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There’s a popular consensus among young people that lately has been spread around by Bieber-obsessed teenagers, Tupac-hologram loving hip-hoppers, and well, hipsters. And that consensus is…you’re a music lover and you “really” know music. Guess what, my friend, you really don’t.
If you’re reading this, you are either the kind of person who calls yourself a bona fide music lover, or you know someone who fits the description above. There are some problems with a select few of people who call themselves music lovers when they don’t really love music. Saying you’re a music lover and then only listening to one thing is like saying you love blacks because you’ve got that one black friend. Obviously it’s not as harsh as this example, but you get the idea. Everyone has different tastes and shows favoritism to those, but that doesn’t mean if we like pizza, we close the door at the sight of anything that isn’t a simple slice of cheese. Even beer enthusiasts will submit themselves to the “dear gods above I just drank piss!” face if it means they get to try a new type of ale.
The problem is there are music crimes happening out there, and they come in the form of close-minded “music lovers”. I don’t completely blame the offenders, however. A one-sided view of music begins at an early age. We all remember that time in our lives, right before we realized we had nothing figured out and right after we thought we knew everything: adolescence. It’s during this time that we forget we already are someone and instead try to focus on being someone else. We identify with a niche market of entertainment and then dress, act, and practically pretend to be our favorite celebrities and musicians. Which is fun when you’re young and naive, or at least can pretend that you’re still young and naive and remotely get away with it.
But you’re not fourteen anymore. Relax, man! It’s no longer “uncool” to admit that classical music at least makes you curious. It’s not embarrassing to say you like that one Kelly Clarkson song. Yet most of us never get there, trapped in that untaught world where we’re either too afraid to try something new, or too stubborn to grow the f up. If you find yourself falling into one of these following categories, yet calling yourself a music lover, perhaps it’s time to dial down the ego and open up your mind, at least just once.
1. Little Monsters. And Beliebers. And Directioners. When people are on the hunt for their identity, they make the grave mistake of labeling themselves. After all, why be you when you could be a “Little Monster”, love child of the ultimate Lady Gaga. Why put your passion into many things, when you can be a Belieber and fuel all of that passion into letting the world know how amazing (I’m using that word out of quote, not out of fact) Justin Beiber is. It’s this group that probably has it the worst. Are you afraid that Lady Gaga will hate you if you skip out on her record to listen to some rock instead? Will you lose your chance at having Justin Beiber’s babies if you choose a punk rock song over him? The truth is, they don’t care what you’re listening to, as long as you’re making them money. So buy the next One Direction album, and then save your mind from stalemating in an ignorant pop cycle and try listening to something else for a change. Plus, grandpa was right — they’re just trying to brainwash you with that crap.
2. Punk Rock Don’t Stop. You’ve got all the piercings, you had your sleeves tatted when you were 12, and everything you own has holes in it. Congratulations, you are a punk rocker, a rebel with a cause, a pure anarchy machine. How about a mainstream song? Before you start ranting about the problems with rock stars who actually make money and can afford to record an album, take a moment to relax just a bit. You can still be a mean, green, punk rocking machine and let a little light into your life in the form of a different genre. Listening to Bach doesn’t make you any less hardcore. In fact, I bet Beethoven would have been a punk rocker if he grew up in our time.
3. “I like anything with a good beat.” This is just code for: if it isn’t played at the club, I don’t like it. If I can’t get drunk and party to it, it’s a no go. If it doesn’t have lyrics about drinking, partying, sex, sex in public places, money, fast cars, more sex or all of the above, it just doesn’t cut it for me. There is a huge lifestyle that is associated with “beat music” — the hip hop and rap and dance of our current generation that’s really just a form of glorified pop. Trust me, there’s nothing wrong with anything that lets me party. But the next time you’re driving in your car, remember that it’s okay to turn the party off for just a moment and enjoy some Nirvana. Or maybe Bob Marley could tickle your club-hopping fancy. Not every situation calls for a song that yells “ass ass ass ass” over and over again. Besides, people have been dancing to other genres of music for years — I know, shocking but true.
4. Hipsters. I don’t even have to say more, but I will. You guys get your own category, especially since music to most hipsters is just another way to show off your “knowledge” of bands that no one has ever heard. The slogan of the hipster, music-loving world seems to be “if it’s bad, it’s good!” Really. Just listen to that for a moment. Trust me, your beard won’t magically disappear if you listen to something that – gasp – hit the top ten on the Billboard charts this year. Maybe your hipster friends will hate you if you admit to owning and enjoying something that will never be released on vinyl, but do you really want friends around who are going to hate you for broadening your music horizons? Didn’t think so.
These are just the major groups of self-deceiving “music lovers” who claim to absolutely love all things related to music and yet can only muster up enough courage to listen to one thing, one genre, or one artist. Music lovers definitely don’t have to love everything. For instance, I am not a big fan of country at all. But yes, I have subjected my ears to three short minutes of an iconic country jam, because what’s so wrong with giving it a chance? I knew that at most, I’d walk away still pretty adamant on hating the fiddle and anything related to it. But most of the time when we open our ears to something new, we find that there’s more than one music genre out there for us. And if you’re a true audiophile, it shouldn’t be a big deal to just simply try it out. Often times, those that parade themselves as “music lovers” are simply infatuated with one individual or one lifestyle that just so happens to be about one type of music. Hey, if you love Lady Gaga, there’s nothing wrong with that. But maybe you should think twice about proclaiming to love music, when really you love crazy, dance-possessed, meat-wearing performers.
And if you honestly do feel you are a music lover but you haven’t been holding true to that, go out there and find more music to love! And hipsters, this is not an invitation to compete over who is the biggest music lover. Sorry.
What do you think? Are there other groups that commit this a capella crime that weren’t mentioned above? Post your very important opinions below! And hipsters, this is not an invitation to compete over who has the most unique opinion. Sorry again.