Music back in the day was great wasn't it? The 50s was the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the 60s had the Beatles and the Kinks while the 70s brought us Led Zeppelin as well as glam rock and later in the decade punk. The 80s came with a wave of infectious synth music and the 90s brought grunge and hip hop. If only I was born back then when real music was popular and when real music ruled the ears and minds of the impressionable, everyday civilian. I was clearly born in 'Le Wrong Generation'.
In reality, however, no, I wasn’t born in the wrong generation. I was born in an era that gave, and keeps on giving the world truly great music. Lately there's this new idea of "fuck, I was so born in the wrong decade" etc. People who adamantly believe that music released nowadays is somehow less fulfilling and less inspiring than popular music of decades past.
If for example, you randomly browse through YouTube right now you will find thousands of comments on a Beatles or Sex Pistols video proclaiming how cursed one is to having to live through a period of history where everybody listens to Justin Bieber and how there is “no good music anymore”.
There are the people who possess a misplaced nostalgia from a time gone by, dreaming of a world where they never lived through yet romanticise. These people paint this entire generation’s music catalogue with the same brush because of what is played on daytime radio or the sweaty dancefloor of the nearest club. They are ignorantly comfortable with what they know and like, which is highlighted by their belief that Nicki Minaj represents all of 21st century’s music.
Although I am a firm believer in not judging people by what music they enjoy and listen to, in dismissing an entire decade of musical output you are denying yourself the pleasure of hearing great music. Music that in forty, fifty years’ time will not be looked back upon to have ruined the landscape forever but to have imposed its own imprint on the musical genres that previous musicians had introduced to the world.
Ok so I gotta obviously say that I'm not mocking or understating how influential and immensely talented these legendary bands were. Groups such as The Beatles, Black Sabbath, The Who and Nirvana etc. played a massive part in shaping modern society with records that sound as fresh today as they did when they were first released. But that’s the thing, Rock ‘n’ Roll didn’t die once the last grunge band disbanded; Rock ‘n’ Roll didn’t dissolve away as soon as the members of Linkin Park decided to pick up guitars. Great bands continue to release good fucking music in the 21st century.
Hip-Hop, also does not just consist of Lil Wayne rapping about how rich he is. Outstanding MC's and artists such as Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, MF Doom, Madlib, Run the Jewels, Pharoahe Monch have proven time and time again that they are raising the bar for the standard of modern hip-hop.
Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly (2015) has been regarded by many critics as an instant classic and an album whose social-commentary on the plight of black lives in America has drawn serious discussion from politicians and activists, including the President of the United States, Barrack Obama. You see, you shouldn't dismiss modern hip-hop as a superficial art form with little or no innovation or quality because that's just not true.
This all isn't just confined to Rock ‘n’ Roll or Hip-Hop either. Singer-songwriters such as Father John Misty, Julia Holter and Norah Jones have excelled over recent times with critically and commercially successful releases. Psychedelic pop/rock bands such as Tame Impala and Pond have although been heavily influenced by the psyche bands of the 60s and 70s, have nonetheless dropped numerous records that can be thought of as pure brilliance.
Flying Lotus, LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip and The Chemical Brothers are just a handful of acts that could not be defined by one label or genre. They’re use of classic electronic music that harps back to New Order and Kraftwerk has been smashed together with modern song-writing, alternative Rock ‘n’ Roll and archetypal dance sounds that make these acts almost unique and perfectly suited to this age.
So do you then believe that you were born in the wrong generation? Forced to live through a time where the Rolling Stones aren’t in their prime or Cream aren’t travelling the world? Well, I say this to you; we currently live in a world where all of that great, ground-breaking music is available for us to consume with the click of a button.
We not only have access to the music of the 50s, 60s, 70s and so on but also all of the insanely brilliant music we have around today. So that’s why I don’t believe I live in the wrong generation. I am constantly reminded that great and awe-inspiring music is being released daily by brilliant musicians whilst always in the know that the sounds of decades past are and always be, readily available for us to enjoy.
Video: Do You Belong To Gen X Or Gen Y?