The music industry isn’t just about music. In some cases, the music industry is barely about music at all (but there are people who would passionately disagree about which direction that argument could go regarding genres and overall quality). Culture sits squarely in the middle of so many different aspects of musical acts that they’re often inseparable.

So the next time you’re listening to you favorite tunes, consider the relationships between hunting in the country, bombs and politics, beats in the club, the woes of the road, and fashion as a means to an end. Those themes are constantly threaded through your favorite artists.

Hunting In the Country

In Southern culture and country music mainstays, you’re always going to have guns in the mix. It’s a gigantic part of the identity of the society and the music that came from it, and even if the necessity of shooting isn’t quite the same, in urban or rural environments, the plot points and pieces of hunt-centric culture are always going to immediately pull up those nostalgic feelings in listeners.

Bombs and Politics

And with a lot of punk music, especially at specific points in U.S. and British history, you can bet there will be references to bombs and politics. Punk music is big on revolutionary themes, because there’s that simmering social anger underneath that raw sound that get recorded and played back at ear-splitting volumes to people that want to smash their heads and bodies around. There’s a big ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ ethos when it comes to political tunes as well, so the culture bends and flexes with the times.

Beats in the Club

And then switching over to rap and hip hop, a billion different songs are going to talk about the beats in the club. Drunk early 20’s folks go crazy over big beats and basslines, and club culture musicians take that to the bank. Watch any hip-hop tutorial and you’ll immediately see how it’s catered to that crowd.

Talking About the Tour, the Bus, and the Road

One of the biggest woe is me stories that comes from music is the hardships of the road. The troubles of the tour bus. The struggles with sleep. Oh yeah, and drugs, alcohol, and women as well. That particular story line goes across all genres, and is probably the most unrelatable as a normal listener. How many of us are really touring musicians, after all?

Fashion As a Means To an End

And any musical showcase that ends up focusing on fashion can get a little weird too. The Lady Gaga phenomenon took the Madonna thing to a whole new level, and there will be more of that as time makes people go more extreme as well.