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A bit of thought provoking from BeNeVoLeNcE (who you might recognise; his albums got featured on WIB after he dropped em on our forums) on what is generally a pretty personal and touchy subject, and one which is really easy to become arrogant about:

Alright, a lot of listeners are attracted to the idea of artists having a sort of “musical cast system,” in a sense… This usually starts by a listener (or fan) choosing their favorite artists, groups (bands), and songs or even judging different artists and songs critically.
Take for example, a lot of people would say that Lil’ Wayne is the best rapper alive. And the other half would say that Notorious B.I.G. was better. Not that I agree or disagree with either, but what I don’t believe in is the comparison of artists to the point of where we say one is “better” than the other.
I believe that an artist can never be “bad” at what he does, better than another or worse, but can only express himself more or less than another.
I’m curious to know what you guys think about this opinion. n_n

i’m pretty sure you could still classify soulja boy and waka flocka flame as “bad”

Yeah, but there are some others that would say that they like those two, you know?
It’s all about perception.
I, myself, would say that they aren’t expressing themselves completely.
Because I bet if they did, they wouldn’t sound so “bad”

So music is a matter of taste; people like different things in all aspects of life. Moreover, you cannot quantify (arguably) if one song, artist or album is better than another, with regards to musical merit anyway. Can you then ever categorically say that one artist is better than another? If you can, is what seperates the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’ their expression of self, raw talent or do you need a combination of them both? Personally, ‘never sell my soul is my philosophy‘, music will always be about expression of self even if it’s not got much quality, and that’s what seperates ‘good’ music from ‘bad’.  But for you, it might be different. Let’s hear what you have to say.

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