Today’s popular music lacks creativity

By Jarrod Leicher | Reporter

Popular music has been steadily declining in quality. The lack of creativity among chart-topping music has been getting worse as production, and recording is becoming more bottlenecked into only a few styles.

Music that is popular today has become so indistinct and has created an industry where the music is so much less diverse in style, skill and experimental qualities. Especially in hip-hop and rap, there has become this style that has become mainstream, where the biggest differences in the songs are only the singers’ voices. All of the instruments sound the same or at least are very similar. The drums have the same fast hi-hat, the bass is always just low and booming without any tone in the mix.

The production has become so much more rudimentary, where they just plug in fake drums, bass, sample guitar, piano or whatever. Sampling has become a way of just having a beat that is already made so they don’t have to create one themselves. I’m not saying sampling in general is negative, but it has shifted away from actually using samples in a creative way to just having it as the whole beat uncut and bass boosted.

The creativity is still alive in the music industry but isn’t what dominates the charts, and the majority of people don’t appreciate it as much. When instruments are made on a computer, the creativity is just 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 the stage were 21 and his DJ. The DJ was basically playing the music on a track, and 21 was rapping live. It was essentially 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 has been going on for the past 10 years.

But this was easily predictable because it’s what the industry wants; because it makes money. When these new songs have 10 or more different people credited just as the writers of a song, it is fairly safe to assume that it is going to be an extremely commercial song that will appeal to many people but also be the least revolutionary to the progress of the art.

New music isn’t bad, it’s just not getting better because the industry won’t actively make it better, and the people aren’t wanting something better. And I’m not even going to talk about mumble rappers.