Compact Discs

What Are "All the Kids" Listening to These Days?

By Stuart Boggess | published Sunday, September 15, 2013 |
Thursday Review Contributing Writer

[Editor’s note: Rather than bore you with an explanation of how different generations approach popular music, we enlisted the help of an actual teenager, Stuart Boggess, 15 year old son of Thursday Review Contributing Editor Katharine Boggess. Stuart describes his Katharine as “an exhausted mother of two teenaged boys,” and he describes his younger brother Martin as “a freak" for his love of old school blues, which he obviously inherited from his mother.  Stuart identifies himself as a student, Boy Scout, budding entrepreneur, hipster, journalist and popular guy who “likes popular music like he is supposed to.”]

What follows is an actual conversation between me, Stuart Boggess, and my mom about the hits and what's hot today:

Mom: What are kids these days listening to?

Teen: Well there are different artists and four or five different hits. Like, there’s a bunch.

Mom: This year? What about Flo Rida? He had a hit last year I think.

Teen: Yeah he had a hit. I mean, Flo Rida is good, really. But this year in my opinion my favorite of the several hits is’s and Justin Bieber’s song. was the one who was with the Black Eyed Peas.

Mom: He’s been around awhile, though. Is he really the “it” guy right now?

Teen: Well, him and some others, yes.

Mom: He performed with Miley Cyrus (I read that online). What do you think about Miley’s VMA performance?

Teen: Oh that. Everybody’s seen it already.

Mom: Yes, but what did you think about it?

Teen: Horrible. It was unclassy. And vulgar. And pretty stupid on her behalf.

Mom: Are you saying that because I’m your mom?

Teen: Do you want me to say it in kidspeak?

Mom: (Laughs) No.

Teen: No, no, that’s literally how everyone thinks of it, including us. It was pretty bad.

Mom: Back to…why is he the hot music guy this year?

Teen: The thing is that there’s not one person for this summer. Several artists have hits. This summer it’s not all about and Justin Bieber. Jason Derulo, Psy, Macklemore, Taylor Swift, P!nk, and some others have hits. Another favorite hit this summer is “Can’t Hold Us,” by Macklemore. Those are basically the people that have had hits this summer.

Mom: What do people think about Justin Bieber?

Teen: Typically everybody hates him. If you’re anybody except a 12-year-old girl you probably hate him.

Mom: Why is he still selling?

Teen: Because there’s a lot of 12-year-old girls in the world (laughs). I don’t know.

Mom: What's the hit?

Teen: Yeah their song, and Justin Bieber, is "#that power." Literally that’s what it is, with a hashtag in the title.

Mom: What is your prediction—what’s going to be hot next year?

Teen: It’s hard to say. Everyone is always coming out with new things. I have no idea what’s going to come out. I can give you this—here’s my list of hit pop songs for right now:

(Hands mom a piece of paper)

“#that power” by featuring Justin Bieber

“Cant Hold Us” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

“The Other Side” by Jason Derulo

“Gentleman” by Psy

“Just Give Me A Reason” by P!nk

“Just a Friend” by Austin Mahone featuring Flo Rida