VMAs: Everything that is wrong with mainstream music

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By: Nicole Hassinger

I walked into my first class last Monday morning to the buzz and chatter of several girls discussing the Video Music Awards (VMAs) from the night before. I had never felt like I had lived under a rock more than I did at that moment in time.
It may seem almost ironic to my readers to know that, as a music enthusiast, I would disregard the current music that our lovely mainstream media producers stuff into our ears and the airwaves, as fluff. Most of what I catch a glimpse of that gains radio and top 40 attention makes me squirm with discomfort and loathing.
Top 40 music glorifies celebrities that auto-tune themselves into perfection. These are the same “musicians” and “artists” that create the trends that further our capitalistic society. People like Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift are the idols to young girls, but they are also the same women who at points were wreaking havoc with not only each other, but with anyone who comes across as competition.
Through it all, I meet people every day that listen to the popular radio hits. I have met people that tell me Iggy Azalea is their favorite artist, even with songs like “Fancy,” which even I know all the words to. That’s saying something since I don’t touch radio stations like 99.1, U93, or Sunny 101.5 at any point in my day.
I guess I just don’t understand the hype of trending music. I don’t see the noteworthy value that contemporary popular music holds versus any other genre. To me, the lack of instruments, emotion—love and romantic feelings aside—and vocal transitions require me to look elsewhere for my tunes.
I understand music theory enough to know that most popular music follows the same key pattern to making a successful song, yet even with that in mind, it holds no appeal. Granted, I’m certain that people could say the same thing about some of the music that I love.
Popular music today hits a shallow note for me. It’s passive, constantly harping on the same thoughts. I mean, again, Taylor Swift has made an entire career flashing her dirty breakup laundry to the world. For all of those students that feel similarly, keep your eyes peeled for my next column where I explain genre alternatives.

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