“What the hell are you listening to?”

It’s a question I have heard many times, usually accompanied by a judgemental stare. Especially when I give my friends a ride somewhere or when someone can hear my music through my headphones. 

Music contains infinite variety. There is a genre out there for everyone, making music a completely individualized taste. In other words, listen to whatever you want, we don’t shame here. This is a free country, after all.

So let me make myself perfectly clear: I’m not here to talk trash, I’m just here to spit facts. 

However, here’s what bothers me: I feel like no one in Generation Z listens to rock anymore, which has been a staple in the music industry for decades. 

Since the day I came out of the womb, I have been rockin’ out with my dad. That man would wake the whole house up every Sunday morning blasting Rob Zombie through the speakers like it was going out of style. As I got older, I got into heavier stuff like Korn, Paleface Swiss and System of a Down.  Something about a solid guitar riff or a good death growl just gives me freaking goosebumps – there’s nothing else like it.

Knowing this, I realized it is so rare for me to come across someone my age who shares my taste. When my friends ride in my car, I’ve got some Slipknot blastin’ over the stereo and they’re looking at me like I’m insane (as if they’re not nuts for not knowing who Slipknot is). I can think of one single person in my life who shares this thirst for rock, and that just bums me out.

So with some research, I discovered I am, indeed, grossly outnumbered on the rock music front.

I scoured the Spotify Wrapped from 2023, and to my surprise (not really) not one of the global charts has any rock music on them. The list of top songs, albums and artists is all hip-hop, R&B, and good ole’ Tay-Tay.

Now, you may be thinking, “Lizzie, you sound like a grumpy old man. Just let people listen to what they want.” 

Well, my response is this: First, I know I can’t be the only one who feels this way. Like most music, rock is about expressing deep emotion, whether it be hate or love. Artists use their voices and instruments to get people excited and make them want to dance or scream or whatever it is they feel like doing. Plus, the look on old people’s faces when me and my tunes are next to them at a stoplight? Priceless. 

Rock is just cool, and that’s that. I grew up on it, music guided me through my childhood and still does to this day. I really do feel that half of popular “artists” today are just rich guys with fancy equipment who throw mumbling sounds on a drum track and call it a song. Where’s the kick-ass guitar or the angry lyrics? 

Second, I was born a grumpy old man, let me grumble in peace.

So when you have that hankering for new music that we all get, try turning on some awesome metal: Knocked Loose, Lamb of God, Five Finger Death Punch, Godsmack… anything. Or just watch Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny. Either way, you will get the same effect. 

Society is changing every day, so maybe metal could be phased out of music trends altogether. But I refuse to let it die. If I have children someday, they will come out of the womb with some kickass music in their brains, just like I did.

And with that, I bid you rock on. 

Lizzie Kipp is a sophomore studying education.

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