Every few weeks, I'll be talking to somebody at a bingo night or an elderly home or an IHOP, and the conversation will inevitably turn toward Katie Got Bandz. The exchange is usually as follows:
VERY EXTREMELY OLD PERSON: So, what kind of music do you listen to?
ME: Oh, nothing good, really. I hate music, for the most part. Except for the queen of the Chicago drill scene, Katie Got Bandz.
VERY EXTREMELY OLD PERSON: (Yelling) I CAN'T HEAR YOU, YOUNG LADY. CAN YOU SPEAK UP, PLEASE?
ME: (Annoyed) I said, I like Katie Got Bandz.
VERY EXTREMELY OLD PERSON: Um, why do you like Plate Full of Hands?
ME: I said, KATIE GOT BANDZ.
VERY EXTREMELY OLD PERSON: Oh, yes! I know who that is! But I don't care because I am old.
ME: (Wheeling away on my fresh pair of Heelys™) Eat my shorts, old person!
This very extremely old person, usually an octogenarian because what do they know, will then list several reasons why he or she dislikes Katie Got Bandz, usually employing four out of seven of the following arguments:
- She’s young.
- She sucks.
- She sucks because she's young.
- She's young because she sucks.
- Her best mixtape is called Drillary Clinton and that's a real dig to an important person in American politics, who could be instrumental in achieving a more progressive future in gender equality in our country.
- “Y U Mad” sucks.
- They can't hear the music because they're old and hearing starts to significantly deteriorate after the age of 70, making even the loudest of declarations sound like the smallest of whispers.
In my six months as a Katie Got Bandz fan, I have had this conversation approximately three times. While most people are within a certain demographic—don't understand and plan to hedonize young people and their taste, spend too much time thinking about their idols, don't consider the opinions of people below a certain age because they suffer from octogenerian forgetful syndrome and aggression/spite toward youths—they also mostly live in elderly homes. I met one 89-year-old man who was convinced I was trying to steal his penny collection. I met another practically invalided grandmother who thought that I was her own daughter. “Katie?” she said. “Is that you? Have you brought me crans?” Crans, I learned later, was an octogenerian's slang term for “cranberries.” I still can't place what it is about these old people that makes them so goddamn incoherent and unlikable.
But here’s the thing about Katie’s fan base: It may be huge, and it may be rabidly loyal, but it is young. And since both of her tapes released in the past year, it means that she just missed the age bracket born prior to 2000. If your birth certificate has a 9 anywhere on it, you're really not going to enjoy The Bandz. And what's more, you're probably instead just going to drool all over yourself and create hare-brained age divisions that don't actually need to be there. Because why allow anyone to just enjoy something because they enjoy it?