Music has become just another way to discriminate.
Hear me out. I say this because of the pervasive belief that just because a person has a particular style, the music they listen to has to match that style. Or just because a person predominantly listens to one genre of music, it’s an eyebrow raiser if he listens to another. For example, I constantly find myself having to explain to people why I’m listening to Eric B. and Rakim one minute, and Queens of the Stone Age the next. “Aren’t you a hip-hop head?” they ask. Well, yes, I am, but ultimately I’m a music head, and music is all encompassing.
Genres were created to distinguish music, not people.
At first I thought it was a racial thing, but then a white friend of mine—also a hip-hop head—was criticized for listening to The Prodigy. He was dubbed a “poser” for straying from his usual style. How ridiculous! Not everybody lives in a box.
People often don’t realize, or they forget, that one song can contain a plethora of musical styles. Genres are always intermingling. That’s why music has been and always will be such a fascinating art form. One of my favorite artists, Erykah Badu, once said that music is one of the biggest factors in uniting people. That’s really what it’s all about—unity, not separation. Music belongs to no one, no matter what genre it is.
The artists don’t care who they attract as fans. And we, as listeners, shouldn’t either.