“Baby, seasons change but people don’t.”

Fall Out Boy

Popular music of the age really only has two perspectives: the seamless and polished works of the upper class and the relatively rough and gritty opuses of the under classes. Both groups are more alike than they would ever notice, neither of them strangers to the ideas of romance, heartbreak, partying, sex, revolution, or social unrest. They even share interlocking genres and musical styles, though with obvious difference in application. Maybe they would notice if they weren’t participants in the game as old as the first record labels: genre rivalry. The most obvious is Pop versus everything else and the fight is deeper and more complicated the further in you get with any genre, but it is essentially musical elitism at its worst in any direction you go. It is prevalent at every level of music fandom, each spending the time that it doesn’t use on itself to thumb their noses at their perceived enemy. It is the year 2050, and the music scene’s internal attitude is no different than it was in 2010.

But it has at least grown in the time. The biggest change has been in format: sensie recordings fusing a music soundtrack with recorded experiences by band members or sensie stars have replaced the music video, killing it as surely as video killed the radio star. Concerts and performances are as likely to be “virtual events”, online, as they are “live”.

Jayne xion

The new commercial darling is B-Pop: A cross-genre mix of Indian Bollywood and Japanese Pop (J-Pop), splotched with some gangnam in places. The current top artist of the genre is Jayne Xion, who sits firmly on the top of the Billboard 200 with her latest sensie album, Dancing Suns. Her closest competitor is B-pop/punk act Maraudio, selling an estimated 20,000 albums less than Xion with their sophomore release, Sucker for Suckers. This on its own has led to catfights between the fandoms, and some deaths. Variations on the genre include B-Rap (Inphamous) B-Rock (Kawaii Kali!) Bip-Hop (NoNoNo).

Other genres that have only turned up in recent years include Chrome Metal and Chromecore; both are viciously-charged dance metal genres that incorporate dub step and death metal elements, with Chromecore adding a hardcore-punk overtone. It has performers in almost all areas, but is more widely accepted and enjoyed in Combat Zones or areas of excessive alcohol or amphetamine abuse. Chrome-moshes are dreaded by most, as they have been proven to be fatal should someone fall over in the pit. The biggest Chrome Metal band for the time being are CircuitGrin, well known for their inspiring trio of early albums: Slip, Greater of Two Evils, and Countermand, but the band seem to have suffered a commercial backlash when they switched to a more Industrial Punk sound with their fourth album, Corporate Combine Harvest. Others include Blackened Chrome (Pummeled Saint), Chrome-Thrash (Terrafex), Prog-Chrome (Serration), and even Power-Chrome (Orc-Horde).

Chrome core

The punk scene flourishes in the age of 2050, but for every one genuine band of “freedom fighters” there is at least one more faking it for a camera. The punk scene still has the same level of focus on social injustice and political hypocrisy as it always has, now with even more fervor as corporate control of the governments has gone from conspiratorial hearsay to being blatantly obvious, but a lot of it gets lost in the scene’s pose. Punk now has so many genre fusions that it is almost expected of musicians of all stripes to at least throw a bit of ‘punk’ flair into their act, style, or persona, further blurring the lines of what it means to be punk into almost-total ambiguity. Notable bands include the Pop-punk three piece Maraudio, political punk-rap group R-Money, goth-core group Tranzillvania(Popular among Glitterati attempting to pander to the under classes), and Anarchist-punk quintet March on Manhattan, who are in a bitter feud with Electro-punk duo Manhattan Red on grounds that the newer band is ripping off their name, going so far as March on Manhattan drummer Blake Rose getting into a fist fight with Manhattan Red lead singer Nick Trevino at their first(and last) venue together in Night City.

Rap has undergone a small transformation and a massive drop in popularity. It seems that when B-Pop hit the scene, along with Rap’s own artistic stagnation, Rap took a hard fall much like how the Metal genre fell from the spotlight when Grunge surfaced in the 1990’s. Rap is definitely not a dead genre, but Glam-Rap is, and it’s only dedicated fans are permanently stereotyped as moronic drug peddlers with bad taste in jewelry, and dressed with the pre-Collapse’s prison system fashion sense to boot. Rapper cameos are now few and far between, and it seems that, with the exception of a handful of recent innovators (such as J-John and SherLock X), Rap’s mainstream breakthroughs come only from the B-pop cross genres of B-Rap and Bip-Hop.

There is no new mass-market Country genre: Country died in the years after Texas’ secession and the transformation of America’s mid-West into “The Badlands” – attempts to revive it have proven fruitless. The genre finally crossed the thin border into Folk music territory, and you would have to go to a Nomad caravan to hear any live country, though it definitely has places on the internet where it is still worshiped like 2010 never passed by.

Finally, although all the artists in every popular genre record sensies to go with their music, the Transambient genre tries to go even deeper into the fusion of the two – recording the experiences of the artists as they experience their own music, which is in turn heavily sampled from other musical sensies, then adding CGI elements to give a very “trippy“ feel to the entire thing. Transambient sensies are designed to take the user out of themselves entirely, substituting a seamless fantasy musical creation for their own experiences. The biggest stars in this new but growing genre are D-Mapp – a collective with different members working on different “tracks” in various permutations – and Wintermute, a musician and sensie recording artist who first filters all of her sensies through an A.I. she programmed herself before committing them to data chip.


Edgerunners Langy GreaterSeraph