I think I’m finally turning into my mother.
Don’t worry, I don’t mean in a sort of Norman-Bates-hair-in-curlers-doing-the-ironing-with-a-fag-hanging-out-of-my-mouth way. I mean I’m finding myself more regularly coming to the same conclusions that she so rampantly voiced during her life. Especially when it comes to music.
Time is repetitive, we live our lives in circles and you unfortunately cannot help but become a cliché, just ask any hipster. So when I decided to do some research this week into modern social music I was completely un-shocked to find myself echoing the feelings of my late-great mum.
Everybody has a musical taste that their parents don’t appreciate. I am fairly certain that your parents, to some degree, wheeled out the old classics:
- It’s just noise.
- Wheres the tune?
- I think the record’s got stuck.
During my youth (oh that crazy day) I used to listen to a lot of metal, mainly Metallica, Pantera and Sepultura. I can still remember the look on my old mum’s face when I played her the track “Refuse/Resist” from Sepultura’s seminal album “Chaos A.D.” It was priceless – imagine someone had popped a teaspoon of bull semen into the mouth of Blakey from “On The Buses”. After only 20 seconds she made me stop the song and proclaimed that the singer “must have belly ache” and the guitars sounded like “a bag of angry bees.”
At the time, I was perturbed by her opinions. Who was she to say that? Stupid old cow. She wouldn’t know good music if it rang the doorbell, introduced itself as good music and proceeded to sell her a complete set of luxury steak knives.
The problem is she was right. It was dreadful noise. But it was MY dreadful noise. It was exciting and rebellious and it made me want to jump around the lounge and eat the wallpaper.
When she was young, my mother used to listen to jazz and rock & roll. She used to sneak off to dances where she would meet boys and dance to the latest chart topper. And I’m certain that her parents thought that her taste in music was crap too. And their parents thought that their children’s music was crap and so on and so on all the way back to Eric the caveman, who’s dad thought that the sound Eric’s giraffe bone made when he bashed it against a fleeing hedgehog, was crap.
The only constant I can see throughout this timeline of hereditary musical taste is that, whether the children actually like the music or not, they use it to either effect their older generation or create a situation where they can expand their personality.
Piss off the parents or grow an attitude.
However, I feel slightly confused about the chosen offering of the latest generation. As I mentioned before, I’ve been doing some research into what the latest scene is and whom the preferred artist is of the mainstream youth. I found that the best way of discovering this is to sit on the top deck of one of London’s buses, or “scum wagons” as I prefer to know them, and listen to the whiny, tinny music being squeaked at deafening volume out of the mobile phones of various hooded scallywags.
One of the biggest artists at the moment is a chap called “Drake” who dresses like a sad clown and has a head like a well worn tennis ball. The genre that Drake is known for is “Grime” which is a bit like hip hop, a bit like R&B and a bit like a Viking rowing chant.
I’m a big hip hop & rap fan (been to see Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, De La Soul and RZA) so I like to think that I’m not completely out of touch with modern styles. Hip hop can get you fired up and jumping in a hot club as much as any rock or metal band. So, Mr Drake must have therefore found the perfect blend of musical nuance as he appears to command the amount of online presence that a small nation would be proud of. He must make his millions of adoring fans feel amazing and I can only dream at what his concerts must be like.
Except, (this is where I feel old) I just don’t get it. It’s terrible. He’s terrible. And the music isn’t crap, it’s just plain dull. These are his top listed songs on YouTube:
- Hotline Bling – 763 Million Views
- Energy – 117 Million Views
- Work – 378 Million Views
Just those 3 songs have been viewed over 1.2 billion times. That’s the population of India.
So why are they so popular? Have a listen to them and let me know if you can find a reason, because I really can’t. Everything I’ve ever been taught about songwriting is a lie apparently because this guy breaks all the rules of making interesting music and gets paid in golden horse shit.
Drake’s music is banal, stock and as monotonous as lift music. His voice is that of a duck speaking into a kazoo and he seems to have been trained at the Punch & Judy voice academy.
What he sings about is boring and what he raps about is nearly 20 years out of date. Yes, well done, you’ve got lots of guns and shiny watches/cars/teeth. Oh, what a surprise, you like ladies with huge breasts/backsides and drinking Hennessy/Courvoisier brandy. Lordy lordy, apparently I am supposed to be shocked as he keeps saying nigger over and over – like anyone gives a shit about that paralysed, bleached and tormented word anymore. The true vile exposition and depravity of the word grows lost with every utterance drawn forth from his dull little pea-brained head.
The worst thing about his music, is that it conjures up absolutely nothing from today’s youth. If I had children, I wouldn’t be angry if they listened to Drake, I wouldn’t bang on the ceiling and tell them to turn that blasted row down. I would simply shake my head, open the windows and turn the volume up on some Metallica.