Scary things pop music taught me in 2013

Categories: Year-end blitz
Photo by Tony Nelson

From Kanye's massive ego, to the death of teenage angst and the rise of Miley, 2013 was filled with signs that pop music was on life support and that music fans and consumers have become bored and jaded in the process. I take a sardonic look back at some of the biggest, most frightening moments of the past year that have left me wondering where pop music is heading in 2014 and if it's finally dead.

See Also: 2013: The year of the overhyped album blockbuster

The Illuminati industry is real, and most pop stars are Satanists.

Sure, the likes of Rihanna and Jay Z may or may not have been subtly brainwashing us into the occult by flashing hand signs representing the all-seeing Eye of Horus and the Mark of the Beast for a while now. But Jay does have a hoodie emblazoned with the British occultist Aleister Crowley's motto, "Do what thou wilt." This year pop finally got real about its Satanic undertones.

Remember that Ke$ha video where she plays a cult leader who leads her disciples in a sex video, gyrating wildly before a glowing pentacle while upside down cross graphics flash across the screen? "Die Young" -- both the video and the song -- garnered so much negative attention that Ke$ha finally went public to declare that she had been "forced" to sing that song. She retaliated this year by releasing a B-side track from the Warrior album titled "Dancing with the Devil," in which she rants about how she sold her soul and is ensnared in a "holy war" she'll never win.

Miley Cyrus freaked us all out with her VMA performance this year, but none were more disturbed than religious broadcaster Rick Wiles and anti-rock music pastor Joe Schimmel, a guest on Wiles' TruNews radio program. On the show, Wiles argued that the American music industry was using pop stars to recruit children into the "synagogue of Satan." Schimmel concurred, stating that Cyrus had been "baptized into the Illuminati." He continued by suggesting that during her VMA performance, Miley had been using coded messages transmitted via her dance moves to lure viewers to Satanism, and that the performance itself was meant as a statement from Miley that she had given her soul to Satan.

Obviously, there could be no pop music without the Illuminati. Sometimes it seems like modern pop music's sole purpose is to draw us quietly over to the dark side. 2014 will be a new frontier for Illuminati Satanist pop stars. Don't believe me? Check out the music video for Azaelia Banks' "Yung Rapunxel" off her upcoming album Broke with Expensive Taste.

Teenage angst is dead.

Remember the early 90's? The air was so thick with teenage angst that you could cut it (and yourself) with a knife. Teenagers had it rough, man. There was Garbage's "I'm Only Happy When it Rains." Alanis Morisette released the epic break-up anthem, "You Oughta Know." And if nobody you knew in person understood you, well at least there was Billy Corgan.

This June, Lorde released her single "Royals" in the United States. It became an instant sensation. Lorde, who is 17, writes lyrics which were described by Rolling Stone as "torqued-up teenage angst." She sometimes wears black lipstick and cites Sylvia Plath as an inspiration to her writing. She has been nominated to receive four Grammy awards this coming January. Lyrics to the now infamous song include verses beginning with "I've never seen a diamond in the flesh," and "We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams." The song goes on, with Lorde singing silkily, "Life is great without a care, we aren't caught up in your love affair." Sometimes I hear this song being played in department stores.

If this is teenage angst, then we have some serious first-world problems to address. While it does seem like never seeing a real diamond is a serious impediment to happiness, I'd hazard that "despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage" might just carry a little more weight lyrically in the teenage-angst department. Who knows what Lorde has in store for us in 2014, though! Maybe by then she will have seen a real diamond, and maybe it will even be a blood diamond. Blood diamonds might give her tons of angst to fuel her song writing.

The more you love yourself, the more everyone else will hate you.

2013 was the year when God finally revealed himself as Kanye West. There is arguably no greater entity on this planet than Kanye's ego. For example, to herald the release of his album Yeezus this May, he projected his face onto 66 building walls in cities including Berlin, Paris and Chicago, and performed his song "New Slaves." He also had a baby with Kim Kardashian. Nobody asked Kanye to do these things. He just did them out of the kindness of his own heart, because he loved himself so much that he felt comfortable hyper extending his influence over all of humanity. Yet what did he get in return? Hate. Did anyone stop to contemplate whether or not maybe Kanye actually is God? We didn't even give him a chance. We just stopped buying tickets to his shows, and will probably still ride this wave of hate deep into 2014.

Then there's Lady Gaga. She compared the release of her album ARTPOP to "a quick ejaculation." Lady Gaga loves herself and this album so much that she basically proclaimed it would be the greatest pop masterpiece ever made, enlisted artist Jeff Koons to create the album art, sang on the album about how she is a living piece of art and how everybody loves her, and started going in public dressed like the Mona Lisa. Despite critics' absolute annihilation of the album's content, Gaga crusaded forth. Yet as she danced about in a seashell bra and sang the love of "Applause" from her fans, these fans started to drop off the map. What did Gaga ever do to deserve all this hate? After all, she just wanted to be all-encompassing, the most inclusive pop star ever. "I'm not one icon. I'm every icon," she said. "I'm an icon that is made out of all the colors on the palette at every time."

What does it all mean? The more you love yourself, the more everyone else will hate you. Take heed: it can work the other way around, too.

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