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Message to Kids: Rush Isn’t Cool

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging with a special message for Spin’s teen- and tween-aged readers. 

Listen, we get it: you’re late for school, your Snapchat’s ringing off the hook, you’re not sure whether Becky in science class likes you likes you or she’s just really enthusiastic about plate tectonics. As a 21st-century kid, you’re busy as all get out, and you’re being bombarded by confusing messages all the time. That’s why we wanted to take a minute to talk about something really important, something we hope you’ll keep in mind as you continue your travels down this crazy road we call life.

It’s pretty simple, and easy to remember, too: Rush isn’t cool. 

This may come as a surprise, especially to those of you who stayed up late enough to watch the Grammys last night. (Thanks, mom and dad!) When Travis Scott—heck of a cool cat, nobody’s arguing with that—took the stage to perform a medley of songs from his dopesauce Astroworld album, he was wearing a vintage t-shirt for a band that smart, impressionable, and super hip youngsters like yourselves would be better off avoiding altogether. And this is where the confusing part comes in: Cool rappers have been wearing shirts for cool rock bands for a while now, and you might think based on Scott’s performance that you should add Rush to your “let’s get lit rock and roll style 2019″ Spotify playlist right away, or at least get a shirt of your own.

But you’d be wrong. Now, Travis Scott is a grown man, capable of making his own decisions about abusing his own mind, spirit, and reputation as a tastemaker. If he wants to air-bass along to the bridge of “La Villa Strangiato” in the privacy of his own basement, he’s welcome to do that. But on Music’s Biggest Night, it was downright irresponsible of him to use his platform in this way: promoting the idea that listening to Rush is somehow stylish, a form of rebellion that will earn you the respect of your peers. The shirts may look similar at first glance, but this is not a safe alternative to Nirvana and the Rolling Stones.

Whatever you do, don’t watch this video:

Kids your age just aren’t ready for 13/8 time signatures, racks full of roto toms, or the sound of Geddy Lee’s voice. You’ve got nothing to gain from a six-part suite called “Fountain of Lamneth.” “Cygnus X-1, Book I: The Voyage” isn’t going to get Becky’s attention, and neither is “Cygnus X-1, Book II: Hemispheres.” Parents, know the warning signs. If your child seems to display a newfound fascination with the works of Mark Twain, make sure it’s their English homework they’re talking about, and not something much more troubling. You may not be too late to intervene.

And kids, if you find yourself bopping along to 2112 with a group of shifty so-called “friends” out in the baseball dugout behind the school, it’s OK. You’re not a bad person, you’ve just gotten yourself into a bad situation. Just go home, pull up YouTube, and type “King Crimson” into the search bar. You’ll find a band that provides a similar “high,” but with much less dangerous side effects. They may remind you of Rush in some respects, but with one crucial difference: King Crimson is extremely cool—anyone who doubts that can just ask a guy you may have heard of named Kanye West. In fact, Travis Scott might be well served to follow the same advice. An Adrian Belew guitar solo would sound totally gnarly on Astroworld 2.