I love these music threads because they remind me just how out of touch I am with popular music and trends. While some of the names in this thead are familiar (I've heard of Kanye, Beyonce, Jay Z), I couldn't name a single song by anyone mentioned on this thread with the exception of James Brown and Stevie Wonder. Most of the names are new to me: Beck? Fruciante?
I am mentioning this mostly to point out that even in this world of constant media exposure, hundreds of TV channels, unlimited access to music on the internet -- many people have absolutely no connection to various aspects of the social culture of the day. Not saying it's a good or bad thing, but just saying that we still can make some choices about what we expose ourselves to and what we connect to.
Many of my contemporaries are more connected to current music than I am, but I really love (for some reason) that I can still be disconnected if I want to. Sometimes it irritates me that I even know who Kim Kardashian, Honey Boo-Boo and Snookie are -- I wish I didn't. But it does make me a little glad that I still haven't a clue about Kanye West -- I wouldn't know who he was if he was standing next to me. On the other hand, even though I don't know any of her music, for some reason I am able to pick Beyonce out of a crowd.