WKU POP 201

Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Music as a Cultural Mainstay: Old People Don’t Matter and Hip Hop is Important

Posted by wrmattison on November 14, 2016

These articles were akin to a Rolling Stone issue; minus the liberal undertones.  I particularly enjoyed the article on why republicans hate rap.  It was a very relatable topic because every adult I’ve said the word “Kanye” around tore me a new asshole about how he is trash.  But what do they know, they’re old and I’m young and everyone knows young people decide what is cool.  Kanye is cool.

I’ve always like to look at music through a cultural lens because it allows me to appreciate music that I wouldn’t normally listen to.  It is painful to type the words “Keith Urban” or “Florida Georgia Line” because of how nauseating I find country music to be.  With that being said, I can appreciate the cultural importance of country music.  I believe there is value in most genres of music (besides EDM, that stuff blows).

In 2015 I was a counselor at a summer camp.  The Michael Brown trial had been stirred up and was all over the news again.  These kids, mostly from upper class white families were confused and needed answers. (And not from their presumably racist parents.) Most of the older kids kind of had a stance on the topic, but a lot of campers were 9-12 and had some pretty serious questions.  “Why did he shoot him?”  “Why are people racist?” “Why are people angry?”  As counselors, we had an ethical and somewhat contractual obligation not to discuss politics and social issues with the kiddos, but we often times found ourselves delving deeper and deeper into America’s greatest flaws.

When things got too heavy and we needed a good escape from a touchy conversation, we played “where is the love” by the black eyed peas.  I remember a co-counselor of mine telling the kids, “everything you need to understand is in this song.”  Every time we finished that song the boys would kind of take a breath and talk through their thoughts together.  It was intriguing to see a song engage kids and get them thinking compassionately and critically about racial issues.  I have a lot to say about the importance of hip hop, why I hate country music, and why old peoples’ opinions don’t matter.  I’m always at Panda Express at 12pm T/TR if you want to talk about the aforementioned topics.

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