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1->''"LA told me, 'You'll be a pop star.''²->''All you have to change is everything you are.'''²->''Tired of being compared to damn Music/BritneySpears''²->''She's so pretty, that just ain't me."''²-->-- Music/{{Pink}}, "Don't Let Me Get Me"²²Rock Is Authentic, Pop is Shallow is the tendency to place the two music genres against each other in the narrative in some way or form. ²²On the Rock side, you have the RagtagBunchOfMisfits. They march to the beat of their own drum, they are the outcasts, they write their own music and play their own instruments. On the {{Pop}} side, you have the antagonists, singers that are clean cut, [[BishieSparkle sparkly]], have had years of vocal training, songs written by anonymous professional songwriters, played by anonymous session musicians and [[ContractualPurity their image is tightly controlled]]. To add variety to the story, [[MeleeATrois a third party]] would be added to the mix in the case of HipHop, which could either go with the raw gangsta approach, or with the shallow glam approach.²²As the two genres contrast with each other, it's an easy way for writers to show contrast between two characters/groups and a way to drive conflict. Common storytelling around this usually includes a BattleOfTheBands, with the Rock side being the scrappy underdogs and the Pop side being their PrivilegedRival. Another common theme is inner conflict on whether or not be a SellOut and betray artistic vision in order to make money and produce easily accessible music. Rock is typically portrayed as the choosing artistic vision and Pop commercial success, thus the title of this trope. ²²This trope has been around since TheFifties, when the conservative white populace shunned out rock as edgy and degrading to society, and started to take off as rock and pop diverged in TheSixties. In the early years of UsefulNotes/TheBritishInvasion, Music/TheRollingStones and Music/TheBeatles were cast in such a rivalry, before the Fab Four began to radically experiment with their music. The older variant of this trope would be the battle between ClassicalMusic & traditional pop and {{Jazz}}, where classicists viewed their music as bombastic and passionate if one finds the right sheets and jazz as lowbrow entertainment at best and is so-called "[[TheNewRockAndRoll devil's music]]" at worst, while jazz aficionados find jazz as an open season for improvisation and viewed traditional pop and classical music as [[ClassicalMusicIsBoring stuffy]]. This lingered on until the advent of RockAndRoll, when most of the population had just fully accepted jazz.²²Even older than that is the contest within ClassicalMusic in the 19th century between the fields of RomanticismVersusEnlightenment with Team Romantic favoring the more passionate styles while Team Enlightenment favored airy, sentimental sounds.²²The mentality peaked in TheNineties after TeenPop made a comeback in the middle of the decade and after {{Grunge}}'s appeal started to die off. In short, this is known as [[ Rockism]], the belief that rock music is more authentic/artistic than other popular music. It wasn't until the TurnOfTheMillennium that Rockism would receive its own backlash in the form of Poptimism, the idea of treating pop music and pop stars as serious and deserving of the same respect as other forms of music. However, this eventually resulted in poptimism succumbing to similar flaws as rockism, with critics of poptimism describing it as [[QualityByPopularVote placing unnecessary emphasis on commercial success over artistic value]] and--[[NotSoDifferent like rockism]]--being [[PopCultureIsolation unfairly generalizing and ignorant of genres other than pop]]. Critics of poptimism also note that pop has far more rigid qualifications than rock (namely the inclusion of a "verse-chorus" structure), which results in cases where artists like Music/MilesDavis could technically count as rock, to the point of being inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, but can never conceivably be regarded as pop.²²As rock music went out of mainstream in TheNewTens, HipHop and other genres such as indie, electronic music, and even foreign music such as Latin and K-pop, tried to fill in the gap on the side of authenticity against pop music with varying results. Some even thought that hip-hop replaced rock music as a competitor to pop, and a similar form of "hip-hoptimism" started to emerge in public discourse as well, again eventually falling victim to the same flaws as its rock and pop counterparts (not helped by the ways in which Web 2.0 have affected the nature of online discussion).²²Rock Versus Pop is the most prominent way this trope is presented, but the core of the trope is pitting music seen as more organic and from-the-artistic-heart against manufactured by-the-numbers music made to entertain the biggest audience possible. ²²[[Administrivia/TropesAreFlexible This can also apply to other music genres]] in the battle between authenticity and artifice. It can be a clash between Rock and {{Disco}} much like in TheSeventies (with Rock winning and Disco [[DiscoSucks losing and being a pariah]] for [[TheEighties a good part of a decade]]), HipHop versus RhythmAndBlues, PunkRock versus GlamMetal, PunkRock versus ProgressiveRock, PunkRock versus NewWaveMusic, PunkRock versus [[RunningGag any other non-punk music genre]], PostPunk versus NewWaveMusic, GangstaRap versus GlamRap, ThrashMetal versus HairMetal, AlternativeRock versus HairMetal, Indie versus Pop music, or the clash between "real" instruments versus ElectronicMusic.²²A BoyBand, a GirlGroup or IdolSinger is usually involved on the Pop side. MusicIsPolitics is heavily involved in this trope as well. The "rock" side will typically be DarkerAndEdgier, while pop music is often LighterAndSofter.²²Also see TrueArtIsAngsty, ItsPopularNowItSucks, SlobsVersusSnobs and TechnicianVersusPerformer. Contrast RottenRockAndRoll.²----²²!!Examples²²[[foldercontrol]]²²[[folder:Anime and Manga]]²* ''Anime/CaroleAndTuesday'': The show presents a variation. One of the central themes is the conflict between music that is composed by artificial intelligence (all but omnipresent in the show's setting) and homegrown, authentic, self-composed music (that has almost been wiped out). Musicians are also torn between signing with high-powered labels (a faster route to fame and success, but at the loss of their creative freedom), and making it on their own or with lesser-known teams. Although the musicians in the show all run the gamut of genres, but the main characters Carole and Tuesday have a stripped-down, raw, pop/R&B sound, while their "rival" Angela is a pop star who has one of the top AI composers and full industry backing behind her. ²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Fan Works]]²* Exaggerated in ''Fanfic/MyImmortal''. The entire conflict boils down to a feud between heavy-metal-loving "goffs" and pop-music-loving "prepz", with the heroes firmly on the goffik side. It runs the moral binary in this universe, with every evil character being a prep, and therefore, a fan of pop music. ²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Film -- Animation]]²* ''WesternAnimation/{{Sing}}'': Buster tries to make punk rocker Ash into a pop princess, giving her the peppy "Call Me, Maybe" to sing. Ash resents this, so for the final performance she sings her own song instead, the personal, hard rocking "Set It All Free", and brings down the house.²* ZigZagged by ''WesternAnimation/TrollsWorldTour''; Poppy and Branch find out there's six different Troll tribes, each specializing in a music genre, with their tribe being ''Pop''. The ''Rock'' tribe is the villainous tribe out to take over the other tribes and make their rock reign supreme by converting everyone into rock zombies who mindlessly enjoy rock music. However, the backstory also reveals that the Pop tribe tried to pull this previously by trying to convert all the other genres to pop. ²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Film -- Live Action]]²* ''Film/AStarIsBorn2018'' has country rock star Jackson Maine and his new protege/girlfriend Ally. The duo makes waves in the industry with their classic guitar strumming and raw vocals, embodied in AwardBaitSong "Shallow". When Ally goes solo, her music is more trashy-fun manufactured pop, which is embodied in her song "Why Did You Do That" (about cute boys' butts). Following [[spoiler:Jackson's death, Ally makes a return to "authenticity" when she performs at his funeral]]. However, while Jackson Maine certainly seems to ''believe'' that rock is authentic and pop is shallow, Ally seems satisfied with her pop career, and the movie doesn't make a definitive statement about which one is better.²* Creator/DisneyChannel TV Movie ''Film/CampRock 2: The Final Jam'' pits the titular Camp Rock, a summer music camp specializing with rock music versus Camp Star, a camp that churns out pop stars that sing and dance. [[spoiler: Camp Star ends up winning]].²* ''Film/HighSchoolMusical'': Experienced theater kids Sharpay and Ryan perform "What I've Been Looking For" in their style, an upbeat pop performance. When Darbus and Kelsi hear the same song performed as a [[SofterAndSlowerCover raw, acoustic duet]] by Troy and Gabriella, they are awed. Troy and Gabriella eventually get roles in the school musical over "industry vets" Sharpay and Ryan. ²* The entire ''Film/JosieAndThePussycats'' film was a TakeThat towards the music industry and manufactured pop music (and it some cases, ''itself''); the struggling Pussycats band gets the record deal of the lifetime but they have their music laden with subliminal messages and commercials. Ironic considering that the ''WesternAnimation/JosieAndThePussycats'' version everyone is familiar with is bubblegum pop through and through.²* Played with in ''Film/LaLaLand'' where ''jazz'' is authentic, pop is shallow; Sebastian is a traditional {{jazz}} musician with dreams of starting a jazz bar, but as money becomes tight, his friend Keith invites him to be in his jazz/pop/RAndB fusion band. It's obvious that Sebastian hates the type of music and he's giving up on his dreams, and it's exemplified in a musical sequence where Keith's band plays a sold-out show complete with dancers. But Keith isn't portrayed antagonistically, in fact he actually makes a great point about Sebastian self-sabotaging himself and how traditional jazz cannot be popular again until it evolves to be more like what people are listening to today.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Live Action Television]]²* Played with on ''Series/BigTimeRush''. When Lucy calls their band's pop music "cute", the boys take offense, and try to prove to her that they can rock as hard as she can. It takes stopping traffic with an impromptu concert for her to admit they ''do'' rock.²* The ''Series/BlackMirror'' episode "[[Recap/BlackMirrorRachelJackAndAshleyToo Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too]]" depicts a teenpop star being appallingly exploited by her family/management, and when she breaks away from them she starts singing indie rock.²* ''Series/DreamHigh2'': Yoo-jin wants to be a rock star, and thinks that K-pop stars are manufactured and talentless industry hacks who are in it for the fame. ²* Johnny Atkins from ''Series/TheGoldbergs'' is a big fan of Music/{{Rush}} and considers them superior to the mass-produced pop music the others listen to.²* ''Series/InstantStar'': ²** The earnest punk rocker Jude ends up winning the Instant Star competition (an ''Series/AmericanIdol''-type show) against Eden, a typical pop princess complete with big hair and an affinity for the color pink. Eden then becomes a rival to Jude in the first season.²** Later on after Eden gets PutOnABus, Jude gets a proper rival in the form of Karma, another pop singer who leans into the ContractualPurity aspect of TeenIdol-dom. ²* ''Series/{{Nashville}}'' -- rivals Rayna and Juliette are both country musicians, but Juliette (who is trying to unseat Rayna as the 'queen of country') is younger and more country-pop, and she's looked down on for relying on auto-tune.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Music]]²* "[[ Internet Killed the Video Star]]" by The Limousines has the band lamenting on kids being tired of rock music and are dancing to soulless ElectronicDanceMusic.²* Music/MandyMoore famously trashed her first two TeenPop albums and even offered to refund people who bought them, and since then went on to Alternative music. She seems to have softened on this, as she celebrated the 20th anniversary of "Candy" in 2019 warmly.²* Music/{{Pink}} has mostly disavowed her first album, ''Can't Take Me Home'', released during the Teen Pop boom in the year 2000. The album had a Pop/R&B sound, but Pink claimed that it was a "compromise" between her and the label. The second album ''Missundaztood'' is completely different, leaning more in a Pop/Rock direction with a few jabs at her old sound and persona, especially on the song ''Don't Let Me Get Me''. It's telling that on tours, she only performs the three singles from the album and nothing else.²* Music/PetShopBoys' "Can You Forgive Her?":²-->She made you some kind of laughing stock²-->Because you dance to disco and you don't like rock²* "Pop Culture" by the rock band Music/IconForHire critiques American pop music and pop culture as a whole.²* This attitude is constantly used by Music/{{Waterparks}} for songs like "Watch What Happens Next" and "Little Violence". Awsten Knight is a huge pop music fan and has been open about [[ appreciating it on a technical level]]. He hasn't been nearly as kind to modern rock's tendency to avoid experimentation in the way that pop and hip-hop do in favor of "authenticity". This goes far back to where [[ ''Pop Is Not A Dirty Word'']] was the working title in 2012 for what would eventually become the ''Black Light'' EP.²* The music video to "Everybody's Fool" by Music/{{Evanescence}} emphasizes that the song is about a StepfordSmiler pop star.²* Music/TalkingHeads were cast in this rivalry against disco by fans and the music press due to the line in their song, "Life During Wartime", "This ain't no disco," being taken as an anti-disco song at [[DiscoSucks the height of the backlash against the genre]]. The band members were actually fans of disco and RAndB music, which would become obvious on albums like ''Music/RemainInLight'' and ''Music/SpeakingInTongues''.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Video Games]]²* ''VideoGame/BrutalLegend'': The world is based on HeavyMetal visual art and has various factions of different aspects of Rock and Metal. The only appearance of Pop is a disappointing BaitAndSwitch boy band in the prologue that quickly dies.²* ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon}}'': The first European Splatfest for ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon}}'' was "Rock vs Pop". Callie's "Team Rock" won. When the [[VideoGame/Splatoon2 sequel]] reused the same Splatfest for Japan, "Team Rock" (this time run by Pearl) won again.²** In practice, however, this is downplayed; both duos hosting the Splatfests, the Squid Sisters and Off the Hook, have Pop/EDM influence. The Squid Sisters are Bubblegum Pop {{Idol Singer}}s, and while Off the Hook is more experimental in their EDM sound, they were brought together by the Squid Sisters' music and regard the girls highly. Both groups' careers have been portrayed as positive and successful, with the Squid Sisters only losing relevance by the time of ''2'' simply because more bands have risen up the charts in the interim.²** Not that this line of thought hasn't shown up in-universe. According to bonus material ''Haikara Walker'', former Squid Squad member Ikkan wasn't fond of the pop dominance in the Inkopolis Plaza scene.²* ''VideoGame/NoStraightRoads'' plays with this trope quite a bit, and ultimately subverts it in the end. Protagonists Mayday and Zuke are an indie rock duo fighting to free their city from the reign of the tyrannical, EDM-loving record label NSR. However, NSR's CEO rightfully points out during her boss battle that the band's plan could put thousands of the company's employees out of work, and their revolution mainly consisted of crashing the performances of some legitimately good artists and beating them up when all they wanted to do was play for their fans. This leads to Mayday realizing she was ultimately no better than the company she was fighting against -- ''especially'' when [[spoiler:the disgruntled rock fan who'd been assisting the band decides to drop a satellite on the city just to spite NSR. In the end, the Aesop is a rejection of the trope, saying that there is no superior way to go about one's craft, and attempting to subjugate one form of art in favor of another does more harm than good.]]²[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Western Animation]]²* In the ''WesternAnimation/TheLoudHouse'' episode 'Really Loud Music', rocker Luna wants to send her music to a contest but is afraid nobody would like her type of music and and tries to think of a type of music everyone would love. She then decides to create a generic pop music that does make her win the contest but isn't truly her.²* ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'': The episodes "Guitar Villain" and "Silencer" have pitted rock acts (the eccentric, flamboyant rock star Jagged Stone in the former and the GarageBand Kitty Section in the latter) against the obnoxious, manufactured pop/EDM musician XY. However, the show doesn't portray pop music as ''bad'' -- the main issues with XY are his manufactured (and [[PlagiarismInFiction stolen]]) sound, {{jerkass}} attitude, and the fact that he only got so far because of {{nepotism}}. When unrelated sweet pop star Clara Nightingale rolled into Paris in season 2, she was portrayed positively.²* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/{{Pelswick}}'', in which Pelswick trashes [[{{Pun}} N'Talented]], a boy band his crush Julie is into. Julie rightfully calls Pelswick out on him [[ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch judging the music without listening to it]] and challenges him to actually hear their album. In a twist - he ''likes'' it. It is later revealed that the boy band is musically backed by an old metal band Megadirt that Pelswick likes. ²* ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}'' toys around with this. The pop stars are the heroes and the {{New Wave|Music}} "[[MusicGenreDissonance rock]]" stars are the villainous [[TheRival rivals]]. However, Jem and the Holograms use a carefully constructed image based upon holograms, with their lead singer using an alias and holographic imagery to camouflage her true self. In contrast, The Misfits are predominantly self-made (with some help from Pizzazz's millionaire father) and down-to-earth. ²* PerkyGoth Sam from ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' is not fond of the punkish Ember [=McClain=] and her pop music. Sam considers it to be shallow and commercial.²[[/folder]]


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