Life Story of a Record Junkie

Record Junkie Jake is a cartoon character who got his nickname from building up a large collection of vinyl records. He's a millennial who can't stand the latest hits or the way digital music sounds on his smartphone so he's exploring what the musical experience was like in the 60s/70s. His attraction to analog music is part of his search for clues why music sounded more imaginative & cultural before it was super corporatized in the 2000s.

Jake burned out on current pop music around the time the TV show American Idol started influencing mainstream music in the early 2000s. He knew it wasn't just himself who thought top 40 music had fallen apart. Since music was still his favorite pastime, Jake decided to do a research project on why music started to become super cookie-cutter, as if it had been bought out by a fast food chain. There were even reports in the media of soundalike songs and how a lot of hits were all based on the same four chords.

Over time Jake's research revealed that a lot of pop stars of the early 21st century, including American Idol, came from wealthy or influential backgrounds. Jordan Sparks, for example, was the daughter of an NFL star. Then he started researching other pop stars and found that several in the 2000s came from entertainment industry families or wealthy backgrounds.

He found out Taylor Swift is the daughter of a wealthy banker, Bruno Mars' dad played with Little Richard, Katy Perry was the niece of film producer Frank Perry and Kanye West is the son of an Atlanta newspaper photographer.

As Jake dug deeper into Wikipedia to explore the backgrounds of current pop stars, he kept finding stars who were already in some way connected to entertainment or wealth at a young age. Mark Ronson, who had one of the biggest hits of the 2010s with "Uptown Funk," came from one the UK's most successful real estate families.

Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine is the son of Fredric Levine, the head of the multi-million dollar Fredric retail clothing chain. Jake had thought Chance the Rapper was a completely independent artist from nowhere to fame, but it turned out the rapper's dad worked with Barack Obama in Chicago prior to becoming president.

Jake began to compile all his research into spreadsheets so that he could do deeper analysis. He decided to write a book called How Elites Control Music of the 21st Century as a resource for music fans. He concluded that big biz had lost touch with the common people and that there was plenty of room for an indie music revolution.

Created by Alex Cosper