By Jarrod Leicher | Journalist
Popular music has steadily declined in quality. The lack of creativity among chart-topping music worsened as production progressed, and recording became increasingly bottlenecked in just a few styles.
The music that is popular today has become so indistinct and has created an industry where the music is so much less diverse in terms of style, skills, and experimental qualities. Especially in hip-hop and rap it has become that style that has become mainstream, where the biggest differences in the songs are just the vocals of the singers. All instruments sound the same or at least are very similar. The drums have the same fast hi-hat, the bass is still just low and booming with no overtones in the mix.
The production has become so much more rudimentary, where they just plug in fake drums, bass, guitar samples, piano or whatever. Sampling became a way to just have a beat that’s already made so they didn’t have to create one themselves. I’m not saying sampling in general is negative, but he’s moved away from using samples creatively to just having it like all the uncut beat and boosted bass.
Creativity is still alive in the music industry, but it’s not what dominates the charts, and the majority of people don’t appreciate it that much. When instruments are made on a computer, the creativity is simply turned into a copy-and-paste song that takes a lot of the talent out of the song-making process.
About a year and a half ago, I went to a 21 Savage concert, and it was just disappointing. The only people on stage were 21 and his DJ. The DJ was basically playing the music on one track, and 21 was rapping live. It was basically watching 21 Savage do karaoke for an hour and a half. But everyone in the audience was having an amazing time because they didn’t care.
Since people don’t care, music has become more stagnant, and new music is either nostalgic or the same rap and hip-hop that’s been going on for 10 years.
But it was easily predictable because that’s what the industry wants; because it makes money. When these new songs have 10 or more different people credited as the writers of a song, it’s pretty safe to assume that it’s going to be an extremely commercial song that will appeal to a lot of people but will also be the least revolutionary for progress. art.
New music isn’t bad, it just doesn’t get better because the industry won’t actively improve it and people don’t want something better. And I’m not even going to talk about mumble rappers.