Let’s Talk About The Stereotypes Surrounding Music Genres

Personally, I’m a huge music fan, and I tend to think it’s weird if you don’t enjoy music. However that is my opinion, and opinions are what I wanted to talk about today. I’m so sick of being afraid to show people the types of music and artists I like because they will judge me on it, and I’m also sick of people trying to tell me what music genre I should fit in. Music is one of the most important aspects in our world, why are we letting it categorize us when we should be letting it unify us?

Out of the many genres of music such as country, pop, heavy metal, rap etc. everyone likes something different. This is due to the fact that we all relate to different things and we’ve all had different experiences that we need to relate to something. So why is it so controversial to like one genre of music over the other and how does it label you?

Here I’m going to go through the main genres of music that most bands and artists can fit into, the artists featured under each heading aren’t necessarily the most known in the genre, but I wanted to create a diverse array instead of just using the same songs for everyone.

Heavy Metal

People who love heavy metal, or any kind of metal music, are often one of the most harshly misjudged groups in the musical world. While the music can be frightening if you don’t enjoy it or are not used to it, it isn’t an excuse to draw conclusions about the people who do enjoy it.

Common nicknames for people who enjoy this kind of music range from Satanists to simply Metal heads, with much more ranging in between the two. However, for people with strong religious beliefs, many of these nicknames are highly offensive when they proclaim a person to be a satanist or anti-Christian.

The reason for such negative nicknames and negativity surrounding the music is due to the fact that it is associated with rebellion and aggression. These ideas then, in turn, are reflected in the music with the intent to rebel against the constraints of society and promote individuality.  It has such a bad reputation however because being rebellious has always been viewed as being bad, anything that goes against the social norm is considered bad. However, the aggression reflected in this type of music doesn’t necessarily mean the people themselves are aggressive. They simply want to channel that energy into something else. The channeling of this negative energy actually allows them to be a lot calmer than members of other genres, even if they don’t come off that way at first.

So while most people identify with this music genre out of support for their overall message or the incredible musical capabilities of all the guitarists and drummers in the bands. This means that there are plenty of people who enjoy this genre, even if they don’t all look like what you stereotypically would think. They don’t all have long black hair, thick eyeliner and spiky jewelry. They just look like you and me.

Overall, while most people believe “metalheads” are goth, or aggressive, or violent, they often just enjoy the music and are intrigued/impressed by the talent needed to play such music.

Country Music

Country music is commonly thought of by non-country listeners to be a very shallow genre of music focusing only on things like beer, tractors, and hot girls. And while that may be in a lot of the songs, there is usually another overarching message to let loose, make the most of the moment, and enjoy the time you spend with friends and family.

Country listeners are often looked down upon by people who enjoy rock, metal, alternative etc. simply because it is such a different type of music with such a different message. While those people are trying to fight for rights, individuality, and freedom from social norms, country listeners are content with their life and are just looking to do the things that make them happy.

People who love country music are often referred to as hillbillies or rednecks, and that isn’t accurate in the least. People from all walks of life enjoy country music including people of different races, in different geographic areas (not just the south) and different societal classes. It appeals to so many people due to the fact that the music is light, upbeat and catchy. This genre also features both male and female stars which are appealing to many people as well.

So while people who listen to country are considered naive and shallow, it really doesn’t have anything to do with it. People enjoy country music because they enjoy the common message being shown in the lyrics and find it catchy and optimistic to listen to.

Rap/Hip-Hop

Rap and Hip Hop music has many followers from all different types of backgrounds but tends to be lyrically directed to a certain background in regards to the problems that can occur in poverty and/or family situations and racial issues.

Going along with issues presented in the music, the genre has artists that are not only from both genders but from different races as well. There are many very prominent black men and women in this field which then is inspiring to other black citizens or activists. The diversity continues with many of the stars either living in a poor situation or having lived through a bad situation and worked through it. Due to the diversity in the field, the issues brought up typically relate prominently to people growing up in bad situations or living in them, such as gang violence, broken homes, racial discrimination etc.

Many people enjoy this music not only because it usually tends to be good to dance to, with bass drops and a great beat, but because they can relate to the lyrics and the people singing them. In situations like the ones these artists sing about, many people are afraid to talk about their own experiences and find comfort in hearing that not only are they not alone, but some of their biggest idols have been through the same things as them.

Unfortunately, these people are commonly judged because of the common vulgarity and language in their music. But in this case, words really are just words, and if people really enjoy the music and the message who are you to say that because of a couple swears they should feel guilty for liking it?

Overall, this genre has a very strong theme of fighting through bad situations and achieving what you believe. People who enjoy this music either agree with the situations proposed and find comfort in them, or just like the style of music, or both. Either way, they enjoy what they are listening to.

Pop(ular) Music

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with pop music. It just isn’t fit into a distinct category. Therefore, the people who enjoy it don’t necessarily fall into a specific category either.

People who are dedicated to another genre of music commonly look down upon lovers of pop music and pop artists under the impression that they like this music out of naivety to the other genres of music or their conformity to society. However, that isn’t always the case.

Usually, there is a reason the music is as popular as it is, such as the fact that it is a very good song, or it is sung by a talented artist etc. so why should deny people the chance to listen to songs that have made it this far already?

The real problem is the way people view pop listeners. As much as we don’t want to admit it, many people tend to explore other genres in order to not be ordinary.  It’s almost as if we are asking to be categorized by our music taste. We want to be individualized. And after all our hard work to make our own distinct music taste, we find it confusing to see people who don’t want that. People who simply want to listen to music to listen to music, people who want to have stuff in common with other people.

In this way, we need to learn to mind our own business and allow people to listen to their music whether we agree with what they want to listen to or not. People tend to enjoy pop music as it offers a wide spectrum of music that covers a lot of topics, this way people can also have stuff in common with the mass of the population when making conversation or dancing at a party etc. They also like it just because they enjoy the music the artists are producing, not because they want to be labeled in a certain way.

Alternative/Indie

I like to think about alternative music as the music that didn’t really have a home in most of the other genres. It focuses on many personal topics including love, mental illness, depression, a person’s morals etc. This music tends to be easily relatable which is most likely the reason for it’s growing popularity in the newer generations. Similar to hip-hop and rap listeners, alternative listeners are oftentimes comforted and relaxed by the things they never knew they would have in common with their idols and the other listeners.

This genre is similar to pop in the way that it isn’t extremely exclusive as to what is considered part of the genre, there are things ranging from old to new over a vast range of sounds majorly including electric distorted guitars, drums, and electronic beats.

People tend to assume, after listening to a couple songs (especially slow indie songs) that all of the listeners are hipsters, or they’re depressed or they’re trying too hard to be cool. However, this isn’t true. Sure, some people may listen to the top 100 alternative songs on Apple Music just to seem a bit edgy, but it isn’t always the case, and it sure doesn’t give you permission to assume everyone who enjoys this type of music is just looking to be “edgy”. Many people use this type of music as a refuge, a type of therapy that helps them through their everyday lives because it’s home to many quotes and lyrics that can apply to various aspects in a person’s life like mentioned earlier, and you never know if this music is the only thing saving them from themselves.

Overall, lovers of alternative and indie tend to not only take pride in their love and relationship with the music and artists but they also tend to relate to it and use it to feel connected to something even when nothing else is there for them. On top of relating to the messages in the music, these listeners enjoy the sound of the music and the talent of the artists to create something that doesn’t sound just like everything else on the radio.

Conclusion

Do you see what I did there? In the end of every section, I emphasized the fact that people enjoy certain kinds of music because they enjoy it. Not because they want to be labeled or because they want to fit a certain image.

Every genre of music has its stereotypes and connotations attached to it, but in the end, we just have to make the conscious decisions to spend our time in the music community loving what we like to listen to and stop wasting our time putting other people down for the music they enjoy. We have to stop taking the extra time to open up the music video of an artist we dislike just to leave a nasty comment when we could be writing blog posts or watching videos of the stars we know and love ourselves. If every person just focuses on listening to what they love and not making unfair assumptions based on the music a person listens to, everyone would be more eager to share their love for music and we can let the love for it, in general, bring us all together instead of pitting us against one another.

In case you were wondering, I belong to either the metal/rock category or the alternative category because they are home to some of my favorite bands. So if you wanted to talk about any or all of the following bands, leave a comment and let me know!

  • Falling In Reverse
  • Black Veil Brides
  • Metallica
  • Aerosmith
  • Sleeping With Sirens
  • All Time Low
  • Twenty One Pilots
  • Pearl Jam
  • The Killers
  • Green Day
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Cage The Elephant

If you’re favorite band or music genre isn’t on my list but you still want to talk about it, let me know! Leave a comment below! Hopefully, next time I will be posting a shuffle playlist tag I was tagged in just a few days ago to go along with this post!

-Lily

 

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4 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About The Stereotypes Surrounding Music Genres

  1. nice post, a great sentiment! reminds me of how I feel
    about the term “guilty pleasure” in relation to the types of media-in this case, music-that we consume. unless the music we are listening to is hurting people in some way, we shouldn’t feel guilty for listening to it! we need to embrace what we enjoy instead of feeling ashamed of it because of how others might perceive us.

    Like

    1. I totally agree! Not everyone will love every genre of music, but what does the opinion of others have to do with you enjoying it?!? Also I for sure agree when it comes to guilty pleasure music, or really anything. If you like it and it’s not hurting anyone or making anyone feel bad about themselves, why should it matter what other people think?

      Liked by 1 person

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