How Mainstream Music Haters Are Only Perpetuating The Problem
The most prominent commenters on music pages and websites is the ever-vocal mainstream hater. These folks, like so many other internet trolls, get off from lashing out online; their target... mainstream artists and subsequently any platform that devotes time or space to these successful individuals. What's funny about these hate comments is the ironic fact that they actually not only fuel the mainstream flame they despise so much but they are actually preventing people from being exposed to good music.
Any coverage of mainstream artists usually comes with a slew of comments expressing mild to violent hatred. But what's interesting is that when a "non-mainstream" artist is granted some podium time... more often than not, there are few if any comments to be found.
There is a reason mainstream artists continue to make their way into headlines and don't worry... it's not just to piss off the haters (although that certainly can be fun). It's actually because of two reasons. First, these big names are doing big things (whether these big things are always good things is something completely different). And second, music fans always respond. Now here's the kicker... even if a fan is interacting on social media just to say how much he/she hates mainstream music, this engagement is multiplying the reach of the original publisher.
Do you know what that means? Mainstream haters are actually helping the very artists they loathe so much. By interacting with the content on social media, they are spreading it online. And let's be real, people are going to check out the content and decide for themselves before they trust a random person's hateful comment on the internet.
Haters of "sell-outs" are just haters of success. They want to see more headlines with their favorite artists in them, but if this were to happen... well, they wouldn't like those artists anymore. As our friend Josh Levine said on Rebel Radio, every artist starts in the underground waiting room, but some happen to make it out.
Neither underground nor mainstream are equivalent to "good" or "bad" music. There are good mainstream artists and bad ones. Likewise, there are good and bad underground artists. Come on, we've all been to those shows when the opening act just straight up SUCKS... I'm talking, you're dying to go outside to the smoking area even when you are not a smoker.
"Just because there is some popular music that is [mediocre or boring or dumb] doesn't mean that there should be a stigma against popular music. There's plenty of unpopular music that is completely stupid, as well." - Anthony Fantano
But the biggest problem with vocal mainstream cynics is that they are adding to a stigma that is affecting the way people view, filter and then consume music. Propagating the idea that popular music is bad music will prevent listeners from developing their own palette and ear for quality, creative music. Yes, they will inevitably be exposed to the popular, mainstream music, but every music fan needs to learn how to discern good popular music from bad popular music as well as good underground music from bad underground music. How else are they to find those diamonds in the rough?
So the obvious summation here is that if mainstream haters spent more time and energy spreading around the content they believe in rather than spreading the content they don't via hateful commentary... we'd all be better for it.