The Future of Pop Music and Youth Culture

McCracken's conclusion echoes Breakthrough Journal writer Dan Krewson, who wrote of punk's enduring, if unconventional, legacy in "Punk and Possibility":

In many ways, punk's legacy is such that it is now a mark of sophistication among artists to draw from a constellation of influences, just as it was once stylish for prog rockers to draw upon classical music.

Consider Top 40 rapper KiD CuDi. Born in 1984, CuDi unapologetically channels Pink Floyd over Grandmaster Flash. He rhymes about outer space instead of the ghetto and samples Lady Gaga rather than James Brown. He combines orchestral strings with turntable scratching. He references Facebook, Carl Jung, and insomnia, embracing big pop hooks that helped his record debut at number four on the Billboard 200. Asked about his wide-ranging sound and influences­­, CuDi said, "I did want to make something that would baffle the critics, as far as putting it in a certain genre; I wanted them to have a hard time doin' it."

Photo courtesy of Tom Purves via Wikimedia Commons