I'm not going to sit here and act like I'm fully in tune with the happenings of the mainstream music industry, but as a college student, I'm still aware of what the kids are listening to these days and this song sure as hell ain't it. Obviously, everyone and their mother knows who Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande are, but I've never even heard of this song and listened to it for the first time last night and it came out on May 22nd and wins the VMA Song of the Year?
I also won't sit here and act like I consume a bunch of the music that is nominated at the VMAs, matter of fact, I don't go out of my way to listen to it, but the overwhelming majority of the internet seemed to be caught off guard by the Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande song taking home the song of the year and I don't feel as bad about it. From a cultural perspective, I could've seen "Circles" by Post Malone, "Savage" by Megan Thee Stallion and "The Box," by Roddy Rich taking it home and had no qualms about it. Two of the songs completely took the world by storm over Tik Tok and then Post Malone is fucking Post Malone.
But my biggest gripe with the music industry nowadays is that music played on the radio has absolutely zero substance. It's the same beat, same melodies and we're expected to act like it sounds different. And that's not to say that most of this music is bad, because it's not but there's absolutely zero individuality in modern-mainstream music whether it be rap, pop, r&b or country, the shit all sounds the same. Nothing against the artists, they're doing whatever they can to make a living (and a damn good one at that) to make music, I'd do it if I was able to.
I'd classify my taste in music as I wish I grew up on a ranch in Texas and was working my way through the rodeo circuit instead of being from Chicago and going to school. Country radio? Fuck that, I don't get the aux at social gatherings until afties and that's because people are drunk enough to not care about the music being played. I'm met with a lot of "damn who is this," "why don't they play this on the radio," and my favorite, "can you play something that's not sad?" Good music is out there, people just have to look for it, because for some idiotic reason, the music industry doesn't like to promote it. One of my favorite things to do is to go through the comment sections of some of my favorite artists' videos on YouTube and read the comments section of the videos to see how genuinely surprised some people are:
Isbell's comments are some of my favorite to scroll through because you have a combination of people marveling over his songwriting abilities and no one realizing that Morgan Wallen didn't write "Cover Me Up." Not to say that Isbell has the best voice, but you hear him sing the song in comparison to Wallen and you're able to tell the song was written by him from a deep place inside of him.
Talent Glenn, pure unadulterated talent. The problem with "indy" country is that I could go on for days with the artists I listen to but if you don't like these artists, don't waste your time because the music industry already has too tight of a grip on your ears. These are more of the popular artists of the sub-genere and this doesn't include the likes of Koe Wetzel, Charley Crockett, Ryan Bingham, and Joe Rogan's favorites, Sturgill Simpson and Colter Wall. I could've included some of my favorite artists with a less than 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, but there's not enough Youtube of them out there, regardless grab a glass of whiskey, throw on some tunes and realize that country music is more than just your truck, girlfriend and drinking a beer. Fucking Nashville, but that's enough frustration for a Tuesday night, hopefully at least one of the five people who read this can grow to enjoy the genre.