Popularity Does Not Equate Greatness: Sometimes Popular Is Just Popular

Billboard Hot 100Courtesy of Billboard

We’ve all seen it in mass media before. A song is #1 on the charts or a film is #1 at the box office, but the question is does that automatically grant them a status of greatness. I contest that no, it does not. It just simply means they are currently popular. Nothing more, nothing less. The problem that comes with this is that society is duped into thinking the two mean the same. James Cameron’s “Avatar” was #1 in the box office in 2009. Does that make it a great film? I think it’d be a struggle to find people that even remember seeing it. It was groundbreaking in 3D, and that is what drew people to the theaters in droves. The story didn’t capture attention beyond that though.

Vanilla Ice was a #1 selling “rapper” in 1990. Does that make him great? I’d have to strongly disagree if somebody ever wanted to combine his name with that word. In this day and age, he’s an afterthought. Mostly thought of as a joke. Cannon fodder for how not to be when it comes to making music. Back in the day though his albums were selling like hot cakes though. Why is that? They weren’t any good. They didn’t add any significance to the musical landscape. If anything, his mere existence in pop culture of the time tarnished the burgeoning Hip Hop culture. Those on the outside thought he was the best Hip Hop had to offer, which COULD NOT have been further from the truth.

I say all this to say to artists emerging today should just keep being themselves and creating art that they want to create. Stop chasing the almighty dollar or popularity poll. Let your wonderful creations speak for you. Don’t allow other’s opinions dictate the greatness of your creations. If you think what you’ve gifted this world is great, then so be it. Keep making your art, marching to the beat of your own drum, and everything else will fall into place. You be you.


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