Sunday, 1 November 2015

Talkin' 'bout your generation

If Halsey's generation was raised on Biggie and Nirvana, what does that say about music?

Halsey was born in 1994. Kurt Cobain died in '94, and Biggie would be slain three years later. By the time Halsey reached an age at which music starts to matter, both Nirvana and Biggie had long since ceased to be chart toppers.

I consider myself to have been raised on Biggie and Nirvana, and even I was at the trailing edge, having been born in '85.

For how long does an epoch-defining musician usually sustain their period of influence? The people I know who are roughly 10 years older than me were raised on bands like The Cure, The Smiths and New Order, whereas I and the people I grew up with - was raised alongside - listened to Biggie, Tupac and Snoop; Nirvana, Rage and the Red Hot Chili Peppers; Oasis, Blur and Pulp; The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers and Massive Attack during our formative years.

Maybe Halsey referenced Biggie and Nirvana in New Americana as a grab at retro cool, but the question remains: why? I don't try to claim The Cure, The Smiths or New Order as my own. What happened to music in the mid-noughties to make a whole generation - or at least one singer speaking for that generation - turn away from it or want to disown it?

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