Pop is NOT a dirty word.


Republic Records

American singer-songwriter and actress Ariana Grande in the music video for her song "7 rings".

Mason Montano, Music Editor

Pop as a genre has always been considered a novelty. When people hear pop music, they think of vapid singers with uninspiring voices and played out radio hits with overproduced instrumentals and repetitive lyrics written by a team of songwriters as opposed to the actual artists themselves. 

Pop musicians, especially women, are consistently written off as untalented and overrated by the masses, but I’m here to let the world know that these assumptions are completely inaccurate.

I was raised on Madonna and Gwen Stefani, so it’s no surprise that I’m a lover of pop music. I’m constantly promoting my favorite artists, albums, and songs; and people sometimes ask me why I like “garbage pop music” as if it’s a crime — but guess what? It’s not, and here’s why:

Pop is arguably one of the most dynamic and versatile genres out there. It’s incredibly malleable, able to manifest itself in a variety of different forms, such as electro pop and indie pop, whereas other genres like hip-hop or heavy metal have a very specific sound and certain criteria of what can or cannot be defined as hip-hop or heavy metal. Pop music, on the other hand, has no rules. A pop song can combine elements of both of these genres and be considered pop, hip-hop, and heavy metal all at the same time. 

Pop songs also don’t have to be short, upbeat bops about love or partying as most people assume. They can be of any length and tempo and be about any subject, whether it’s deep with complex metaphors or simple and straightforward. Pop is effective either way. The only time it’s ineffective is when the artist puts no effort, passion, or confidence behind their work because if the artist doesn’t believe in their music, why should we?

Speaking of artists, the stereotype of pop musicians being untalented robots who regurgitate the work of others could not be further from the truth. Virtually every pop artist I listen to plays an active role in the creation of their music; and that includes writing, producing, and even directing their own visuals.

Yet no one seems to want to give any credit where credit is due. Why? Because it’s pop music, and it’s easy to hate, especially in recent times when the charts are dominated by hip-hop and dance tracks, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just gives people more of a reason to say that pop songs must be bad because they’re not charting, but if I know anything about the music charts, it’s that popularity does not equal quality.

So just admit that you like dancing around to Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift in your room when no one’s home because pop is NOT a dirty word!

Republic Records
American singer-songwriter and actress Taylor Swift in the music video for her song “You Need To Calm Down”.

This article was revised in April 2020.