By LINDSEY BROWN
I grew up listening to country music, and I absolutely love it. I consider myself a country music nerd. My teacher in high school used to quiz me on my knowledge of it. Even though I related to and found a home in the genre of country music, I got picked on for loving it so much. Despite growing up and attending high school in a more rural county, people still gave me a hard time about it. Today, attending college with over 4,000 other students, I find myself being the odd one out in my passion for the genre.
Country music is my go-to and it means the most to me when it comes to music. It reminds me of home and my family. It will always hold a special place in my heart. I have always been proud to say that I love it- but why are people so quick to make fun of me for it? What is so wrong with loving country music, and why do some people automatically stereotype me as a redneck for loving it?
The kind of music that a person listens to should not be stereotyped. Everyone should be confident and proud of the music they listen to, because every type of music is beautiful in it’s own way. The people who relate to different types of music are beautiful and unique in their own ways too. And I’m not the only one who has experienced this issue.
“I have been judged for my more moody type of music,” said sophomore and international affairs major, Jennifer Ramos. “I usually like this music because it’s something soft that helps me study and it’s also a vibe just being able to chill and have like slow music playing is always nice.”
I’m not the only one who has faced judgement for the music I like. This is a problem for music listeners across the spectrum. If my love for country music is this strong, who am I to say that someone else’s taste is poor because what the type they listen to is different from mine? Music is an outlet to get emotions out, so why are people judged on how they feel?
Rap is another genre that receives a lot of criticism. Some people that it is only about drugs, sex, going to the club- but I would never assume someone who prefers rap only possesses those ideals. Not every rap song is about those things, and the more heartfelt songs may be what the listener is drawn to. There are also songs are about love, heartbreak and family, that express true emotions from the artists that connect to their audience. Whether it be rap or country, there are songs that are typical of each genre- but those songs do not symbolize the genre as a whole.
“I don’t think listening to country music makes you a redneck because music doesn’t label a person. Music is what we listen to when we want to feel things, not be them,” says senior and journalism major, Hannah Galeone, and I would have to agree with her.
To me, country music is about family, love, faith, the hard times and the good times and living life to the fullest. It pushes the envelope at times by touching on tough subjects. The artists in country music are not afraid to tell it like it is, all with the sass of a guitar and a Southern accent. Brad Paisley’s song “This is Country Music” embodies country music as a whole and makes any country music fan proud. It tells a story that pulls at your heart strings, and lets you experience all of your emotions without feeling like you are all alone in the world. The steel guitar that perfectly pairs with Merle Haggard’s soulful twang hits me right in my heart, and it makes me feel a little bit closer to my grandfather, because he loved his music.
This is what music is about. It is there to get me through the tough times, and no matter what kind of day I am having, if I can listen to my music it makes me feel better. I honestly do not know what I would do without it. Life is hard enough, but music makes it a little easier. People shouldn’t be judged on what makes them feel better.
“I think country music is like any form of music. It is a form of artistic expression,” said junior and journalism major Olivia Bridges. “The only time I associate country music with being a redneck is [if] the lyrics are offensive or discriminatory.”
My music means the world to me, and I don’t know how I’d get through the days without it. No one should ever be judged on how they express themselves. You never know how someone is feeling, or what they are going through. If a type of music helps someone get through a tough time, or it makes them feel better, then they shouldn’t be judged.