On Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” record-breaking chart success and the propensity of people to discredit the song as not being of good quality:
I am reading social media posts by old people (30yo plus) who assume that consumers care about music quality.
Guess what? They don’t.
We have entire genres of music born out of shitty quality (i.e. mumble rap) and entire genres going extinct as a result of apathy to music quality (i.e. soul).
The youth of today have their own standards for consumption. What matters to youth today is the social aspect of music — that is, how music creates a gateway to a sense of community. This has been going on for some time now, but the rise of social music apps and the growth of the first generation born with cell phones in their hands has exacerbated things.
Music quality need not be measurably “good” against songs we’ve historically deemed good and worthy of chart-topping recognition. For consumption in a streaming and social music era, music needs only to strike a chord with audiences that have the time and incentive to play it on repeat.
Charts, after all, are measurements of popularity and not quality. The latter is too subjective to measure anyway.