As music evolves, there will always be critics who claim that rock and roll is “dead” because it’s too commercialized or it doesn’t sound like how it used to. But people should be rest assured that quite the opposite is true. Rock and roll is not dying or becoming obsolete for these reasons, it’s actually getting better — and this is only the beginning.
In recent years, people have begun to believe that true rock music is dead due to a shift toward other musical genres — primarily pop and hip-hop. However, while many people are concerned over this shift, they also must be reminded that music should never fall into rigid categories. Real music usually includes a mix of genres with artists sampling from different types of songs. For instance, we can see rock elements present in several genres ranging from alternative to even contemporary pop. In the song “Wild Thoughts” by Dj Khaled, featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, they sampled a Santana guitar riff for one of their main melodies. When artists mix genres together like this, it enables music to keep evolving. And as long as this keeps occurring, rock music is never truly dead.
Overcommercialization is another trend that has terrified rock music lovers into believing that rock and roll is becoming obsolete. Rock and roll and its aesthetic is garnering a lot of popularity on social media platforms such as TikTok to the point where there is a growing concern of it becoming too mainstream. But this irrational fear of rock music losing its authenticity as a result of overcommercialization needs to be quelled. Rock and roll — or any type of genre — should not be deemed obsolete just because more people know about it. I’ve noticed a lot of people like to invalidate music once it gets popular on social media, which is an unhealthy mentality to have. Music is beneficial and even therapeutic to many people, so no genre should be gatekept from the general public. And just because something is popular or not “underground” enough, does not mean it’s suddenly out of style.
Music should not be an elitist circle where people are trying to keep rock and roll from evolving. There is absolutely no reason to be disappointed that the rock music genre is becoming more versatile. Rock and roll has taken new forms in indie and alternative music, which is on the rise thanks to communities on TikTok. In fact, artists such as Mitski and Phoebe Bridgers are just a few examples of the rock and roll genre living on through current artists. In addition to this, artists such as Lana Del Rey even covered the Sublime song, “Doin’ Time” while adding her own artistic personality to it. But if people fear change or are quick to cancel this progress, music will never evolve in the way that it is supposed to.
In truth, the revival of rock and roll through newer generations should be celebrated. It’s a good thing that rock music and even classic rock is becoming increasingly popular amongst young people. The influence that this resurgence will have on up and coming artists should be a reason to rejoice in the fact that there will always be new music to discover. And just because rock music does not sound like how it used to does not mean that it is going out of style. In reality, rock and roll is not in danger of vanishing, rather, it’s just presenting itself in a new light — and people should be okay with this.
The evolution of rock and roll should be celebrated by all music lovers. Regardless of what music elitists may think, rock and roll is here to stay and it is only getting better from here. Thanks to up and coming artists, the genre is ever-changing and fans of rock music should rejoice in the fact that there will never be a shortage of new music to discover.