The Peanut Gallery

The Debate Rages On: Is “Djent” a Genre?


The Peanut Gallery BannerYesterday’s post featuring a satirical video on the genesis of the djent sub-genre re-ignited a debate that’s been raging in Internet forums since time immemorial (aka 2007): is “djent” a real genre, or is it a stupid, made-up word that means nothing?

You’d think that by now most people would concede that yes, djent is a genre, whether you’re a fan of the music or not. There’s the fact that it’s been around for almost a decade now and that’s it’s spawned dozens of bands with a worldwide profile. There’s also this: if people are referring to it is a genre, then it is one. There is no grand arbiter of whether something qualifies as a genre or not; usage determines etymology, not vice versa.

Besides which: who the fuck cares???

And yet people are still angry about this! MS commenter Cliff sparked the debate with a well-worn “kids these days” history lesson about Meshuggah, before RazorB chimed in with a response that I think totally nails it:

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 4.14.04 PMRight? Sure, the word “djent” is stupid. So is “Doo Wop.” So are most band names the first time you hear them, or new neighborhood names that developers and real estate agents invent to help sell property. But you become used to them, their use spreads, and eventually they enter the lexicon. No one or no people collectively get to decide whether something qualifies as a genre, band name or neighborhood — it just happens!

Djent is a genre, like it or not. You know it when you hear it.



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