When I was younger, I never used to listen to Hip-Hop/Rap. You could say that I never grew up, but while most of my peers had moved on past the era of 2000s bubblegum pop, I stayed with it and continued listening to the genre and found myself listening to, and liking my local hits and top-40 radio stations. During this time period I even found myself moving into country music and liking it as well. I didn't think this was a bad thing until my peers started talking about artists I knew nothing about. Lil' Fizz--who is that? Hip-Hop and R&B were out of my realm. The only time I was exposed to R&B was in the car when my mom had it on those stations (that was when R&B was good. I still prefer '90s R&B over today's any day.)
Lil' Fizz, member of the boy band B2K, that split in 2004
When I would ask "Who is that?" I would get a flurry of "You don't know who____is?!" It made me feel embarrassed. Then when the conversation came to "Who is your favorite singer?" or "What kind of music do you listen to?" my answers would be criticized. Don't let me bring up the fact that i listened to country music, because as many people know, apparently country music is a forsaken genre. It just doesn't have the mass appeal that other genres do. But I did bring it up and that pretty much stopped the conversation. Unless there was a "Why do you like it? I can't relate to it." It's not about relating to it, I don't related to agriculture being my way of living either, nor do I relate to drug dealing and lusting after women. And since that had such a terrible reaction, I dare not tell them who my favorite singer is. (See my twitter and you will quickly find out who it is.)
Recently, however I have liked Hip-Hop and R&B mostly due to me just being exposed to it more. Undoubtedly the best artist out right now is Eminem. simply because he is so refreshingly honest and raw at the same time, plus, there are not antics. Em just is. And now I like the Hip-Hop genre and R&B too. There is room for Pop and Hip-Hop both in my repertoire.
Image Credit: Randee St. Nicholas, bestylistik.com