When it comes to music, I think everyone becomes a little sensitive if their favorite song or band is made fun of. Everyone has a right to their opinion even about genres of music. The descriptions of rap and country music both range from positive to negative.

It’s simple: if rap, country or any type of music is not a favorite, don’t bash it. Listen to the music that creates positivity and happiness for you.

Let’s talk about country music. I grew up listening to country music, I still enjoy it to this day. To all the people that stereotype this genre and say it’s all about drinking beer and driving trucks, you’re not incorrect, but there is so much more to the genre than just that.

I try not to judge something if I don’t know much about the subject. If I have enough knowledge about music or any other subject I will feel confident with stating my opinion. It’s not fair to jump to a conclusion about a song just because it is a part of a certain genre. I think it’s easy to dislike certain music if it wasn’t what someone was brought up listening to.

Country music is my type of feel-good music. When I say feel-good, I mean that it makes me happy and listening to it brings back positive memories. If I’m having a bad day I tend to listen to slow, sad songs whether it is country or not.

If the sun is shining and I’m in a good mood, there are plenty of upbeat songs to choose from (and they may end up being country, especially if it’s summertime). Most public environments play music that is positive and doesn’t reference drugs or partying. Country is always acceptable because there is never an excessive amount of swearing and parents won’t cringe when hearing the lyrics. To continue, I think most people can agree that rap music is not always positive or appropriate. I’m sure parents with young children would prefer that their children’s innocent ears are not invaded with some of the words and images that tag along with rap music.

I’m not trying to put this genre of music down. You can find all types of music on my ipod. Growing up, my parents didn’t allow me to download music with swears in it. To me, it wasn’t even about the lyrics; if there is a catchy tune, it can be hard not to want to dance or sing along. Listening to Kiss108 with my dad can be really funny. He tries to sing along like he knows the words and sometimes he’ll even make up his own. “How can you tell what they’re saying?” he’ll say to me, while jokingly humming along.

But really, what are these artists saying sometimes? I find that most upbeat songs, such as rap, will mostly consist of a jumble of words. They rap so fast that I can’t even follow along. When I learn the words that are actually being said it can be fun to try and sing along.

Country music and rap music both talk about drinking with friends, partying and falling in love, but to what degree could it be just too much?

Country music band Florida Georgia Line in their song “Tip It Back,” said, “And don’t worry about anything except what’s in your glass whether it’s a cold beer, tequila or a double shot of Jack. Yeah, all you need to do tonight is tip it back.”

Most explicit words are censored on the radio whether it is rap music or not. It’s completely obvious that a song is not appropriate when practically every other word is taken out, such as the song “Only” by Nicki Minaj featuring Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown. What is the point in including expletives when a majority of the time they are inappropriate and end up being blocked out? Music is a way of expression and many songs that artists write about have meaning to them or tell how they feel about something in particular. I understand that the swearing and drinking that are a part of these songs can set bad examples for the people that listen to them.

I also think that it is important to know when it may or may not be appropriate to listen to these songs. A song such as “Only” may not always be the right song to play at the next family party. A quote from brainyquote.com by country music singer Faith Hill said, “Country music is the people’s music, it just speaks about real life and about truth and it tells things how they really are.” This can also be true about rap. It’s simple — if rap, country or any type of music is not a favorite, don’t bash it. Listen to the music that creates positivity and happiness for you.

Heather O’Brien can be contacted at hobrien@kscequinox.com

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