Authenticity in Pop Music - Stylus

This article by Gavin Mueller (from the defunct music blog Stylus) construes the rhetoric of authenticity in pop music to be a "joust," or "game." Mueller breaks down two competing strategies or systems of thinking about this: first, the "rockist" attitude (which is kind of old-school and somewhat conservative in its essentialist, performance-based value-set, skeptical of technological fads and a lot of what makes pop "pop"); second is, perhaps, more market-driven, but no less concerned with essence — exemplified by 50 Cent (whose authenticity as a gangster was cemented when he was shot in the face).

Mueller draws no ultimate conclusion — or rather, the point is that there is no conclusion to our Baudrillardian catch-22; continually compelled to recreate the real, the really real, in order to escape awareness of the fact that everything in our world is constructed and artificial; authenticity prima facie impossible where all form is predetermined by our image of it.