Has anyone else noticed that with current pop music, there’s some kind of “bad bitch” thing going on? It worked in the 90’s when the term “alternative” actually made sense as a genre, but in 2015 it feels more like the word “alternative” is thrown around to prove that mainstream people are edgier than they seem, all because they listen to other mainstream pop artists that glamorize the whole “sex and drugs” lifestyle of a time long since past.
Hey, I don’t just listen to Britney and Madonna, I listen to Rihanna too! Rihanna Slays, she’s a bad bitch!
The 90’s are over, people. Or did your PR team decide you should be a mess for the sake of being alternative? There are really only two kinds of pop singers now anyway.
First are the Bad Bitches like Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Beyonce; who sing about sex, drugs and anything that is edgy enough to make their fans caps-lock “YAS” on their newest music video. They cling to the 90’s heroin chic lifestyle, posting to social media with their nude selfies, “#YOLO smoking a blunt” status updates, and nonsensical hashtags that are an enigma to even the greatest minds in psychology and human behaviour.
Unlike pop stars from the time they are so desperately trying to recapture, the messages that they send to the (lets face it, far more impressionable than ever) minds of the younger generation are fatal. We’ve gone straight from Britney singing about boys to Lana Del Rey singing about wishing she was dead. It sends a twisted message about the worlds populace in general, which is that this is the kind of music that sells now. We celebrate nihilism, nostalgia, and suicide as a collective; and we don’t exactly think twice about it.
On the polar opposite of the spectrum, we have the Disneyland Runaways. These are the innocent, small town girls that live in fear of dropping an F-bomb and looking like any kind of mess at all. The wholesome image works for some, such as Katy Perry or Selena Gomez, but when they inevitably attempt making the transition into Bad Bitch, such as Miley Cyrus, I believe that the criticism is both harsh and uncalled for. Despite the love for public breakdowns, whenever one of the Disneyland Runaways shoots their first line of coke, swears for the first time in a song, or is publicly announced as no longer being a virgin, the media goes into a frenzy like piranhas to flesh. They tear the singer apart however they possibly can, which further pushes them towards the Bad Bitch end of the spectrum.
Sure, we do love watching pure things get corrupted, as it’s in on nature. Yet the audience for pop now is so confused. They worship the Bad Bitches for being “brave and unconventional” but then throw themselves at the Disneyland Runaways for opposite reasons. Ironically, anything that modern pop artists are doing has been done before by actual alternative artists. The riot grrrl movement came way before Beyonce. Dark Electronic and Industrial music came before everyone added dubstep to everything, and don’t even get me started on how Nine Inch Nails influenced the pop genre as a whole.
For anybody that’s been “alternative” their entire lives, mainstream music is the perfect parody of itself. The confusion, the censorship, the desperation, all of it. Pop music is slowly destroying itself, and becoming the new alternative. This is finally clearing the road for the mainstream success of artists that never would’ve gotten anywhere earlier because they were too dark, controversial, or explicit. People have never been as repressed as they are now, and they are just dying for more music to live through vicariously.
Now that I think about it, I am so grateful that Lana is going on and on about her suicidal fantasies. Perhaps this is the neurotypical genocide that those in the know have been waiting for. Maybe this is the start of the apocalypse.
Well, a girl can dream.
Roxxi Wallace is a Freelance writer, Musician and Radio personality. She is associated with the Underground/ Independent Horror scene and has an interest in Fetish/Industrial culture. Roxxi currently resides in NSW, Australia.