the beat of just one drum

i've discovered something which worries me. it's disturbing, in fact. now, don't laugh at me for taking 25 years to notice this; but my neighbours have demonstrated this phenomenon at length....

apparently, most people out there only listen to one kind of music.

people, that's just fucked up.

one neighbour has spent all day listening to hip hop pop. you know, hip hop's version of Top 40 bubblegum mass-produced hits. in particular, they favour the style where you make one bar of a baseline; one bar of a musical lick; repeat both without change for 4 1/2 minutes and do vocals over the top.

i realise i'm biased against their music since my taste is different to theirs; but this stuff seriously all sounds the same. every song is structured the same way; has the same BPM; uses practically the same instrument tones; and the rappers are so generic they all have to have a gimmick so you can tell them apart (Nelly, that cut should have healed by now - see a doctor).

i don't hate hip hop; don't get me wrong here. i love the genuine stuff; especially the early stuff when the genre was groundbreaking fresh. i saw a great quote recently to the effect that there are two kinds of hip hop these days: the real stuff and the fake stuff. you can tell them apart quite easily: the real stuff advocates peace, the fake stuff glorifies violence.

general, yeah; but a great observation. you get the Legends of Hip Hop and they sing about love ("the fifth element of hip hop is love"). you get the latest wannabe and it's all about killing.

so anyway, this neighbour not only sticks to one genre; they stick to one subset of that genre. all the time. i don't understand - i'd go crazy.

personally my collection includes industrial, electronic, trance, goth, rock, heavy metal, jazz, acid jazz, a little hip hop (i won't try to bullshit that i have lots), ambient/chill and even some mainstream/pop stuff. when i grab a fistful of CDs for my work day i rarely - if ever - grab an entire group of the same style.

you cannot listen to hardcore industrial 24/7, you'd get brainfucked. you cannot listen to heavy metal 24/7 without getting brainfucked - metalheads, i am talking to you :) if you only ever listen to Top 40.... ahhh, you're beyond saving.

for years, it just never occurred to me that people would listen to one kind of music all the time without branching out. i just assumed that because i listen to a bit of everything, so did everyone else. ok, you can laugh, the evidence has been in front of me long enough ;)

i guess in the back of my mind i did realise all this; i just never fully thought it out.

what does this earth-shattering realisation mean? nothing. just that i think a lot of people are totally fucked in the head, but i thought that already from the way they drive.

now i'm wondering if they eat the same thing every day. read the same.... uhh, watch the same tv every day. think the same thoughts every day.

what a pity that file trading is being sued to bits. there might have been some hope for all those musical automatons if they could try some stuff without paying for it.

such is life i guess.

2004.01.31

back
back