don't be like that!!"
It's somewhat impossible to resist. After all, who didn't think they were super cool and knew everything when they were 16? Perhaps this reaction is a part of how generations distinguish themselves from the one that comes after, for the purpose of evolution. I know my Dad did it. I couldn't get him to listen to anything I was into. Although he did like the acoustic version of Nirvana's About a Girl.
Of course if things never changed or evolved, we'd grow bored. We have to keep moving forward. I get it. It's good for all of us to be challenged in our lives. To be exposed to new tastes. You can't eat cheeseburgers and fries every day; you gotta mix it up with a little pizza and a Diet Mr. Pibb! Or drink one of these energy drinks that people seem to be guzzling these days. Mmmmm, bull testosterone...
BUT something that you hold near and dear to the heart, like the music that shapes your teenage years, will always live on a type of pedestal. And I guess it's human nature to compare that to what the "kids" today are into. Sidebar: I think it's hilarious that acid washed jeans and neon accessories from the early 90s have become a staple of hipster-kid culture. BARF. I never saw that stuff making a comeback. I also never imagined the Pixies would be on tour in 2019! I saw them in Kalamazoo, MI at Miller Auditorium in September of 1989. Before they were cool!!!
I know that some of the stuff I listened to when I was a teenager sucked monkey balls. I thought the self-titled BulletBoys tape was sooos legit. Haha! That came out in 1988. N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton also came out that year! As did Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation to Hold Us Back. Rolling Stone magazine voted the former Number 5 on the Best Hip-Hop Albums of All Time list; the latter was voted Number 1. I don't think BulletBoys made it on any lists, other than perhaps Most Social Diseases Contracted.
I have, a few times, put the Spotify top 50 on and tried like hell to get through it. Some of it I find downright unlistenable. I'm not entirely against Auto-tune, but when it's clear that you can't sing, even with Auto-tune on, maybe you should have learned to play the trumpet. But, the songs on the pop charts have always been that way. In September of 1991 when Nirvana's Nevermind came out, here were some of the highest charting songs: I Adore Mi Amor by Color Me Badd, Time, Love and Tenderness by Michael Bolton, Love of a Lifetime by Firehouse, and Good Vibrations by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Just turn on MTV Grind and get bizzzy with Eric Nies from the Real World!!
To be fair to the youths, I quite dig some new artists. I have been recently won over by Travis Scott. I think he's a genuine artist. The documentary on Netflix about him is great. I believe Billie Eilish has a big future ahead of her. And though I wouldn't consider Post Malone "hip-hop or rap," he actually writes some really catchy music. But those face tattoos, my God. I'll consider myself old-fashioned and be proud of it too when I say, face tattoos are a no-no, bro.
Lil Nas X. It's not all bad out there. He's a gay/country/rap/pop star. Only in America!