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Bill Maher Calls For Less “Unbridled Lust” For Material Things In Pop Music

It’s Grammy Week, with the actual awards on Sunday, and Bill Maher had a message for the music industry in his “New Rules” editorial – maybe it’s time now to teach kids you’re not only as good as how much stuff you have.

Maher took issue with the materialistic content of much of today’s music, which shifted from an emphasis on imagining no possessions to making acquisition the sole focus of existence.

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“When you turn 12, you’re done with your parents and start being raised by pop stars,” he said. “Kids rule the charts,” and lyrics from those formative years tend to get burned into your brain.

Maher allowed that the rise of hip-hop ignited the trend, and how the tendency to brag about things you were denied is a human one. “But everyone does it now,” he lamented, noting the country song “Rolex on a Redneck” and the Florida-Georgia Line ode to an expensive truck.

The host admitted that it was likely his lament would be dismissed with an, “Ok, Boomer.” But a drumbeat that the only happiness is in getting things distorts reality, he said, and Maher recalled that the music of his youth contained a message that what made its singers happy was available to him, too.

“Vomiting an inventory of your possessions doesn’t make you a poet,” he said, and urged, “Get a second idea for a song.” Spotify, Maher said, has data that shows the No. 1 search on its service is for songs about sadness. So, perhaps that’s an avenue to explore, he said. “It’s got a good beat, you can dance to it, and then you want to slit your throat.”

Earlier, Maher brought on Michael Render (aka Killer Mike), one-half of the group Run the Jewels, whose self-titled solo album Michael was recently released across digital platforms. After some chit-chat about the album and strip clubs, Maher tried to get Render to endorse a presidential candidate.

Render refused to bite, asking his audience to listen to the policies being pushed, and saying he would endorse someone who met his list of policy challenges

The panel portion of the show had Gov. Chris Sununu, Republican Governor of New Hampshire, and Jessica Tarlov, co-host of The Five on Fox News and Head of Research for Bustle.

The meandering conversation focused on the 2024 election, immigration, and inflation problems. Sununu scored points on how you can’t go to McDonald’s with a family of four for less than $35, an issue he felt would be a core concern for voters.

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