2024 Looking to be one of the worst years for music

James Oatis 


Staff Writer


At the end of 2023, it was a refreshing feeling to look back on the year and realized how much quality music was released in both underground and mainstream circles. Two great albums from hip-hop legend Danny Brown, a quality Lana Del Rey album, the ecstatic follow-up to “ASTROWORD,” “UTOPIA” by Travis Scott, and the Uzi double album Pink Tape having a collection of great songs from back to front. The year was also abundant for indie artists such as Swans “The Beggar,” the return of Slowdive, and my favorite Sufjan record, “Javelin,” since the 2016 release of “Carrie and Lowell.” With these records, I waited for what 2024 had to bring. 

At the end of January however, my hope for the music scene this year showed some warning signs. Many bad releases populated the month with some notable standouts The flimsy bars and weak diss track of Megan Thee Stallion, “Big Foot” by Nicki Minaj, and yet another bigoted release by “rapper” Tom Macdonald. This time with political commentator Ben Shapiro, the song “Facts” features the two rapping on a generic beat and spouting some of the most brain-dead political messages out in music. Other bad releases from rappers like 6ix9ine and Blueface were also released, making it a sour month for music. 

February was marked by fewer overall bad releases, but way more disappointing and depressing. Two projects in 21 Savage’s “american dream,” and French Montana’s “Mac and Cheese 5,” brought one of the music industries trends into full force. While both albums on their own were just mediocre, the artistic integrity is ripped to shreds with the release of the same album at different tempos to appeal to the TikTok trend of speeding up songs, and to increase streams on their projects.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the best albums of the 2000’s “The College Dropout,” West released his worst album to date in “VULTURES.” Having a bad taste from his antisemitic rants and the release of the “VULTURES” single, the full album was such a disappointing moment. He was not ahead of the curve. He was not innovating. The music itself was bad. During the release of “DONDA,” West was with The Beatles in my 15-year-old opinion; the greatest musician ever. It’s heartbreaking to see my former idol not only be a terrible person but also a terrible musician. 

Throughout most of March, the music scene was relatively quiet until a masterclass of garbage was dropped. The collaborative EP by Machine Gun Kelly and Trippie Redd entitled “genre:sadboy” was some of the most hilariously outdated music released. The record sounded like the most generic Lil Peep and Juice WRLD-type beats with the two going back and forth whining about how they hate themselves. Overall, it’s a laughable effort by both, that’s made even funnier when you see MGK is 34 years old and Trippie is 24, with them talking like immature high schoolers. 

As April closes, however, we saw more releases than March, and if the rest of the year is like this month, we are doomed. On April 5th, one of the worst rappers Lil Mabu dropped “YOUNG GEINUS.” A white 18-year-old who has never faced adversity or hardship, raps about street life with drill beats. The masterpiece of the song, OPPY DAY however, rivals’ songs like YBN Nahmir’s Soul Train for the coveted title of one of the worst songs of the 21st century, maybe ever, recorded. On the same day, rapper J. Cole released Might Delete Later, a complete embarrassment for the once-respected rapper. The diss track against industry legend Kendrick Lamar, 7 Minute Drill, was so bad, Cole apologized for it and promptly took it off streaming services.  

These were mostly overshadowed however by the biggest release of the year just came out a few days ago. The Tortured Poets Society and The Tortured Poets Society: The Anthology, by mega star Taylor Swift continues to show how people lose their artistic edge when they become billionaires. The dollar store Lana Del Rey sound is accompanied by some of the worst lyrics like “Touch me while your bros play Grand Theft Auto” and “We would pick a decade We wished we could live in instead of this I’d say the 1830s but without all the racists” being hilariously bad lyrics. The album is the embodiment of a 4/10 with its bloated length, with nothing god awful, but nothing great.   

While it has only been a quarter of the year, a part of me is tempted to give up on music so far. Unless something major were to be announced soon, 2024 could be one of the weakest years for music in recent memory.