What really happened to punk? People of a certain era ask themselves “What happened to punk music?” as rap, t-rap and R&B got so big. To find an answer to this, we must go back to the past and to the pioneering movements. To the years where punk wasn’t just a music genre but a life style: to 1970s.
Working class who were seen as a lower class and those who were affected by the economic crisis in the 70s have rebelled and the rebellion has turned into a contumacy. What no one knew was that this uprising would turn into a culture in the future. Punk criticized politics and economy first. It criticized stereotypes, sometimes money and its supporter capitalizm. The pioneers of this movement realized that the best way to be heard was through music. They demolished stereotypes about music. Contrary to music known for its harmony they made disharmonious music. They screamed without being afraid be off-key. People found their music horrible but their goal was to show that life wasn’t just made of beauty.
Weird but true! Another group that got their fair share of punk music’s critical language were the hippies of the 68 generation. Punks defined Hippies as people whose brains were clouded by drugs. Due to this opinion, we can clearly see where punk music stands against drugs and alcohol. If we consider the fact that a lot of punk idols died because of overdose and alcohol, punk creates an irony within itself.
DIY (Do It Yourself)
Punk is everywhere! DIY has established a good relationship with punk music because punk is against capitalizm. Instead of spending money on brand clothes, punk stood out with mismatched clothes, ripped jeans, different colored, gelled hair and most importantly piercings. Because why not? All these attribute to standing up against and going outside of the public’s beauty stereotypes. Today most of them are mainstream.
1974 in England. Punk Music’s most important representatives were that era’s most famous groups: Sex Pistols, Ramones and The Clash. They stirred the United Kingdom, America, Australia and the whole world. Their music became Punk’s music and their ideology became Punk’s ideology. They were loved by huge masses and were hated by even bigger ones. There were many protests against Punk but those who too k part fell into irony in themselves. Wasn’t Punk a protest, an uprising itself?
Back to our question, what happened to Punk? Billie Joe Armstrong has a saying: “Punk is dead. I killed it.” Well is Punk really dead? Punk music, which lived its golden ages in 70s, was replaced by heavy metal in 80s because there were not as many punk groups as there were before.
The last best Punk group was Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool’s once legendary Green Day that keeps producing amazing hit songs. With their first three albums they revived punk but after their album Dookie, Punk’s death was officially accepted by Punk enthusiasts. Billie Joe had killed Punk. No no no don’t you misunderstand. Billie Joe only killed Punk, the “pure” punk. In the following years Green Day added more melodies to the chaotic punk becoming the best Punk-Rock group of all times.
Yes, Punk now had sub categories. The most popular one is without a question the one that has stayed in people’s minds Pop-Punk. The most popular representatives of Pop-Punk, which lived out its golden age until the end of 2000s, are Blink-182 and Sum 41.
I can’t imagine skipping Avril Lavigne because the she put a lot of effort into Pop-Punk that she is called Queen of Pop-Punk. Who doesn’t know Sk8ter Boi? She’s still an essential part of the dance floor.
Starting from mid 2000s, with the rise of R&B and electronic music, Pop-Punk enthusiasts started prefering famous names of the music world like Usher, Drake and Black Eyed Peas. Meanwhile Punk enthusiasts kept appealing to alternatives. My Chemical Romance was Emo-Punk’s primary representative, while some preferred Paramore, one of the most popular representatives of Pop-Punk.
Although Punk music’s flame has died, its core is still burning. Punk music that has ruled an entire era is not dead but “evolved” and it’s a click away from you.
This is the first article of Okyanus for 9 Magazine. She has a passion for music and art. Okyanus and her guitar: two peas in a pod…
Translated by Zeynep Metin, Nil Üzer
Edited by Nil Üzer