Generations are out of sync


Art by Rida Shaikh

Older generations may insist that today’s music just is not what it used to be, that it is inappropriate and overly auto-tuned. Yet reporter Jessica Wyno (and Rida Shaikh, through this artwork), show that if people still vibe with it, the music is meaningful.

From Pink Floyd to J. Cole, the music world has undergone huge changes within the last few decades, while still maintaining that certain aspect that has us singing our hearts out to songs. 

However, whenever I hear adults talking about new music, they aren’t as excited as I am about the changes music has seen over the years. 

All I ever hear is, “They don’t make good music anymore.” 

First off, I don’t see how that could be, given how many diverse genres there are today. Not to say there weren’t back when our parents were young, but there were significantly less options. 

In the late 1970s-80s, when most of our parents were growing up, they had the greats, like ACDC, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Prince, Cyndi Lauper, or Led Zeppelin. 

All of these artists, however, fell into the rock and roll or pop categories, which were extremely popular at the time.  

Today, the most popular categories are of a much broader range that includes genres like rap, indie, pop, r&b, and alternative rock. I know y’all are rocking with Brent Faiyaz, The Arctic Monkeys, Tyler the Creator, SZA, Giveon, Kendrick Lamar, Kali Uchis, Harry Styles, Megan Thee Stallion,The Wallows, or Lil Peep.  

Music today is not only diverse in genres, but also in artists. There are a lot more mainstream artists of color than there ever were back in the day, as mainstream music was primarily whitewashed. Very few artists of color got the time in the spotlight they deserved. 

I especially hate the “They don’t make good music today” argument when an adult says music today is “too vulgar and/or inappropriate.” Like, excuse you, do you realize the hypocrisy of that statement? I mean, yeah, today’s music is very upfront with its topics, and doesn’t have much censorship, but the only real difference between our music and our parents’ is that theirs was a bit more subtle with what they were saying in their lyrics. Even so, I’m 100 percent certain that our parents’ parents said the same thing about the music they listened to, especially considering rock and roll was considered “the Devil’s music.” 

If you think about some of the messages in their songs, music back then wasn’t exactly innocent.

A great example could be Guns N’ Roses’ “I Used To Love Her,” a song about a dude killing and burying his girlfriend because she annoyed him. Not the sweetest of love songs.

Another example could be Motley Crue’s cover of “Smokin’ in the Boys Room,” which promotes tobacco use in school. 

Finally, Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” is pretty self explanatory. I mean, could a woman’s bottom really make the rockin’ world go round?

I would never hate on Queen, or any of these artists, for that matter. I’m merely pointing out that this argument of what’s “too inappropriate” is a two-way street. It just used to be more subtle.

Another big argument on this topic is auto tune.“You can’t even hear their real voices,” people complain. 

Yes, I could see how some songs completely overdo their autotune, so much that the music sounds robotic. If you’re into that robotic stuff, more power to you. Most people don’t really vibe with that, though. A lot of people tend to find it annoying, but I think it’s a reach to pinpoint auto tune as the main reason music is suddenly so terrible today. You think they weren’t using synthesizers or other audio tools back in the 70s or 80s? Autotune, just like those synthesizers, is just a tool to give the sound of the music a bit of a boost.

Even with these little differences, I hate to say it, but the argument of music today being bad is pointless, because things haven’t really changed. Yes, maybe there’s a bit more variety, and maybe it’s not as censored, but it’s still just music. 

It’s still about songs that make you cry, make you dance, have concerts in the shower, and songs you can have on repeat for days without getting sick of them. 

Music is music, a sound that helps give more spice to life, something that can bring people together (I know that sounds cliché, but still), and is just something you can vibe to.