Everyone claims they grew up during the golden age of music. Boomers will point to the 60’s and 70’s radicalism, citing Disco, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Motown, the whole Woodstock lineup. It’s called Classic Rock for a reason. Millennials will argue the 2000’s as the peak, with the advanced production in hip hop, the unfiltered diversity and creativity that was unlocked with streaming, and Beyonce. Even the Lost Generation (if they were still around) would sit you down and wax poetic about the Roaring Twenties: the start of the modern music era. Jazz, Big Band dance music, the Blues, and Broadway show tunes. The true OGs.
At the risk of being disrespectful to those that came before and dismissive to those that emerged after, the generation I believe responsible for the best music (defined as depth of quality and innovation): Generation X. 80’s Pop (Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna). Grunge/Alternative (Nirvana, Radiohead). Hair Bands. Hip Hop. And the oft-forgotten contributor, the foster kid nobody wanted, who grew up to be a legend: Punk.
I was a freshman in high school when I was first exposed to hardcore punk (also known as thrash metal or skate punk). I was a skater, but more importantly, I was a punk. Obsessed with Hip Hop, my favorite rap artists were the rebellious ones (Public Enemy, NWA, Too Short, Beastie Boys). I was also a fan of Heavy Metal, in particular Metallica, our Bay Area hometown hero. While rap spoke to the external stressors and pressures like police harassment, project/gang life, and fighting to survive against the odds, heavy metal dealt with internal stressors and pressures, like depression, unrealized expectations, drug addiction, and fighting to survive your own demons.
Then Punk rolled in and merged those two worlds into a new one. A loud, destructive, intimidating world that was somehow calm, inviting, and inspirational. Primus. The songs were short but lasting, the lyrics basic but piercing. I didn’t have to go between Mom and Dad’s anymore, they reconciled and moved into a quaint, 2-bedroom ranch-style rental on the corner of angst and chalk outlines. I just called it home.
This playlist takes me back to that time, while showcasing the evolution of the genre into faster, harder, stronger.
Primus –> Ghøstkid
Suicidal Tendencies –> The Virus
Rage Against The Machine –> Pour Habit
Generation Z is building its case…