Hey Pop Stars: Quit Selling Out!

This post is a bit of a rant. (I’ve been on a lot of those lately.)

I was on a long road trip a few weeks ago and decided to give listening to the radio another try. I typically don’t listen to the radio, especially on long road trips, for a few reasons:

  1. Most radio music sucks.
  2. When you’re driving through multiple cities, you frequently have to change stations to get a good signal which is a pain.
  3. My iPhone has a pretty good stock of better music, which I would much rather listen to.
  4. I actually totaled my first car because I was changing the radio station after a horrible boy-band song came on…

Occasionally, though, I like to flip through radio stations just to see what’s out there lately. What’s gaining in popularity and if it indicates a positive trend toward better music in the near future. I’m a 90s kid, so I love 90s music and tend to believe that just about everything created after 1999 is total garbage. (I know, I’m biased.) But seriously, when was the last time you turned on a pop radio station and actually heard good song?


Yep. That’s what I thought.

I was hoping for some indication of positive news when I flipped the radio on, but unfortunately, nothing of the sort happened. Just as I figured, it’s still garbage, and it seems to be getting worse. I didn’t think that was possible, but that’s what I’m hearing, so… yeah.

I remember when Jewel sold out. As I was listening to the popular junk that’s out there today, it totally brought me back to 2003 when I first heard her hit song, “Intuition”. I remember thinking, “why, Jewel? whyyyyyyyy would you stoop this low?” From the neon-colored clothes on her album cover to the totally overproduced sound of the album, it was a far cry from “Pieces of You”, which I loved. What a complete and total disappointment.

Since then, some of my favorite artists have followed suit:

John Mayer with his country album. Dave Matthews Band with their electric rock record. And O.A.R. Similar to DMB, they also came out with a boring pop record full of electric instruments that took them so far away from their original acoustic jam-band sound, I could cry…

These artists have one thing in common. For at least one LP, they ceased to be what made them so likeable… They ceased to be themselves. All of the characteristics that made them unique were sucked up by the greedy music industry capitalists in an effort to make a profit.

Was it worth it? Hell no.

Please, please, please, for the sake of our future, our kids’ futures, and their kids’ futures, STOP SELLING OUT! It doesn’t matter if you’re an independent artist or you’re at the top of the Billboard charts—be YOU. Don’t ever stop being YOU. No matter what anyone tells you. No matter how many dollar bills they wave in your face. I’ve got mad respect for artists like Macklemore. He hustled his way to the top, but he hasn’t stopped being what makes him unique—he hasn’t stopped being himself. As crazy as his latest video is, it’s that craziness that drew so many people to him when he produced Thrift Shop, and we see the same craziness today. I hope it never stops.

Not all radio is bad. In fact, it was Macklemore’s latest single that kept me listening when I was on my road trip a few weeks ago.

All I’m saying is, if you’re going to be an artist, then be an artist. Not everyone is going to love you, and that’s okay. As long as you stay true to yourself, you’ll be successful.

If you’ve yet to hear Macklemore’s newest, check out the video below. Rant: over.