Has Music Gotten Worse?


Denis Mardesich, A&E Editor

Music is something that we hear everyday and it’s something that’s been around for hundreds of years, so naturally people will end up arguing that one era in music is better than the other, but are these arguments really valid?

From a musical standpoint, no. In fact, the passing of time is a very important part of music and without it we would never see influential genres such as new wave burst onto the music scene, and without the new wave genre artists like Talking Heads and Joy Division wouldn’t have been making albums that are often considered to be some of the best of all time, the same can be applied to many other genres of music.

In fact, one of the most popular genres in modern music, trap, or mumble rap, carries an obvious hip-hop influence and sound and is often considered to be a part of hip-hop’s evolution. So even if you hate modern trap, or despise older hip-hop, one can’t exist without the other.

But hip-hop isn’t all trap either, and some of the most critically acclaimed rappers of all time are dominating the game right now. For example, Kendrick Lamar continues to dominate the charts with modern masterpieces such as To Pimp A Butterfly, veteran rappers such as MF DOOM continue to not only release material but influence modern rappers such as Earl Sweatshirt amd Quelle Chris, and tons of indie and abstract genres of hip-hop exist in the underground scene that continue to change up the genre while also using older sounds.

Cover for Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly.

Some Dana students disagree. “I think music has gotten worse because rappers these days are hard to understand,” says 8th grader Margarita Alejandre.

As for other genres, rock and roll seems to be the most praised genre by oldheads, and said praise is definitely deserved. In fact, artists like Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and The Velvet Underground are often widely praised as some of the best bands in history. And projects like Animals, Abbey Road, and The Velvet Underground and Nico include some of the greatest sounds to ever come out of any music genre.

It is said greatness that we see from these older projects that cause the divide we see in music listeners, when people here a great sound they want to stick to it rather than exploring other new sounds that often become known as great as well. Which is an effect we see in music from the 90s, during the 90s the grunge era and early hip hop was often criticized by that time period’s oldheads, but some of the projects to come out at that time are now considered greats, take Nirvana’s In Utero and The Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter The Wu-Tang for example.

In the end, music is something that has changed a lot throughout the ages, and while old sounds may have faded away from the mainstream, artists continue to develop and integrate these sounds into new projects that can sometimes be just as great as the ones they are heavily influenced by. Whether you like it or not music is going to change, and before you start arguing whether said change is good or bad try to explore music from all periods of time and corners of the world before you make your decision.