Miko on the Mic

By
March 11, 2004

Mills College Weekly

It doesn’t matter who you are, what type of music you listen to,
or even your religious affiliation-you know Janet Jackson and
Justin Timberlake pulled a stunt at this year’s Super Bowl. Don’t
worry. It’s old news and I’m not going to say anything more about
it other than that I supported the move in its entirety and found
no just cause to be “anti.” Instead I’m using this example to
introduce a few points about pop music.

I’ll start by saying that pop music is the lowest common
denominator of music. Meaning that whether you like it or not, you
know what it is, who the artist is, and at least half of the
chorus. Why are we all automatically educated in this very mediocre
genre of music? Because pop music defines us. It makes us aware of
how old we are. It draws out our dislikes very clearly. It lets the
world know whether or not we choose to follow trends. It’s a genre
that has no real musical base and instead steals from all other
types. And damn it, it’s just everywhere. How can anyone who truly
participates in American society not be affected by pop music
trends?

If you disagree, I say: look at the car you drive. Just think of
the pop tune that was used in that commercial to sell it to you.
Pull out your cell phone and look at your easily downloadable ring
tones.

Any artist who is really known or has really sold out is a pop
artist. 50 Cent, No Doubt, Blink 182. Pop artists. If you’re making
money like they are, if you’re selling records like they are,
you’re a pop artist. Pop isn’t really a musical form, it’s just
another word for money. Record companies couldn’t care less about
hip hop, modern rock, or any other two-word phrase we come up with
that is supposed to define why our hair is dyed a certain color
this week. Popular music. Top 40. It all equals money. And the last
time I checked, 50 Cent was considered a Top 40 artist.

It doesn’t matter who you are. You’re influenced and affected by
pop music. Even if you simply say you hate it, you hate it even
more because it’s been played constantly, everywhere you go, for
the past two weeks. Your hatred has only increased because your
little sister is a big fan and she’s coming over this weekend. Or
better yet, you’re upset because you caught yourself singing the
main hook and realized you know all the words to that song.

See, the way it works out is it’s either pop music or something
else. Something else meaning it didn’t make nearly as much money as
Usher’s last single. Blues and jazz music? Great art forms but old
now. Hip hop? Currently leaving the building as we speak. And how
do I know I’m right? Simply by saying that this year’s Grammy(r)
album of the year was Outkast’s Speakboxx/The Love Below. Why does
this justify my point? We’re talking about a rap album that won its
popularity and critical acclaim based on a song that doesn’t even
have a single rap verse in it. 1-2-3-


Miko on the Mic was published on March 11, 2004 in Arts & Entertainment

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