The Music That Will Define Our Decade

The Music That Will Define Our Decade

In 2025, we'll look back and think of two things: EDM and Trap.

When we analyze music history, it's easy to organize changes in sound and popularity by decade. People can identify the sound of the '50s, for example, as something entirely different than the sound of the '60s, or the '70s, or the '80s.

It's an interesting phenomenon, but for the most part, popular music tastes don't suddenly change in correspondence with the opening or closing of a decade. Rather, I think our tendency to divide music up on a decade by decade basis is simply an effect of our natural inclination to categorize things.

In reality, popular music genres and sounds often develop slowly over time, starting in underground scenes, and eventually exploding into the mainstream. And when that genre has peaked in its popularity, it won't die when a digit changes in the calendar, it will taper out into the next decade, or might even remain for decades to come.

Sometimes, however, the decades do align with the close-out of a musical epoch. Take The Beatles for example, their career began in 1963 and ended, neatly, at the close-out of the decade in 1970. Disco, the dance genre that defined the '70s, is often thought to have ended on July 12, 1979, when an anti-disco demonstration turned into "The Day Disco Died."

Exceptions aside, the bands and sounds that define a decade don't suddenly die out at a decades closing. You'll still hear plenty of bands today making music that we listen to and think "Oh, this sounds like it could be from the '80s..." or the '60s, and so on and so forth. The modern rock band Greta Van Fleet sounds like Led Zeppelin, and Belle & Sebastian in the last two decades were making the same kind of folk-pop that Peter, Paul, and Mary were making in the '60s.

Still, while the division of music into decades may not be a wholly accurate method, it remains an incredibly useful tool for observing changing trends around us.

Using this tool, we can already identify the 2000s as having its own unique sound. When it comes to pop music, there's something distinctly "2000s" about the pop of artists like P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, and Beyonce. It's a decade also defined by auto-tune and rap-pop infusion; songs like "Down" by Jay Sean and Lil Wayne, "Replay" by Iyaz, and pretty much everything by Akon. Rap-Rock (Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, Linkin Park) and R&B of the likes of Usher also seem to strongly touch our nostalgia bone.

But what about this decade? It's already 8 years in. What will we say next decade was the sound of this one?

I think one of the most important developments of the decade has been the bass drop, or simply "the drop." We've seen the drop break into popularity through dubstep and EDM, and ultimately seed its way into pop and hip-hop. It's everywhere now, and it's a distinctly '2010s phenomenon.

When it comes to genres though, this decade has been defined by two major sounds.

The '2010s trap sound, pioneered by Atlanta-based rappers like Future and Gucci Mane, have made hip-hop more popular than its ever been before. So popular, in fact, that hip-hop has overtaken rock as the number one genre in the United States.

We've even seen trap seed itself into pop music by way of major hits like Camila Cabello's "Havana," which featured trap artist Young Thug. And the trap machine isn't showing any signs of slowing down, it's still exploding in the Soundcloud scene through rising stars like Lil Pump and XXXTENTACION.

Trap's popularity is undeniable. Just look at Stony Brook University's last few on-campus concerts: Fetty Wap, Post Malone, Future, and 21 Savage. In fact, as I write this article, 8 out of the top 10 songs on Spotify's Top 50 US Chart are hip-hop tracks, and 6 of those 8 are trap songs. Hip-hop's triumphant rise to the top of the charts will certainly be a decade-defining fact, and the Atlanta-based sound that made it popular will become an integral part of our collective memory of these years.

EDM is the second genre that has come to define this decade. David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Avicii, Zedd, Skrillexthis is the sound of our decade. EDM influences seem to have found its way into everything these days. Countless major artists have changed their original sound to adopt EDM trends; Maroon 5, Katy Perry, One Republic, Coldplay, Eminem, Linkin Park, and so many others, have released albums recently that are steeped in heavy EDM influences. When you see a particular sound cross genre boundaries so heavily, it becomes more than just a single genre, it becomes age-defining.

So, all that considered, what do these changing trends say about our generation? It's been said that the music of the '60s reflects the "peace and love" ethos of the counter-culture, the music of the '80s reflects the excess of the age, and the rise of grunge in the '90s comes as a rebellious reaction to the heightened conservatism of the '80s.

So what about the '2010s?

Honestly, I have no idea. Maybe hip-hop's rise reveals something about race relations or its cult of luxury something about our generation too. Or maybe the popularity of EDM is an example of the growing ubiquity of the digital age. I don't know, it's not my place to say.

All I know is this: in 2025, when we're looking back on this decade in terms of its music, two things might come to mind: Migos and The Chainsmokers. There may not be any deeper meaning than that.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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11 Things Psychology Majors Hear That Drive Them Crazy

No pun intended.

We've all been there. You're talking to a new acquaintance, or a friend of your parents, or whoever. And then, you get the dreaded question.

"So what are you studying in school?"

Cue the instant regret of picking Psychology as your major, solely for the fact that you are 99.9% likely to receive one of the slightly comical, slightly cliche, slightly annoying phrases listed below. Don't worry though, I've included some responses for you to use next time this comes up in conversation. Because it will.

Quick side note, these are all real-life remarks that I've gotten when I told people I was a psych major.

Here we go.

1. So are you, like, analyzing me right now?

Well, I wasn't. But yeah. Now I am.

2. Ugh so jealous! You picked the easy major.

"Lol" is all I have to say to this one. I'm gonna go write my 15-page paper on cognitive impairment. You have fun with your five college algebra problems, though!

3. So can you tell me what you think is wrong with me? *Shares entire life story*

Don't get me wrong; I love listening and helping people get through hard times. But we can save the story about how one time that one friend said that one slightly rude comment to you for later.

4. Well, s**t, I have to be careful what I say around you.

Relax, pal. I couldn't diagnose and/or institutionalize you even if I wanted to.

5. OMG! I have the perfect first client for you! *Proceeds to vent about ex-boyfriend or girlfriend*

Possible good response: simply nod your head the entire time, while actually secretly thinking about the Ben and Jerry's carton you're going to go home and demolish after this conversation ends.

6. So you must kind of be like, secretly insane or something to be into Psychology.

Option one: try and hide that you're offended. Option two: just go with it, throw a full-blown tantrum, and scare off this individual, thereby ending this painful conversation.

7. Oh. So you want to be a shrink?

First off, please. Stop. Calling. Therapists. Shrinks. Second, that's not a psych major's one and only job option.

8. You know you have to go to grad school if you ever want a job in Psychology.

Not completely true, for the record. But I am fully aware that I may have to spend up to seven more years of my life in school. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

9. So you... want to work with like... psychopaths?

Let's get serious and completely not-sarcastic for a second. First off, I take personal offense to this one. Having a mental illness does not classify you as a psycho, or not normal, or not deserving of being treated just like anyone else on the planet. Please stop using a handful of umbrella terms to label millions of wonderful individuals. It's not cool and not appreciated.

10. So can you, like, read my mind?

It actually might be fun to say yes to this one. Try it out and see what happens. Get back to me.

11. You must be a really emotional person to want to work in Psychology.

Psychology is more than about feeling happy, or sad, or angry. Psychology is about understanding the most complex thing to ever happen to us: our brain. How it works the way it does, why it works the way it does, and how we can better understand and communicate with this incredibly mysterious, incredibly vast organ in our tiny little skull. That's what psychology is.

So keep your head up, psychology majors, and don't let anyone discourage you about choosing, what is in my opinion, the coolest career field out there. The world needs more people like us.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?


Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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