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Explore musical genres outside of your comfort zone

Branching out into new music genres is important for personal growth and open-mindedness

Sam Lopez, Guest reporter

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One of the best concerts I’ve ever been to was Robert DeLong, RAC and Big Data. In the spirit of the concert’s theme, my friend and I painted our faces with bright neon colors. The night raged on with drum solos, light shows and a modern art like performance from Robert DeLong. I was more than happy to open my ears to new music and teenagers today need to listen to other genres of music as well.

It might be hard to guess, but I didn’t grow up listening to indie, alternative or any of the “hipster” music I listen to now. Instead, I would get in my father’s rusted pickup truck, sunflower seeds littering the floorboards, and listen to country artists from the early 2000s.

As any good father would do, he then introduced me to classic rock; I was hooked immediately. It was something I never dreamed that music could be. How it made me feel and how it turned my father and I into professional air guitarists is something I’ll never forget. Still to this day, it’s some of the best music I’ve ever listened to.

I hear a lot of people completely reject another type of music before they really give it a chance to make an impression. For instance, I used to hate rap. I mean, I used to really hate it. It didn’t fit my personal definition of music. They weren’t even singing. To me, it was just a really vulgar way of saying how much someone liked drugs, booze and sex.

Luckily, I have a few friends that were able to introduce me to the true beauties of rap. Was the artist’s flow good; was the backing track more than just a bass line with an 808 drum beat; was their wordplay intelligent; were they talking about social and personal issues instead of debauchery; and could they accomplish all of this with proper use of profanity? Once I discovered a subgenre of rap that fit this criteria for me, I fell in love.

I became bored with all the music I was listening to. You have to have some salt in your chocolate to really taste the sweetness Being able to discover an entirely new world of music was like jumping into a cold pool on a hot summer day: relieving.

To put it bluntly, limiting yourself to one genre is incredibly bland and tasteless. This mindset applies to more than just music too. Having an open mind when approaching new food, art, fashion and culture makes the world a much more colorful place.

The moment you refuse to accept that we are an incredibly diverse species with differing interests and opinions, the world becomes a lot scarier, a lot darker and a hell of a lot more intolerable.

So try new food, wear something different, talk to someone you don’t agree with (respectfully) and for God’s sake listen to something you’ve never listened to before.

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Explore musical genres outside of your comfort zone