Why You Should Stop Judging People’s Favorite Music Genres (+ audio)

“Ew, you like country music? How LOL? Every song sounds the same, and it’s all about drinking beer and driving trucks.” Lots of hate is directed towards country music and it is often times by people that listen to songs where a man is talking about doing drugs and saying the name of a clothing brand over and over again; something many people would consider, “bad or not real music.” Even though there are certain songs we all agree should never see the light of day again, *cough cough* “Baby,” people’s choice in music seems to be cultural. Though there is no definitive answer as to why we are drawn to specific genres of music in the first place, there are many opinions about what keeps us invested in them.

While listening to music, many different parts of the brain light up, including the parts for attention, planning, memory and the more emotional part of our brain, the Limbic system. All of these combine to create very strong emotions for many people as they listen to music. Alternatively, the enjoyment of music could be completely dopamine based. Dopamine is a chemical released in the brain and gives off a feeling of pleasure as the person does something pleasurable. For instance, a person may take a bite of some delicious food or hear really good music, and the brain would release dopamine as a reward.

But what makes us fall in love with specific genres? Though there is no true answer and not much backing science, most people seem to think it is based of where you grew up, how you grew up, and what you listened to as you grew up. For most Westerners, pop music seems to be everyone’s go-to(1) with youth being the ones to have a more diverse taste in music. Two such students at Apex, Sam Mizell and Dawson Heinbaugh, listen primarily to the infamous genre of metal. When asked why he liked metal, Hinebaugh had some interesting things to say about it, “Metal for me is a stress reliever. To hear the powerful, raspy voice really speaks for you and lets you know that other people are going through the same things you are.” Mizell shared a similar opinion in that, “[metal] is a stress reliever, and in the style of metal, the raspy voices and screaming gives more power and emotion that soft singing can’t really give,” ideas echoed by many fans of the heavier genres. On a different note (haha), what seems to be echoed with the students, interviewed about rap music, were polarized into two schools of thought: emotional rap is the best kind of rap because it’s more like emotional poetry put over a beat, and what some would call “hype-rap,” is the best. This hype-rap is centered more around bragging or as the name suggests, hyping yourself up. One common love of these two groups is when a beat just goes hard, because powerful instrumentals are one of the greatest parts of a rap song.

My love of music started with the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. When I was a kid, I had a radio that could play CDs and one CD I had was a collection of Black Sabbath’s greatest hits. At first, I listened to it because when I found it (while digging through my dad’s CD case), I  thought the album cover was cool, but eventually grew into it, and to this day it has shaped my music tastes as I now listen to heavy metal and metalcore bands like Metallica and somewhat ashamedly, Bring Me The Horizon.

Music tastes are pretty much based on what society is listening to and oftentimes certain music genres are disregarded (especially by music elitists” as annoying and abnormal but really, who is anyone to judge someone’s music taste and call it “not real music”? George Miller (A.K.A Pink Guy A.K.A Joji A.K.A Filthy Frank) wrote a song where in the end, he puts on a fake voice and mocks people that were complaining about his music not being his “real music(2),” because it was comedic rap and not his other, sad and emotional music(3),  “(Uh, we want real music, We want real music, we want Joji music)” to which he responds without the mocking tone, “Bro, I didn’t even know real and fake music existed I mean, I think it’s like your fault for putting that [stuff] into categories. Like, music is music; if you don’t think this is real music that’s your problem.”

Music is a universal pleasure, and almost everybody can enjoy a good tune, but on the other hand, it feels terrible to have the media as well as peers calling your favorite genre “obnoxious” and “not real music.”

 

 

  1. Well, I guess that’s sort of redundant because popular music is what  “pop music” stands for, but what I mean by this is that instead of finding albums by artists, they listen to what is currently on the radio and not much else.
  2. I must warn you, this song, “Rice Balls,” is very crude and offensive and I do not recommend listening to it with your parents in the room! The audio for which can be found here.
  3. One of his emotional songs I find particularly soothing has one use of minor cursing and can be found here.

 

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