A Tik Tok trend of classifying songs as “bop” or “flop” has crept its way into the emo side of social media: the classic emo songs from our teen years are now the subject. Plenty of app users (some emo, some note) are joining in on the fun, rating these nostalgic tracks and, in some cases, admitting to simply never hearing of them.
And here is where the inevitable negativity finds its way into comments and tweets.
“She doesn’t even know A Day To Remember’s best song??”
“This is the definition of a fake fan.”
“Why did we let Gen Z turn emo into a trend.”
Gatekeeping is a phenomenon that has existed in the music community longer than any of the people in it. A feeling of entitlement causes some die-hard fans to feel as though they have the ability to decide who can or cannot listen to certain artists and who can call themselves “real fans”.
With social media popularity growing by the second, gatekeeping seems to be growing as well. When written in the form of a tweet or comment meant to be laughed at, the blatant entitlement hides in the humor. However, closing off certain people from entering into a community that has been a saving grace for so many is dangerous, whether it is in person or online.
When you call someone a “fake fan” for not knowing your personal favorite songs or artists, you miss out on the opportunity to help your favorites grow. You miss out on the chance to share art that has deep meaning to you. Why wouldn’t you want to introduce someone to a new band? Didn’t someone or something introduce you at some point? You weren’t born listening to Black Veil Brides. Respect the growth of other future fans, even if their introduction came a little later than yours.
Tik Tok trends are undeniably shaping pop culture, especially amongst the Millennial and Gen Z generations. A subsector of these have focused on the nostalgia of emo culture, whether it be the music, 2000s Hot Topic fashion, or behavior patterns our childhood emo-self relates to way too much. As these grow and find their way onto other social media applications, many seem to have an issue with those who are normalizing emo culture and making it more mainstream.
Newsflash: that's what we call gatekeeping.
“I was bullied and middle school for listening to Sleeping With Sirens, and now it's cool? Absolutely not.”
Why? Because you suffered, the younger generations have to as well? Ok boomer.
We should be proud of those kids for not being afraid to publicize their passions. We should be happy for them that they can exist in schools where they aren’t shamed and named the “weird emo kid” in the back of the classroom. We should not be pushing them back into a place of alienation just because we experienced it ten years ago.
So that 15-year-old Tik Tok famous girl doesn’t know “Knives and Pens”. So the 25-year-old goth girl reliving her emo years said she didn’t like “Bulletproof Love”. Neither of these people are “fake fans”. Let the e-girls live!
Suggestion: instead of roasting people on Twitter, perhaps you suggest songs they may like. You're not a fan of “Can You Feel My Heart”? You might like songs off of Throne...or maybe Bring Me The Horizon just isn’t what you’re into. There is no need to shame someone for their music taste, “unpopular” opinions, or not knowing every lyric to a song they like. Emo kids that don’t like your favorite bands are still allowed to call themselves emo kids.
Come on guys; it’s the rawring 20s. Let’s bring back the rawrxD and leave the shaming in the past. Gatekeeping doesn’t make you cool, but finding connections with others, even if they don’t know My Chemical Romance’s entire discography, does.
Article by Caroline Moll