Everything in the world is seemingly up for debate and people always feel the need to pick a side whenever possible. Every comment thread on an article or Facebook wall becomes the next online battleground where LazyBoii456 can blame Obama for why Netflix got rid of Scrubs.
Music has been one of the biggest catalysts for these types of arguments for decades…
Who’s the best band, Beatles or the Stones?
Who’s the best rapper, Tupac or Biggie?
Who do you hate more, Train or Nickelback?
The battle between country music and hip-hop is one of the most recognizable areas of animosity amongst music lovers. You’ve probably heard it or might have even said… “I like most music, well everything besides country,” or maybe, “Yeah I like the radio, I just can’t really get into any rap.” It doesn’t help that when country tried to collaborate with a rapper, they went with…
It’s been 15 years since you last thought about Nelly. And more importantly, 15 years since you wondered if he was trying to hide a paper cut or a mole under that Band-Aid.
There are so many reasons why a person might dislike a song or an artist or even an entire genre. They might not have grown up with it, the song might bring back a painful memory, or they might have just caught them during their “experimental” period (Ex. Kanye West post-2012)
While there’s no one fits all explanation, one of the most common reasons for turning your back to an entire genre can be explained by America’s greatest scapegoat for crappy entertainment in the past 25 years… Nickelback.
Now, you’re probably thinking how does some shitty Canadian band have anything to do country or hip-hop?
Well, first question for you, do you like Nickelback? I can probably guess the answer…
Second question, why don’t you like Nickelback? ….And this is probably where it gets a bit tougher for you
In the study, “Hypocritical bullshit performed through gritted teeth’: Authenticity discourses in Nickelback’s album reviews in Finnish media,” researchers found that basically once Nickelback discovered the formula for how to make a hit, they made everything following sound the…exact…same… and it was that lack of authenticity that made the world kinda hate these guys.
Okay, but how does this tie back to why you don’t like a certain type of music? Some of the biggest complaints about each genre can be boiled down to “All rap / country songs sound the same…” You’ve heard it, you know it, and you might have even said it. If you just listen to the radio then actually…yeah, a lot of those songs do sound the same. But that’s kind of the whole point.
Both country and rap were created by communities influenced by the styles of the past, molded with elements that spoke about their own unique way of life. Eventually, companies were like “…yo, we could be making bank on this.” It then became artists creating music they care about competing with those who really just want a cool AF yacht.
There’s a country mashup that makes this painfully clear and rappers have acknowledged flat-out that sometimes doing what sells is better than doing what is authentic.
In Jay-Z’s black album, the song “Moment of Clarity“ has a verse…
“I dumbed down for my audience to double my dollars
They criticized me for it, yet they all yell ‘holla’
If skills sold, truth be told, I’d probably be
Lyrically Talib Kweli
Truthfully I wanna rhyme like common sense
But I did 5 mi — I ain’t been rhyming like Common since”
…basically you can be rich or an artist …but usually these two don’t get along.
The reason you probably don’t like the country or hip-hop you hear on the radio are because the best examples of the genre are usually never the ones that play after Selena Gomez and before Bieber. They’re the songs that record labels create to follow that formula and they do it really well…when in doubt think of any song featuring Flo Rida.
Dismissing an entire genre of music isn’t ideal but it’s fine if country or hip-hop isn’t your thing. All we need to do is appreciate each other’s art, maybe even check out a song or two, and realize that if there is anyone to blame…it’s Nickelback.