You could be in your car. Or walking past someone else’s car. Or just in your room minding your own business. It doesn’t matter where you are. But sometimes, when you least expect it, all of mother culture’s fury collides in a wave of malicious fate, and you suddenly find yourself exposed to someone else’s horrific, unforgivable taste in music. Sorry, man. It happens to everyone. There’s nothing you can do about it.
Except what I’m doing, which is blogging about it. Here are the top 10 most detested genres of music, as per the average, reasonable person (i.e., me). You might not personally hate all of them – but realize that most people do. So do the world a favor and stop liking them now.
10. Redneck Rock.
What? I’m talking about that goatee-sporting, tricep-flexing, urban cowboy grunge that seems to dominate mainstream rock airwaves. These are the bands who sort of sound like metal, but they drape themselves in an arrogant, pseudo-patriotic aggro vibe that endears them to guys who drive raised pickups and their drunken, bar-fighting girlfriends. This is when they’re not writing whiny ballads about how messed up their childhoods were. All of it actually sounds like one band (who might be called Three Doors of CreetherNickelMudd) who shoots all of their videos on the same crumbling hilltop and buys all of their clothes from the same Dickeys outlet. They’re around because radio DJs have to play them or else, and some people are tricked into liking them because they hear them on the radio all day. But in reality, everyone else hates them passionately.
Dave Chappelle’s famous commercial satire
depicting a rave girl groovin’ down in the passenger seat of a speeding car highlights the general public’s disdain for this mindless music genre, and so does the fact that no one really hears techno through mainstream channels. Maybe it’s because overhearing techno is akin to having your head clubbed by sand-filled pillow cases, or because listening to more than two songs in a row is like being in a sonic hamster wheel. If you can hear the same drawn-out intro, hyperactive buildup, watery bridge and pounding reentry over and over again, you are definitely on something. So, since most people are not tripping balls at any given point during the day, techno music lands square in the “hated genres” bin, where I’m sure it will just wake up the next morning and keep on pumping away.
This category also includes everything that sounds like pop-punk, which is more or less anything manipulated by record label execs for the purpose of targeting teenage girls. You’d be surprised, but this also nets a few bands who think they’re metal, indie, and real punk. Because somehow, back in the ’90s, the sweet, pitiable whimper in Tom DeLonge’s singing voice managed to start an unchecked wave of feigned sensitivity in male lead vocalists that happened to spark the maternal drive of white females between ages 13 and 17. And now teenage girls want dirty, smelly 30-something musicians to curl up with them and be their best friend. Wasn’t punk supposed to be ugly and menacing? Hearing this is like watching Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but somehow scarier.
7. Gangsta Rap.
There’s nothing wrong with songs about killing fools. I want to murder people too sometimes, it’s understandable. The problem here isn’t the lyrical content. It’s the invasive, narcissistic, pretentious psychos who listen to it that ruin it for everyone. They don’t just want to listen to it. They want you to notice
that they’re listening to it, and (unless you’re bumping it, too) they want you to be offended about it. They want to be like the red lion from Voltron, storming out of his volcano in an awesome ball of fury to cause earthquakes and blow everything away, and they want to make it crystal clear to the world that they don’t give a crap. In fact, they want to demonstrate they don’t give a crap so much
that they’ll get bigger woofers installed, go out in their Hummers for the sole purpose of cruising, and roll down the passenger window when they’re the only one in the car just so everyone will be extra sure they don’t give a crap. I guess they know how to make a point.
This is a shining example of how something can become popular purely through hype. Limp Bizkit is not a good band. Kid Rock is not a good band, either. But these guys made the earth-shattering decision to split their time between being rockers and being rappers, and the result is an entire genre of confused musicians who aren’t sure how to act when they go out in public. Maybe they’re doing it because they want the best of both worlds, or because they actually like both styles individually. The problem is, if it weren’t for MTV’s force-feeding it down everybody’s throat, no one would pay attention to them, because people don’t naturally gravitate in that odd, unnatural direction. But the hype worked, and now we have rap-rock. Son of a bitch, y’all.
Not that emo is bad. It’s a fairly innocent genre, not too adamant about being shoved in anyone’s face and not especially unpleasant, aside from its pop-punk tendencies. But people really, really hate emo. My guess is it has nothing to do with the music — the haters have latched onto the emo kids themselves. For some reason, emo kids tend to romanticize the idea of being depressed, to the fury of alpha-males, aggros, parents, and people who are actually depressed. Plus, one of the most vexing things about emo people is their stubborn refusal to acknowledge what is actually emo. In fact, one of the easiest ways to identify an emo band is the overwhelming presence of fans who loudly insist they (and the band) are not
emo. They dress emo, act emo, like emo things and talk all day about emo, but god forbid anyone label them “emo.” And since these people are too confused and finicky for us to bother figuring out, we just hate them and leave it at that. Sorry.
4. Smooth Jazz.
Ford killed the Mustang with the Mustang II. Anheuser-Busch killed beer with the non-alcoholic Bevo
. And smooth jazz murdered, befouled and spat upon jazz by extracting its teeth and making it consumable by nattering church folk and Republicans. The music you hear in dentists’ offices, elevators, the weather channel and the supermarket (especially when it’s an instrumental version of a real song) is to jazz what an American Idol contestant is to Aretha Franklin. As a style of music, it’s too timid to stand for anything, but too obnoxious to fade into the background. Instead it stays on the surface of one’s consciousness, chafing incessantly. Corporations use it to add background noise to neutral settings mostly because it doesn’t carry enough substance for anyone to have an opinion on it. But unlike other genres in this list that may provoke disagreement, it’s widely recognized by metalheads, punks, indie kids, oldies, rappers, bluesists, soulsmen, worship rockers, reggaeheads, cowpokes and classicalists alike, that just about everyone has it in for smooth jazz.
3. Adult Contemporary.
Need I point out the contempt every youthful heart has for this wet rag of a musical style? The field of adult contemporary has evolved somewhat over the years to include softer alternative hits from the ’90s and 2000s (hilariously including Nickelback, according to Wikipedia
). But the kind I’m talking about is the abysmal sap from the ’80s and early ’90s, mostly produced by Christine McVie and Anita Baker. Girls sometimes run to it for comfort after a bad breakup, or to drown out the sound of a screaming infant, but I actually can’t think of a positive social use for it — or at least one that is any fun. I suppose it will forever be the Preparation H of the music world, landing it at number three in this list.
Country music is so hated that it’s even hated by people who don’t care about music. How often have you heard someone say, “I like every kind of music, except country”? What they’re really saying is, “I don’t care enough about music to have an opinion on it, but I still hate country.” Could people really be less than charmed with music that celebrates the underwhelming things in life, like hometown honeymoons, lost rodeos and dysfunctional marriages? Do so many people disagree with old-fashioned, conservative values and vaguely Christian ideologies? Or are they turned off by the overplayed western stereotype that still seems to carry on, even through new Hollywood brats like Hannah Montana? My guess: all of the above, plus the Wal-Mart fascination, the SoCo aggression and the mullet factor. Country music, go away already.
Holy god, this music trend is awful. Just trying to describe how bad nu-metal is would probably make me burst a capillary in my brain (and spew gallons of blood everywhere). For most people, seeing bands like Slipknot evokes something closer to laughter and contempt than the whole shock-and-awe thing they’re going for. Goofy face paint worked with KISS because their entire image was about fantastical, otherworldly entertainment; these guys look like they’re still trying to be convincing as tough guys. It’s just another case of confused band identity (see: rap-rock). System of a Down isn’t doing any better by providing the soundtrack to Guantanamo Bay — goats make more pleasant sounds than what comes out of Serj Tankian, and the hyperactive guitar-spazzing makes me pity concert sound guys everywhere. This entire genre seems to be nothing more than a side-effect of trying to push the envelope of musical risk further than your parents pushed it. The problem is, when this wannabe Evil Knievel jumped its bike through the barn loft, it came out covered in chicken feathers and manure. For misguided abrasiveness stemming from a vast misinterpretation of “rebellion,” nu-metal tops this list as the most hated music genre ever. Go sacrifice yourself to something, nu-metal.
UPDATE: I don’t usually go back and add things to posts, but considering the recent emergence of dubstep as a quasi-mainstream form of music, I thought it deserved an honorable mention. Even though I do not want to write an entire paragraph on it. Dubstep, you sound like a pillowcase full of rusty robot parts being sent through a grinder, and your grip on your supporters is socially disturbing. Harf.
Opinions? I’m sure you have them. Go on, let ’em fly in the comments below.
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