Got questions for Little Bobby? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Little Bobby,
What is the deal with rock and roll music these days? Is it still dying or has it already died? Are we in a hip-hop/bubble-pop world from now on, or what?
—Music Sucks Now
Dear Music Sucks Now,
First off, you are basically correct that we are in a hip-hop/bubble-pop world, but I think you are wrong to suggest that music sucks now. Maybe you have too much bubblegum in your ears. I know it can be hard to remove that stuff. I think you have to use peanut butter, or maybe freeze it out…
I personally did not like hip-hop at all back in the ’80s and ’90s, as I was growing up AND as hip-hop was growing up. I always thought C&C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat” sounded like someone recorded an android defecating, backed by a drum machine. However, hip-hop has grown, and I missed out on a lot of good stuff because of my prejudice against it. That started to change when, among other things, I heard The Fugees and I saw De La Soul live.
Rock and roll began, in large part, as a sexual expression of rebellion. It continued as the counter-culture and the sexual revolution took over. Has it died? Not to my knowledge. Most of what I consider to be “rock” has definitely changed over the decades and that is a good thing. I do not want to hear boogie-woogie for 50+ years. That was “rock” music for a lot of people for a long time, so was jazz, so were the blues. Those genres still are what they are, but they no longer equate to rebellion.
If you think “music sucks now” because of what is on the radio, my question would be: Why the hell are you listening to the radio? Speaking as someone who aspires to be an artist, popular, contemporary, radio-friendly music has frequently sucked. Yet as someone who loves The Beach Boys and has a Monkees tattoo, there are exceptions. To flatly state that all pop music is terrible is just as close-minded as my 14-year-old brain thinking that all hip-hop was terrible.
What kind of music is it that you want to hear instead? But wait, before you answer that…do not answer that. If you think music should be so much better, then pick up a guitar (or whatever) and write that music right now, show us how awesome YOU are! Or get off of your butt and search out good music.
I could list dozens and dozens, possibly hundreds of bands that I think are relatively current and are making good music, but I am not going to do the legwork for you. Nor will I tell you what movies to see, nor will I tie your shoes.
—Little Bobby Tucker
“It’s a sick world that we live in, let some tell it,
Some put it in books, some yell it
You need to make your own choice, be your own voice” —De La Soul, “Church,” 2004