If there’s one thing I’m hypocritical about, it’s being a music elitist while scoffing at other people who deem themselves to be music elitists.
Record Store Day was celebrated Saturday and like all music admirers, I prided myself on shopping for good deals and rare finds while blabbing fun facts about the records I was perusing to anyone unfortunate enough to be within 10 feet of me.
To define music elitism, I’m going to turn to Urban Dictionary (I know).
“Musical elitism, simply put, is the valuing of one’s own musical tastes as the standard by which all music should be made, or the standard that all others should use to choose what music they listen to.”
I oftentimes belittle people who haven’t heard certain tracks or bands. I sit there dumbfounded, questioning how someone could listen to this band over that band.
I’ll have friends approach me and say that they’ve been listening to a band I like and for some reason, I start to quiz them. Forget asking if they’ve enjoyed it, I need to make sure they’re listening to the right tracks.
Are you starting to hate me yet? I figured you might.
But I also find it distasteful when other elitists do the same to me.
I’ll sit there confidently stating that disliking bands doesn’t make you better than me and that my music isn’t inferior to what they choose to listen to.
Let me try and redeem myself here.
I was lucky to have parents and grandparents that introduced me to their music. From Sinatra to Boston to The Offspring, I had full range of musical genres right at my fingertips. There was never a day where music wasn’t playing, causing my music library to expand. Think of me as a walking iTunes library.
My peers, however, didn’t grow up the way I did. I know, shocking, isn’t it?
I’ve been trying to get better. I’m starting to see the positives of people discovering music and having them approach me with suggestions and comments on tracks and bands that they like.
Plus, with all the new music biopics coming out like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Rocketman” and “Yesterday,” my friends and peers have the opportunity to discover the greatness of bands since passed — the bands that I admire most.
I’ll still share my fun facts and I’ll still push for my friends to discover new music, but I’m striving to do it in a wholehearted way, taking the time to listen to what they have to say about artists and songs that they like too.
Everyone is free to enjoy what they like, be it Taylor Swift, Evanescence or Death Grips. People’s tastes will always differ from my own and those tastes should be respected, despite what I or anyone else thinks.
We should be free to criticize, but the second someone demeans others for what they listen to, integrity falls and elitism rises and that’s what’s going to seclude you from music lovers in the end.