Tuesday, March 8, 2011


My rationalization finally revealed to the public

Lately, I have been listening to shitty rap music. It’s not an ironic thing for me. I genuinely enjoy listening to bad music and feeling good about it.

It started this summer. Once I graduated and was out of a job, I began searching with desperation. During that time, I came across a music video on MTV: “Money to Blow” by Birdman featuring Lil Wayne and Drake.

Drake. Who was this guy and why did I always hear about him? Surely, I was fanatical about Degrassi and I knew he had a pop career, but he only had released a couple of mixtapes, right? The more I heard, the more I became turned on. It was that deep voice of his. I actually started listening to Flow 93.5 in hopes of hearing similar songs. In a world where internet downloading reigns supreme, I am not sure why I did this. It was probably because I drove a lot in the summer and usually forgot my iPod at home.

The other Birdman

Suddenly, I began enjoying songs by Drake, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Usher, Will.I.Am, Rihanna, Taio Cruz, and Chris Brown. There was something so innocent, carefree, and stupid about all of their songs. It was the music of "conformity". Maybe, that was how I needed to feel in such a time of hopelessness. Plus, it was summer, the most relaxed season of all.

The trend of listening to bad music continued on into the winter, and still lives to this day. Friends have shunned me. Other friends think I am trying to be ironic. No one has gone out to da club with me. My boyfriend could have/should have left me at this point. At least I don’t pay to listen to shitty music, I say, except for when I bought that Drake concert ticket.

I have no shame in saying that I genuinely enjoy the music of Drake. De-friend me now.

However, I am still the same person who enjoys quality music. For so many years, I have listened to awesome bands. People ask me for music recommendations, and I am happy to give them. Just look at all the music reviews on this blog. Do I seriously ever review bad music? Does it take up any of my precious time, money, or even dignity? Did you ever see T-Payne up on that shit?

No, I still listen to “indie” and “lo-fi” and probably every esteemed artist ever featured by Pitchfork. I read books by Alex Ross. I know who Captain Beefheart is. I don’t think I’m superior because of it. Because I love and appreciate all sorts of music, obscure or not, I think I am allowed to have a break from the “real world” of “good music”.

Ciara featuring Ludacris, "Ride", was one of my favourite songs of 2010, and one of my favourite videos.

I think I am allowed to listen to popular rap music, no matter how horrendous it may be. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone. I don’t need to list every rock-snob-approved band I’ve ever loved for acceptance. No. I just want to listen to bad music, because bad music is sometimes fun. What's so wrong with that?


  1. Mainstream rap is not always bad. Usher, Will.I.Am, Rihanna, Taio Cruz, and Chris Brown also don't count. Let's work on the first three, who do. Because they actually rap. The other stuff you're talking about is pop/R&B.

    Weezy is a talented lyricist, and has flow. There's no denying that. However, he's a little hard to get behind as a woman/feminist. Nicki Minaj, though a problematic figure re: feminism, gay culture, etc., is (fucking awesome) also very talented. (Don't judge her on Pink Friday. Get her mixtapes.) Drake is not. Shame on you. (I'm half-joking. Many of my friends, whose tastes I respect, really like him. I personally don't see the appeal.)

    Speaking of friends, I think you need new ones. If the ones you have are the kind who worship at the altar of Arts & Crafts, who shudder in their flannel at the first drop of an 808--and will judge you for vibing--then they are fucking tools. For one, that's not cool; for two, all that goddamn folk pop sounds the same. (And this is coming from a girl who once aspired to write for Filter Mag.)

    tl;dr, rock is not the only "real world" of "good music." Hip-hop is where true innovation is happening, at least right now.

  2. True. I mention Usher, Will I Am, Rihanna, Taio Cruz, and Chris Brown because they collaborate with rap artists. I acknowledge that they are not fully "hip hop".

  3. Weirdly, I just see it as a sign of getting older/"growing up" (a good thing). Cutting the phrase "guilty pleasure" from your lexicon. Acknowledging that everything has something to offer. Bye bye, pretense.