Mainstream Meltdown: The Curse Of Top 40 Radio

Written by on February 3, 2016

I never knew it would come to this.

We all have that one musician or band that we are super dedicated to. You stumbled across them and immediately felt a connection to their music. You spend days binge-listening to their songs in your room, on the way to class and everywhere else. You tell all of your friends about them and force them to listen to your favorite songs (Let’s face it. They’re coming to town soon and you need someone to love them with you so you don’t go to the concert alone) but they are just not having it.

Months or years pass and after receiving the cold shoulder from your friends, you realize it’s kind of like a secret handshake you only share with those who already listen to them. You may have been to their shows where they play in super small venues like Warehouse Live or the House of Blues and there’s maybe 50 in attendance.  Then after the show, the musician(s) hang out at the merch table where you’re able to snap a few selfies and have a genuine conversation with them. It’s super small, personal and you love it.

Concert tickets are cheap, free downloads are saving your bank account and you’re self-proclaimed best friends with everyone in the band. Life is wonderful! You want everyone to love them and you can’t grasp the fact of why they aren’t on the radio. Be careful what you ask for because things will take a turn.

All of a sudden, your fave puts out a new album and it’s glorious. GLORIOUS. But remember…you can’t really fan girl with your friends because they shunned you in the past. The plot thickens. Soon enough, Top 40 radio does the thing where they play one of the songs from the album. It may not be your favorite song from the album…but nonetheless YOUR FAVE IS ON THE RADIO. You’re freaking out because their time has come and it’s been a long time coming. Whether it’s due to fans storming the request line, a YouTube personality covering the song or it was featured on a commercial: someone goofed and it’s everywhere..

One day, you go on social media and one of your friends has the nerve to tweet some of their lyrics (and your eye twitches). To make things worse, said friend has the nerve to tweet some lyrics from an album a few years back. You assume the worse and immediately come to the conclusion that they sampled their music on iTunes and tweeted the lyrics that stuck out to them the most to be hip.

Then, you’re at work, in class or having a normal conversation when someone asks you if you listen to (insert your favorite band here.)

Instantly, you assume they are a #fakefan. They only know one and a half songs by heart….the rest of the lyrics they have to Google in order to sing along to. Fake fan also doesn’t know when any of the members were born and is only aware of the first name of one band member and that’s just not going to cut it.

Instead you nod accordingly. The sense of loss that they are no longer your little secret consumes you and you begin side-eyeing everyone.

It’s true. You’re a little salty that everyone loves your favorite band now. Next thing you know, you can’t get into the car without hearing “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots played simultaneously on three stations with an estimated total of 11 times during the duration of the car ride and there’s no going back.

Leave a comment down below telling us how you feel when your favorite musicians or bands become popular!

(In all seriousness, this was done all in humor! It’s not cool to be angry when your favorite band hits it big time. Salty? Acceptable. Bitter? Maybe. However, this a perfect chance for the same lyrics and music that attracted you to them in the first place to reach a wider audience!  It doesn’t matter when or how you fell in love with a musician or band, we should just love the fact that we share them with more people. The more fans the better! We just don’t talk about the rise in concert prices, OK?)

Thanks for reading!


By Rae Tolbert

  • Coog Radio

    We are Coog Radio, the only student-run radio station at the University of Houston. Come ride the airwaves with us!

    View all posts

Coog Radio

Riding the Airwaves

Current track