The Con-Rap Con

Music claiming to be smart takes advantage of those who aren't.

Listening to music does not make you a genius.

Sure, for years pretentious jerks have cited their favorite underground bands as proof that they are "beyond" other kids at their high school, but connecting a person's intelligence with a band is seriously stupid. Yes, dumb people listen to a lot of generic music, but listening to crappy bands that only exist on the internet doesn't make you smarter. It makes you a hopeless nerd. Your iPod library is not a replacement for mental and emotional development.

A great example is so-called "intelligent dance music," or IDM. This is actually boring pabulum designed as background for shopping at Urban Outfitters. It doesn't matter whether it's cascading strings with blowhard-diva/house garbage or some spazzed-out pop-and-glitch noisefest. It doesn't make you think -- just blink a lot and wear muscle shirts. And for those pseudo-politically-aware types: Listening to Ani DiFranco does not make you a revolutionary. Just like your parents decades ago, you're going through a phase that doesn't last. Soon you too will hang up those phony liberal ideals when you trade flip-flops for ties and keeping minorities out of your kids' schools.

Neither is as lame as the morons who claim to listen to smart rap. Get over that wussy neo-soul fetish. Progressive or "conscious" rap is overblown twaddle, driven by the appearance of being political without actually doing a goddamn thing. Championing unity, turning off your TV, and drinking green tea doesn't earn you a Che Guevara T-shirt. You're better off listening to "Stomp the Shit Out Ya" than such Birkenstock-approved (c)rap. Listen to music because you genuinely like it, not because it appeals to stupid ideas born of pathetic high school cliques.