Who else is tired of hearing “Blurred Lines” and “We Can’t Stop”? So many songs that are currently played on the radio receive criticism for being overplayed and seeming so different from the sounds of a previous generation known as the late 1990s and early 2000s. So, let’s start by looking at the two most iconic pop figures of each decade.

In this past era of music, pop star Britney Spears emerged onto the scene by dressing up as a school girl in short skirts. Recently, Miley Cyrus has displayed a new type of pop star which is characterized by rebellion, controversy and riding around on wrecking balls while wearing a minimal amount of clothes.

Why the drastic change in music and appearance? The answer is simple: People get bored of the same thing over the years and musicians understand how to erase that boredom. Ten or so years ago, the music which Britney Spears put across seemed so revolutionary and new to listeners. They had never heard anything as awe-inspiring as “… Baby One More Time” or “Oops … I Did It Again.” The music that Spears put out during this generation of music established the norm for pop music for the next decade.

What Miley Cyrus is doing is simply raising the bar. While Spears might have seemed innovative in her prime, Cyrus is doing everything in her power to be twice as controversial and overwhelming. While dressing in short schoolgirl skirts was provocative in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Cyrus has shown us that singing about “twerking” and “molly” while wearing the oddest and smallest of outfits can be twice as effective in addressing the media and attracting listeners.

As upsetting as this may be to parents of young girls and fans of older pop music, she has successfully set a new norm for the genre and established herself as a new generational pop idol.

Some of the most notable music features of the late 1990s and early 2000s were the boy bands: *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees and the list goes on. What happened to groups like these? They are still available for your listening pleasure, but usually hail from other countries.

Bands such as One Direction and The Wanted provide similar music taste to the aforementioned boy bands and add a foreign flavor to it. Considering their young age, it will be interesting to see if these new boy bands crash and burn because of internal conflicts like the boy bands of the late 1990s and early 2000s did.

One more genre of music which has seen a dramatic change over the past decade is hip-hop. What happened to the Jay-Z who used to rap about the “Hard Knock Life” he had in the projects and 50 Cent who would rap about “How to Rob” and the “Many Men” he lost to street violence? The hip-hop music of this previous generation was characterized by living in the projects and the struggles of growing up in such an environment.

Jay-Z hails from the Marcy House Projects in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was a drug dealer turned rapper. 50 Cent is from Queens, N.Y., and was also a drug dealer whose mother overdosed. The poverty-stricken environments where these two were raised and the encounters they faced are reflected in their music and categorized hip-hop during the late 1990s and early 2000s. In modern hip-hop music, this has radically changed.

Many rappers from that era have earned enough money to see success in life and had the ability to leave the projects, preferring to make music about that rather than gang violence and poverty. On Jay-Z’s newest album, “Magna Carta … Holy Grail,” he raps about “Picasso Baby” and wearing “Tom Ford” designer clothing. 50 Cent barely even raps anymore because he is now an entrepreneur and actor. Similar rap music is seen with newer artists such as Big Sean and 2 Chainz.

Raised in Detroit, Mich., and having attended good schools, Big Sean is often seen wearing designer clothes and reflects this in songs of his such as “Guap” and “Mula,” rapping about the money he now makes.

2 Chainz, a former scholarship basketball player at Alabama State University who posted a 4.0 GPA, also likes to dress and make songs in a way that reflects the money he makes. So, this mentality of rapping about money has overcome the previous mentality of rapping about one’s hardships being raised around poverty or violence.

Between pop, boy bands and hip-hop, music has undergone a drastic change in the previous decade. Pop is headlined by rebellion and controversy, boy bands by foreign flavor and hip-hop by money. As much as you may or may not like this, it is the constant for the current generation and subject to change in later years.

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