I’ll be honest. I went through a borderline snobbish phase concerning music. Mainstream tunes were overrated, and if you hadn’t heard of the Blue-Speckled Egg Boys — I wouldn’t be surprised if this band actually exists — then we could not have a civilized conversation. It’s fine to go through this hipster phase if it remains just that: a phase. It becomes a problem when you remain a member of the I’m-better-than-you-Taylor-Swift-plebians crowd. Sooner or later, you realize that your family is done with your shit, and your pre-set Indie stations will have been deleted from every radio in the house. None of your friends want to hear about the new Speckled Egg album, and you have no one to take to your lo-fi dream pop neo-jazz underground festival.
I no longer classify myself as a judgmental music snob. I threatened to become one, but got over it after being exposed to other music snobs. Jimmy Kimmel conducted an experiment at Coachella 2013. He asked people about bands that were “obscure” (because they were fictional) and festival attendees claimed to known and went on to praise their music. When I saw where I was headed — what I could become — I had to take a step back and evaluate why I was so harsh on the One Directioners of the world. I still personally don’t like the (in)famous boyband, but what’s so bad about liking their music? Enjoying “One D” does not necessarily make you a less cultured person. I can understand why people enjoy their music; it’s toe-tapping, head-nodding fun! Music is meant to create an inclusive and interactive space for everyone. Who are we to judge others for their tastes when we know Iggy Azalea’s rap in “Fancy” by heart? (Remember, the first stage of grief is denial, fellow snobs!)
When I saw where I was headed — what I could become — I had to take a step back and evaluate why I was so harsh on the One Directioners of the world.
When addressing music-snobbery, there is a lesson to be learned from an unlikely source: Justin Bieber. His new style has attracted many former and current music snobs who claim to appreciate his musical transformation — as everyone should. This is despite most of us having wanted to stick a dagger in the car radio as soon as “Baby” started playing. There seems to be no point in judging an artist’s new work based on their past offenses. Thank you Bieber for showing us that good music can come from unexpected places.
My message to you is to just be real and honest. There’s nothing wrong with saying you haven’t listened to the latest Weeknd album yet just as there’s nothing wrong with belting “Shake it Off” in the shower. I’m not judging, and let’s hope that others aren’t either. After all, what good comes out of being so exclusive? Best case, you just lose potential fellow concert-goers, and in the worst case, friends.