I believe in the beauty of non- mainstream music

I’m a total hipster.
Yes, I said it. I believe that the music that is not mainstream is superior to the “top 40” or radio station music.
I grew up in a home where I was expected to be a certain way; to fit into the girly, domestic, stereotypical southern woman mold that my mother and two older sisters happened to fit in. Somewhere early on, I came to the realization that I would never be what my parents wanted me to be, so I began to make choices regarding interests, clothing, and musical taste that were contrary to everything my family was. I had to break out of this mold and cultivate my own persona. A guy I dated in high school introduced me to “indie” music and I began to solely listen to that. I was launched into hipster mode, constantly searching for the “underground” music..music that wasn’t consumed by my family and others in the mainstream. I had a certain pride in listening to music that people had never heard of; I felt I was superior to them… if they simply listened to the ‘top 40’ music, it seemed they were squares..formulating their tastes based on what culture told them to listen to as opposed to going out and seeking their own music. There was such an unoriginality there that I hated, that I pushed away from. I hated the shiny ideals of what mainstream culture told me to do.
Clearly, there is still a large portion of society that listens to solely “Mainstream” music. I think that in this kind of music, there’s a certain comfort that people are drawn to. We base our views of people so heavily on their taste in music, and I think that for those who listen to “mainstream” music, it’s no different. Since the “top 40” music is so widely accepted in our culture, I think that listening to it is an easy way to appear “with it” or “cool.”
I also think that the people and cultures that surround us very heavily influence our taste in music. I spend a lot of my time with hipsters, so in result, I listen to a lot of “hipster” tunes. I think it’s the same for anything else. For instance, if I was someone who grew up in a very rural area, surrounded by people who listen mostly country music, I would probably mostly listen to that kind of music. Or, if I grew up in a very urban area where I was surrounded by a lot of rap music, I would probably love rap music. We all search for acceptance by one group or another, and music is just one way in which we try to find it.

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One thought on “I believe in the beauty of non- mainstream music

  1. Hi Christianna,

    Good work. I think that this is one of those “borderline” essays, but it definitely passes. The thing is, you sort of skirt around the main issue. You say that people should reject maintstream music, but you don’t really attempt to get into the mindset of people who might disagree.

    So, you say, “if I was someone who grew up in a very rural area, surrounded by people who listen mostly country music, I would probably mostly listen to that kind of music.” That’s fine. It would have been even better if you had really tried to imagine this situation. Imagine sitting on the back patio, your uncles and cousins and friends all together, and country music is playing, and you really feel like you’re part of something… Think of the aching beauty of songs like Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.” Or Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life.” Or, even in it’s own uncomfortable way, Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop.” There are people with strong attachments to these songs. You gloss over it a bit too neatly in this essay. You shoud have used this assignment as an opportunity to exercise your empathy muscle a bit more vigorously. I wish I didn’t have to pass it, because I know you could write something really cool — something that forces you out of your own mindset.

    Still, this completes the assignment. I still think you should revise it, just for its own sake. Let me know if you do, and I’d love to read it.

    Grade: S.

    M

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