Gone are the days of Aerosmith, gone are the days of Led Zeplin, gone are the days of the esteemed late poet Christopher Wallace (Biggie Smalls), and gone are the days of the prophet Tupac himself. Music has seen some of it’s greatest moments come and go, and in the year 2018 we are all finally challenged with the question. Does music today suck? There is no way this can be true! This is absolutely appalling! The art seems to be more alive than ever! There are genres seeing perhaps their most popular runs on the charts, and even Hip Hop has finally overtaken Rock and Roll as the most popular style of music. I mean after all we have been given young prodigal sons such as the rose colored haired Little Yachty, the anti drug advocate Little Xanax, and the 17 year old reform high school drop out Little Pump…. Little Pump! To all of you old heads that sit on top of your vinyl thrones and stare down your nose at the youth of today declaring the death of not only Hip Hop, but music all together I say this to you… You’re absolutely wrong. The tunes are not dead. They are different. And us kids are damn proud of that.
I sat by the Navasink River. I was drunk. The world was spinning around me, and the speakers blared with the musical stylings of the prestigious poet Playboi Carti.
“What What What, Hide it in my Sock, selling that rerock.”
Truly inspiring. “Hip Hop never died, it changed. The production has come back around to the forefront, and lyrics have taken a backseat, you see, are you listening?” I mumbled on, “you’re not listening, you never listen to me and I-“
A voice darted in,“Dude, can you go inside.”
I responded, “Whatever.”
I love talking music, but I never have anyone to talk music with. There are so many issues! Who is the best rapper alive? Is it Drake? Is it Kendrick? What is the deal with mumble rap? Is it lazy? Is it innovative? No one ever wants to talk. They just want to get drunk to the rhythm by the river. You should see the houses around here, absolutley stunning, so naturally I figured I’d make myself at home; after all, the party hadn’t even started yet. What can I say? It’s college man.
I, the prestigious aux jester sat patiently by the speaker with my iPhone in hand. I was ready for the swarm vivacious females and juiced up males to pour into the house. I tested out a few songs. I knew they’d only like the ones that ironically enough had no meaning, and no real talent put into it. Is that why grandma and grandpa think music is dead? Maybe, nevertheless the playlist needed to be complete before people started to pour in. As the controller of the aux cord, one must keep the perfect balance of mingling with others and music control. Too much mingling can lead to a bad song slipping through the cracks, too much music control and you miss the party all together. Keeping the music alive was really a science.
I had my playlist set. It was the perfect mix of today’s music. I figured I’d start with Playboi Carti, he had a few hits. Then I’d move to Gucci Mane, and then straight to more mainstream music. By that time these kids should have enough drinks in them to really respond well to anything I put on, so I made sure to throw in some meaningful tracks with artists that had actual talent. Enter Cardi B.
“Said lil B*tch, you can’t f*ck with me, if you wanted too.”
The whole party went nuts at that song. I had them right where I wanted them. “I thought about the prospect of music being dead, and still couldn’t understand why the folks down at the old person home felt this way.” The more ignorant the music got, the rowdier the party got. The less words the artist used, the more fun it was to sing along.
Then She walked in. She’s that one girl. She’s that girl that listened to her dad’s old records instead of Taylor Swift on her iPod. She’s that girl that started the trend of wearing tee shirts from Led Zeplin concerts, except she didn’t buy hers at Urban Outfitters. She’s that girl that knew about music, real music. Her favorite song of all time was “Touch of Grey” by Grateful Dead. Her favorite rapper was Tyler the Creator. Her favorite rapper of all time was Kanye West, but only his old music intrigued her. Her favorite band? I didn’t know, but I already knew enough.
She walked right up to me and asked what the hell I was playing. I gulped with a frog in my throat. “It’s Smokepurpp,” I said.
“It’s shit,” she responded. (peep The End of the F**ing World Reference)
I couldn’t believe that a person at the party besides me hated the music I was playing. I had gotten so lost in my own sarcasm that I ended up compromising my own musical integrity! What would I do? How would I solve this epidemic? I put my phone down after she walked away from me. I walked outside to have a cigarette. The couple from before had gone inside. I felt around my pockets for my phone. I remembered quickly like a drunk idiot that I had left it inside. I turned to go back inside and rammed chest first into a female. It was dark out so it was hard to make out the important features of who this was. I couldn’t tell if she was hot, I couldn’t tell if she was happy, I couldn’t tell if she was said, and I couldn’t tell what she was doing outside when Juuls have essentially eradicated the cigarette industry among teens and college students. I apologized and stumbled toward the door as She said, “going to change the song?”
I turned back and tried to assure her that the music I was playing was only for the scene that was inside. She told me I was fake. I told her she was crazy. I continued to argue about the ideals and guidelines of real music. It doesn’t have to always be some impeccable work of art. Maybe her and the motley crew waiting for the early bird special didn’t quite understand that, but I did. And I wasn’t about to let some beautiful, artistic, and deep female ruin that for me.
She pulled out a pair of head phones and motioned toward me. We walked to the dock and sat there watching the tides, much like Ottis Redding. She went from song to song. She played all tunes I had heard, and all tunes that I loved. She didn’t miss a beat. I turned to her and leaned in for a kiss while “You Song” by Elton John played. She slapped me. The song changed to Brockhampton. I played the “I was just joking” card and it had luckily worked. We listened on, but GASP, I had broken one of my two rules. I mingled too much, and forgot about the music. I ran into the pool room. The party was still wild, but for all of the wrong reasons.
My playlist had ceased playing. The patrons of the party lost their collective minds. They wondered where the music went. Like children they ran around. They looked like they had just learned that an army of old heads was headed their way to confiscate their music from them. People looked toward each other for music. Then, like a pissed off action hero She walked in. She grabbed the aux cord grabbed her beat to shit iPhone 6s from the pocket of her ripped jeans and plugged it in. It may have been the most attractive thing I have ever seen a female do. She leaned in toward me and whispered, “watch this.”
“Actin funny, but I dont know why.”
She danced around, almost in slow motion. People started to join in. Then like a youth choir, the rest of the party belted out, “Excuse me while I kiss the sky!”
They had no idea what they were saying, or what this song was even about! They liked the song though, which I guess was all that matters. She played everything under the sun. Creedence Clearwater Rival, Justin Bieber, Jimi Hendrix, Biggie, Travis Scott, Kanye West, Slick Rick, Grateful Dead, Francis and the Lights, Chance the Rapper, and I even heard Run D.M.C! I was dying!
I had underestimated the babies. I had forgotten I was a baby! It wasn’t that music was dead. It wasn’t that we thought one generation was better than the other, because she was playing both. It was that everyone was having a good time! I was looking around the room watching the bodies fly around, jumping into the pool, ripping shots, and dancing. I smiled. She patted me on the back and said these words to me that I will never forget, “It’s not the aux, it’s the alcohol.” She carried on dancing, and I grabbed a beer and danced too.