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8 Obvious Music Sellouts of Today's Generation

When it's more about the money and less about the music.

Throughout musical history, musicians have been known to cause controversy and create a buzz about important opinions they hold regarding society and the way of life that humans partake in without remorse. They dressed in leather and fishnets, sang about revivals and revoking freedoms, pushed the boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable and set about on a vision to change the world. And as the universe continues to evolve and music opinions begins to take a back seat to the ever-so-impressionable greenback, we see artists who set out to make a world statement become a version of themselves that, while catapulting them to fame and fortune, rejects their initial purpose and vision of musical freedom. Can they be saved? Some, perhaps. But most have gone so far down the rabbit hole that they've become the norm in terms of how society now views the person they are, and it is always the most obvious that seem to slip right past our periphery. So, in honor of our favorites from today's era, here are my top eight musical sellouts of our generation.

8. Taylor Swift

When one thinks of the word 'sellout,' it is commonly known that this little blonde pop-singer is usually the first image that pops into our minds. Taylor began her music career in 2006 with hit singles like "Teardrops on my Guitar," "Should've Said No," and "Our Song," touting a sweetheart image, a country tongue and a guitar covered in glitter from her cowboy boots and the leftover straw stuffed under her pink cowboy hat. But what started out almost innocent quickly became Taytay's cash cow; by 2013, Taylor was a rising star in the pop genre, grossing $64 million with tracks that were no longer considered country. The Guardian even describes Taylor as someone who "cranks melodies out with the pitiless efficiency of a Scandinavian pop factory." Perhaps someone should find out if the dictionary still has a picture of her next to the definition of 'sellout?'

7. Maroon 5

Most of Maroon 5's most loyal fans have been the folks who were around in the early 2000s and avidly lived through the birth of songs like "Sunday Morning" and "This Love." Fans were attached to their bluesy, crooner-style that pulled the band into the spotlight in the first place. But those same fans have been having a hard time keeping up with the musical minstrels and their re-focus from music to their front man's personal life and growing popularity. In order to keep up with Adam Levine's bankable good looks and sugary smile, Maroon 5 was forced to push their sound into alternate genres that attracted a different fan base than they were used to. Collaborations with artists like Christina Aguilera, 50 Cent and Gym Class Heroes put the focus more on Adam and less on Maroon 5 as a band, a mistake that eventually isolated their sound and categorized them as 'pop musicians' once and for all.

6. Linkin Park

Linkin Park started out as the ultimate, All-American rock band of the early 2000s with hit albums such as 'Hybrid Theory' and 'Meteora' that pushed them into the spotlight. Fans embraced their loud, rambunctious sound that united rebels under the same umbrella, until 2010 when their album, 'A Thousand Suns' introduced a more electronic sound. Fans were confused, but trusted them for a while. Yet to this day, Linkin Parks' latest album, 'One More Light' continues on their electronic-sounding journey, slowly incorporating elements of pop into their music. Many hardcore fans believe it to be a hint that their direction may be changing yet again to appeal to a wider audience, especially with the recent death of their frontman, Chester Bennington.

5. Black Eyed Peas

Admittedly, this one hits home a little bit for me. The classic BEP was created in 1992 and was short one member in Fergie, but did release a number of hardcore hip hop albums during their time together. Even so, the boys of BEP were finding it difficult to successfully circulate their music despite the success of one-hit-wonder track "Where Is The Love." This popularity surge seems to be what eventually killed off the classic rap style that the Peas were initially known for as they moved to bring on Fergie, as well as shift their musical direction into the dance-party-style vibe that they are better known for today. And as much as original fans may still enjoy their newer work, it can occasionally comes off as frustrating for classic fans who may still be hoping for a sweet underground track to resurface again.

4. Green Day

The classic American rebels who graced the music scene with their political lyrics and loud sound, Green Day was the epitome of rebellion. They were known for causing ruckus and revitalizing the punk rock era in albums like 'Dookie' and songs like "Geek Stink Breath" and "Stuck With Me." (Even the names of these albums and songs say it all!) But due to a decline in commercial success in the early 2000s, the boys of Green Day were pushed to collaborate with artists such as Iggy Pop, as well as introduced to over-produced studios who picked up songs like "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and took their dirty punk-rock sound into a cleaner arena. This evidently turned off long-time fans and proved even further that they were going in a different direction when a Broadway musical was named after their greatest hit, "American Idiot.While their music today continues to be controversial in politics and in life, Green Day has certainly spun the wheel father to the left than most people were expecting.

3. Snoop Dogg

Well surprise, surprise. We've put Snoop a bit further up the list because it can be harder to see where the King of the Kush has gone wrong. Known for his tough beginnings, life of weed and pimp game, Snoop was one of the biggest names in hip hop to successfully play the freestyle rap game. He is quoted having free-styled the track "Shiznit," while maintaining his persona and reputation as a smooth, classic rapper to this day. But fans were confused with where he was headed when collaborations with the likes of David Guetta, Big Time Rush and Katy Perry began to formulate and come to light. Was Snoop just getting older, perhaps? It is rare nowadays to see the Dogg on a freestyle rap, but with the release of his newest album in May of 2017, it may stand to reason that perhaps the Dogg really never left the house after all. We might be able to even consider this one a wrong turn, if anything.

2. Metallica

Cited as one of the best and most popular heavy metal bands of the 80s, Metallica was the all-powerful and all-encompassing Gods of Gnarly in their creation of albums like 'Master of Puppets' and their self-titled album, 'Metallica.' Fans were in love with their ability to showcase a raw, rambunctious attitude and many fans were ecstatic when the band was finally recognized for a Grammy in 1989 for their album ...'And Justice For All.' But in the coming years after that, fans began to notice that Metallica's sound was becoming more radio-friendly and the guitars and lyrics they were associated with were getting softer and less rebellious than most were used to. And with the success of these changes came an image change, and eventually a bigger fan base. Finally, if it wasn't enough to prove that Metallica was trying to move towards a more money-hungry direction, the Napster fiasco of the 90s eventually put that lingering question to rest in many a Metallica fans' minds.

1. The Beatles

Don't recognize the above image? That's because the matching haircuts and trim-and-proper suit jackets we are used to seeing when we think of the Beatles originally began as such: leather jackets, who smoked a lot and swore on stage, eating chicken in between songs while playing at underground German titty bars. But in 1961, when they were discovered by Brian Epstein, the boys in leather had to make a choice: to bring on a new manager and change their entire image, or continue to play in the dirty club scene they were used to playing in. From then on, the boys of The Beatles went from ripped jeans to clean cut trousers, and from messy, tousled, rock star hair to matching haircuts. Even nailing condoms to walls and setting them on fire, a regular defining act in their shows, had to go. These changes did eventually impact their lyrics, although their fan base changed even more positively than that. At the end of the day, it was a tough choice between making it big, or continuing to eat chicken on stage and perhaps there is an argument here about the Beatles making the right choice. But they were eventually forced to make a decision to save one life over another, and their chicken eating, leather wearing, burning-condom throwing habits unfortunately snagged the end of the short stick.

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