Race & Gender in the Pop Punk Scene #Racism #Sexism

Hello Readers I hope this finds you all well. This post is going to be about race and gender in the pop-punk scene. Ok so I have already done a lot of post on bands that I like and music that I’m into like Fall Out Boy, Gym Class Heroes, and Paramore & Twenty One Pilots. I am huge fans of theirs but there is one thing that bothers me about this scene at times is the lack of race and gender equality in this scene. Here are a few examples:
Take Gym Class Heroes vs. Twenty One Pilots Ok so TOP is more of a newer band and Gym Class Heroes has been going strong for over 20 years (with only 10 years of fame). Something that I have noticed is that the TOP fandom is bigger than the GCH one because they may feel that TOP is more polished then GCH or more about something vs talking about girls and parting all the time. Now I am a huge fan of both bands which have a similar sound in ways in which they both are bands with unique sounds and the lead singer rapping and singing. Now maybe because GCH is more of an older band considering they got famous in 2005 and were part of the new wave of Warp Tour that started the new Pop-Punk wave. Now neither Gym Class Heroes nor Twenty One Pilots would be considered pop-punk but because they are both on the Fueled by Ramon label they get put into that category or are liked by fans of pop-punk bands. For me I like both bands equally and like both of their unique stories which are different but similar. They are both bands that have come from the bottom to create something beautiful just in different ways. They are both here to motivate and be there for the downtrodden as a rallying cry so we can persevere. Now Twenty One Pilots music might be a little more straight forward with their message then Gym Class Heroes at times but I feel they’re both their to help. Take Gym Class Heroes songs Fighter, Shoot Down the Stars, Faces In the Hall, On My Own Time [WriteOn!], Live Forever [Fly With Me], Simple Livin’ & others and pretty much every TOP song. Now there are probably those who don’t like GCH as much as TOP purely for musical reasons and then there are those that don’t like them for more racial reasons. Twenty One Pilots may only be two members but they are white males and Gym Class Heroes are a mixed bag of folks from Travie who is Haitian & Irish/Native American to Disashi whose family is from Africa to Matt & Eric who are white. I mean I can see that being a thing considering a lot of people who like TOP are also into the pop-punk scene when a lot of the people who might like GCH are into more of the main stream top 40 world and only really know them from their pop radio hits. Also early on GCH were not as well received as Twenty One Pilots due to their genera bending music. In all I just think that Gym Class Heroes should have a bigger following outside of their “once every few years” radio hit the way Twenty One Pilots are with their one radio hit.

Oh and another thing that got on my nerves with TOP fans or the clique was that on their new album Blurryface, they have a song called Lane Boy and there is a lyric in the song that goes “Cause our minds change on what we think is good I wasn’t raised in the hood, But I know a thing or two about pain and darkness…” Now to me these are some pretty dope lyrics that mean a lot to us fans. Tyler wrote these lyrics to let us know that yes he may rap but its because he has a lot to say and that it helps people live their life. Oh no Twitter & Tumbler went crazy talking about Twenty One Pilots is racist and just going off on them. It really made me mad considering that they didn’t even mean it in a racial way. Crazy how these fans are.

Now onto to the other spectrum of the scene is bands with women in them and women at concerts and sexism in the pop-punk scene. Now there has been this big conversation in the scene about sexism lately. There are a lot of musicians who have been convicted of sexually assaulting young girls at concerts who come to see them. As a fangirl if a musician you are seriously in love with asks you to go onto their bus with them to “hang out” I mean why wouldn’t you but then they take it too far. But then the media takes their spin on the whole issue and just says boys will be boys like what they did is not disgusting and wrong. I mean yes girls could dress a little more decently at shows but at the same time we don’t have the right to tell them how to dress. That also doesn’t give purvey guys and musicians the right to do this. Now if a female musician did this to young boys it would totally be flipped to be the musicians fault like it should be but because they are women they would get shamed for it big time. It’s crazy.

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Then take being a female musician in a rock band. Guys and society never thing female musicians can be in rock bands. They think that there not good enough or hard enough for the rock world. To me the best musicians are women they really have more spirit in their music then men and to me are a lot more relatable. Take Hailey Williams of Paramore she is amazing and got the chops to rock with her male counter parts. It’s weird though when Paramore first came out in 2005 they didn’t really get the resignation they deserved unlike their counter parts in Fall Out Boy who shot up to #1 and it took Paramore 2 more years to get that resignation with Riot and Misery Business. Of course thanks to acts like the Runaways and Janus Joplin in the ‘60s & ‘70s women are able to rock with the boys but are not always taken seriously. Of course this is just a metaphor for how it is in life how men don’t think women can be taken seriously or deserving of working with.
Also take the lack of black/POCs in the pop-punk/rock scene. Now I know there are more now and days considering Afropunk has become a big thing and the indie scene has gotten more popular. And although it might seem like the rock genera has been dwindling recently since hip-hop, pop & indie have become the big 3 if you look at the underground scenes. But in the mainstream we are still looking at the Nicki’s B’s & Rihi’s instead of the next up and coming black rocker. I mean we do have Gary Clark Jr., GCH & various other acts.
Anyway this is just my two cents Happy Wednesday!

Till Next Time…

View story at Medium.com

http://www.fuse.tv/2015/06/hayley-williams-feminist-misery-business-behind-her

http://punktastic.com/radar/stop-defending-pop-punk/

http://www.collapseboard.com/music-blogs-3/we-need-to-talk-about-racism-in-punk/

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2011/aug/14/krissi-murison-punk-pop-riots

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