When we think of our own tastes in music, we rarely consider ourselves unique or special when we’re head banging to the radio blaring “Jumpman, Jumpman, Jumpman, them boys up to something.” Instead, we are enjoying ourselves in the moment and are actually having fun with the music. However, we somehow believe that it’s shameful to listen to mainstream music because it shows that we’re “lame” or “lack taste.”

Honestly if you enjoy the music, who gives a s*** if it’s on the radio or not. Music wasn’t meant to be some kind of hierarchy or one-upping game of knowing the newest artist in indie record stores. It’s suppose to make us want to dance or keep us in a euphoric state for just a minute or two. There’s no need to feel ashamed for not knowing some indie band nor is there a need to feel proud for knowing an artist that someone else doesn’t know. Music is supposed to be a bonding experience between people, not one where animosity is created because one person thinks the song is terrible for the sole reason that it’s mainstream.

I encourage everyone to explore music not for the sake of being trendy, but instead for the sake of looking for good music. Good music is everywhere, whether on the billboard hot 100 chart or on band camp that has only been heard by 12 people.

I hope that this generation of music listeners take a history lesson in order to understand that good music is everywhere, even in the genres that you’d never dare to cross paths with. Back in the 70s, people who listened to classic rock looked down on people who listened to disco and people who listened to contemporary jazz in the 80s looked down on people who listened to pop. The social music hierarchy isn’t new. It’s a byproduct of people being closed minded towards new and old music.

Take some time to listen to music that you’d never thought of listening to. If Katy Perry can go from gospel music to pop and if Gwen Stefani can go from punk to pop, then your a** can take three minutes to listen to a country song or death metal song that you dread. It limits you own life experience by only listening to what you’re comfortable with.

It takes a true Renaissance man or women to leap into other genres and take the chance to experience the first three minutes of either a complete life changing experience or another skip on Spotify. In my opinion, there is something to take and enjoy from every genre of music, so to say “I can’t stand country” or “I only listen to metal, f*** pop!” would just be limiting your own creative experience.

Listening to new music can open new doors to new artists and movements that can give you a new perspective on music history or life in general. So, go on your iPod and listen away cause there’s never too much time spent on listening to music.