In Defense of Popular Music

By Kendyl Brower 

In eighth grade, I did everything in my power to avoid “radio music.” I scavenged for the most obscure artists, avoided all plebeian pop songs, and made sure all the playlists I had were alternative enough to fuel my individuality complex. I associated the word “basic” with “elementary,” avoiding it like the plague. It did not take long for me to realize that underground artists are not inherently better than popular ones. Whatever flimsy rationale I had to hate popular music is long gone, I no longer feel the need to rebel against the majority. However, this is a common theme with the rise of the internet: the need to despise popular culture in order to appear more unique. It feels as if listening to songs with over a million streams is a guilty pleasure nowadays; the new cool is being uncool. 

For a long time, I concluded that popular music sucks. An elitist mindset construed my perception of certain artists and their followers. How could an Ed Sheeran fan know anything about good taste in music? Listening to Taylor Swift is so basic. These brash, vitriol generalizations of entire communities fostered limitations to the types of music I listened to. But the more I explored music, despite its popularity or unpopularity, I realized that going against the grain does not make you a more encyclopedic listener. Furthermore, the quality of music should not be determined by huge numbers of listeners or lack thereof. 

 Music is subjective, no opinion is more true than another. Listen to what you want, do not be afraid to go with the crowd or against it because there is not enough time in a day to worry about how others perceive your taste in music.