“For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom.” Galatians 5:14 (The Message)
One of the first things I ask most people I’m just meeting is what kind of music they listen to. I have found that a slight majority of people are pretty indiscriminate in their music taste. In other words, they like what they like but can’t really articulate what it is they like. These are the kinds of people who mostly use music as a background feature. They aren’t the people like me who can turn all the lights off in a room, lie on the floor and listen to whole records.
There is another very small segment that answers, “I don’t really listen to music.” I don’t get that at all, so I’m not going to address it.
I am going to address another, very common answer to the “What kind of music do you listen to” question. That is, “I listen to everything…except country and rap.”
I think that is a dumb answer. First of all, you don’t listen to “everything.” How’s that zither music going? Don’t you love jamming out to Penderecki’s Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima. Second, it is close-minded. There are so many micro-genres within both country and rap. How do you really know you don’t like it? That’s like me saying I don’t like rock and roll because I don’t like Nickelback. Praise God, not all rock and roll sounds like Nickelback. Open your minds! I talk about this and more in a post from 2012 that you can read HERE.
Also, I recently read this fantastic article on of my college friends, Sylvan, posted on Facebook that was the real inspiration of this blog. I can’t express this sentiment as well as the article does, so please read it, too. Here are some thoughts from the article.
In regards to why listening to country is “so bad:” “Because it represents something that anyone looking to maintain or elevate their class status doesn’t want to associate themselves with. To admin you like country music is admitting you like something inherently and purely working class, which jeopardizes your status as middle class.”
“Country and hip hop are seen as extremes: one very conservative, religions and traditional, and the other vulgar and violent…These blanket statement topics are how the cultural majority is taught to interpret these genres. There’s no discussion that these are very rich groupings of music, with many vibrant sub-genres of their own.”
“Not being able to appreciate a song because you refuse to listen to it means you miss the subtleties, the humor, the craft and tradition of an entire genre. Do you really like everything, or do you just like everything you’re told to?”
That last line is a doozy! I try hard to find things in every genre that I love, like truly love. In a future post, I will talk about some of the ingredients that go into songs I love. In addition to Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, which I love, here is a playlist of country and rap songs that I love. Enjoy!
Presented in alphabetical order by artist:
Chance the Rapper – All We Got (featuring Kanye West & Chicago Children’s Choir)
Dwight Yoakam – Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day
Ernest Tubb – Drivin’ Nails in my Coffin
Jason Isbell – Palmetto Rose
Jurassic 5 – Quality Control
KRS-One – Step Into a World (Rapture’s Delight)
Lords of the Underground – Grave Digga
The Roots – My Shot (featuring Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz)
Whitey Morgan – Another Wine
Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Shooter Jennings & Jamey Johnson – Highwayman (Live)
What music are you listening to?
What genres do you need some help in exploring? I’d love to be your guide!
What biases (musical or otherwise) has your upbringing built in you?