How To Be A Music Snob: The Art Of Being Pretentious


The term “music snob” is not a title people like to have. At least, they don’t admit that they like it. A true snob never admits that they are a snob. They say things like, “Oh, no, no, I’m not a music snob. I never judge other people for what they like.” But they do judge. They judge hard. If a music snob hears that you, for example, put a Lil Wayne song on your list of Best Songs Of The Year, they will immediately start looking at you differently. The expression on their face will read something like, “Really? I want to spit in your eyes.”

But there is value in being a music snob. Call them pretentious dickheads all you want, but through snobbish ways, some of these dickheads are the ones who actually influence the general public’s opinion. By acting like they are above everyone else, that is how they end up being perceived. It’s sad but true: to be a music snob is to be in a position of power. Interested in taking on that role? Here’s how to do it.

Only like something if you know at least 50% of other people won’t get it

It’s simple, really–if people think you “get” something that they don’t, you will immediately seem more knowledgeable than them. Anybody can like The Beatles, but enjoying the newest progressive art-rock/noise-pop quartet from Eastern Europe isn’t so easy. Of course, nobody really likes the shit, but if you say you do, and come up with some intelligent sounding but nonsensical reasoning, you’ll put yourself at the forefront of a new movement, and the lemmings will follow.

Except for some things clearly out of your lane, which you like ironically

It goes something like this:

“Oh yeah, I love that new progressive art-rock/noise-pop quartet. They’re really redefining the whole noise-pop movement. So brilliant. That new Gucci Mane/V-Nasty album is wonderful too. So honest.”

Huh? Well damn, this person must be incredibly well-rounded if they have the capacity to appreciate both of these things. What a trustworthy source, and how refreshing that they keep an open mind.

But never admit you like them ironically


Always choose a band’s “older work”

This is some Music Snob 101 shit. According to music snobs, a band’s earliest, most obscure work is their best, 95% of the time. If somebody says, “Did you hear (insert sell-out band name here)’s new album,” you answer, “Yeah, it sucked. I only like their early stuff.”


1. Washed up act links with new, credible producer.
2. Straightforward act goes left field, confusing all their old fans.
3. Death. (There’s no real “rule” for this, but the death of an artist is always a game-changer.)

What you can’t stand is just as (maybe more) important than what you like

To truly define yourself, you can’t just let it be known what you like. The whole point of being a snob is to allow yourself as many opportunities as possible to look down on other people and make them feel inferior for their unrefined taste. If they order the french fries, you get the truffled mashed potatoes. While you eat them, you talk about how much you hate french fries. Not only are they greasy and fattening, but their “eat me with your hands” accessibility is just so tacky.

We’ve seen some great examples of it this year.

Rock, rap, pop, blues, punk, jazz, R&B are all dead

You’ll have to keep this in mind if you really want to be a music snob. Punk rock was cool, but it’s done. It’s over. Unless you are “post-punk,” you offer no value to a snob, who will see any new punk band as inauthentic. Robert Johnson already sang the blues, the appeal of straightforward rap died with Big L, and as far as the snobs are concerned, rock and roll in 2012 will be as pointless and silly as the term post-dubstep is to the rest of us. But hey, if someone can even define what post-dubstep is, they must know what they’re talking about.

Align yourself with scenes

With each strange little subgenre comes a cult-like subculture. If you’re looking for an easy target, here it is. These hardcore scenesters are desperately looking for something to grab onto, and once they grab on, they hold very, very tightly. Maybe they were outcasts in middle-school and never got to experience the excitement of being in a clique. They want to “be a part of something,” and once they feel like they are, they are like dogs on leashes. Walk them into oncoming traffic, walk them into dancing flames, tie them to a pole and leave them there. Once you’ve got them, they’re yours.

Don’t fan out

It is of the utmost importance that you don’t show weakness by exposing any type of excitability. This means:

– No dancing at concerts
– No exclamation points, unless used in negative context (e.g. “Nice dance moves, loser!”)
– When a great new album/song drops, avoid Tweeting “OMG” or “Wow.” Leave that to the fans.
– Whenever someone tells you they love something, act slightly unimpressed by it
– You are allowed to wear music t-shirts, but only ones that advertise bands that are no longer together and/or relevant (Joy Division or Daniel Johnston are good choices).

Follow these simple rules and there’s no stopping you from becoming a music snob! Just work on mastering your “I want to spit in your eyes” look, drink lots of PBR, pick up a drug habit to numb your emotions a little, and you’ll be¬†scoffing at simpletons in no time.

Good luck, dickhead!

  • chimera

    “OMG! Did you hear the new Coldplay album?! Isn’t it their best one yet!? I <3 pop." (say that to a music snob and watch their brain hemorrhage. fun times.)

  • Drough

    Hilarious post… I’m around pretentious types everyday at work. In a lot of ways it’s entertaining to see how far they’ll go to preserve a carefully constructed level of irony. I hear they usually grow out of it and become overly abrasive parents who are considered uncool to their kids and own timeshares in Florida. How’s that for ironic… lol

  • SK

    smh blunt blowing >.> at least a different song off the album

    On topic of Lil Wayne though, Talib Kweli had a interesting talk about Wayne and hip hop:

  • Drough

    The music snob is DEFINITELY prevalent in hip-hop too. I was at a Christmas party last week and this dude with a Fredrick Douglas fro and a “No sleep till Brooklyn” hoodie spent hours debating how he interprets real hip-hop. He of course dismissed the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye, J. Cole and even Mos & Kweli but went to extremes to talk about The Big KRIT’s, Jay Electonica’s (pre-Roc Nation of course), Killer Mike’s and Aloe Blacc’s of the world. These douches may be worse than the quintessential “indie-rock hipster.” These types can be found on a message board of your choice getting overly rowdy over Childish Gambino reviews. I’m all about freely critiquing music but please chill with the “he was hot before he singed with so & so label” and other affectations. A lot of dudes should really fall back with going out of their way to be unorthodox.

  • Confusion

    Damn, thanks for sharing, that’s really interesting. Gonna have to post that. I still stand by “Blunt Blowin” though.

  • inlivingcolor

    good article con but who pissed you off so much?

  • Andre (PayUp)

    This entire thing is sprinkled with gems.

  • Confusion

    Haha honestly, the inspiration for this one didn’t come from outside sources. I really (mostly) only like Modest Mouse’s old stuff. I also own a Joy Division shirt. When “Whip Appeal” came out, it was my shit. When The Weeknd’s latest tape dropped, I made a conscious effort to pull back on fanning out.

    Uh oh. #exposed. Just jokes, of course.

    But true.

  • Krey

    Man this article is so outdated, real snobs know that irony is dead. Liking things ironically is just so “hip” right now, I mean look at Bronies for chrisake. Real snobs have hammered the nail into ironies coffin and only talk about music they truly love. Hating things other people like is still cool though.

    P.S. I thought the Venn Diagram could’ve stood in place of the entire article.

  • Confusion

    Krey your comment was stupid i hate it.

    And what are “Bronies”? Must be some weird internet thing. I don’t even really use the internet anymore.

    Venn Diagrams are only cool as supplements.

  • Hi

    Oiii, I think I really pissed Con off when I commented that Adele should’ve made the list instead of Weezy’s Blunt Blowin. Lol.

    Regardless, I can safely say that I’m not a music snob, though often I do try to sound like one if i’m ever in a position to police a so-called, loud-mouth “music snob” (they’re really not informed snobs, just people who look down on others because they think that they’re a cooler breed of people and know a little bit about Sufjan Stevens). A person should realize though that there is a fine line between music snob and just simply explaining why you like something (in an immediate sense and/or in musical details), which sometimes people mistake and jump the gun on, calling them snobs.

    I think music should be as unbiased as possible, though we can’t deny that there is an inherent coolness to it established by the time we’re old enough and even that shouldn’t stop us (though this explains why we are all a little snobby in our own way and we don’t realize it). Music shouldn’t be about scenes either. Sure, the scenes, the hype, the hate will influence you to a degree, but you JUST know when you like a song or a band. I do keep in mind though that if a certain band is getting lots of attention from critics, I keep an open mind and try to listen to it, because critics are honestly and usually on to something.

    And for the record, I like just about every Lil Wayne song except Blunt Blowin (Flat beat, bro) :p. And not for the irony, but because I like Young Money. I’d rather listen to Wasted or A Milli or 6 Foot 7 or I’m On One, or Waka Flocka though by the merits of this year, nothing of Lil Wayne’s mind-boggling standards came through….Someone Like You is just so honest and powerful, man; Adele has yet to release a Blunt Blowin lol.

    (sorry for the essay)

  • PancakeMcKennz

    But if liking obscure things becomes mainstream, then will the obscure become the mainstream thus making it pop? Then what?

    If I see tune-yards on MTV, I will blame (and bludgeon) hipsters. Such knock-offs of beatniks. lol

  • Zach

    Interesting funny post Confusion, always entertaining me with your words and taste in music!

    The line I like the most is No dancing at concerts but you should add, “No dancing at concerts and folding their arms or looking disinterested” as I see this all the time at music shows I attend.

    Also would people that obsess about Lil B or Odd Future be considered music snob’s if they dismiss all other hip-hop?

  • Confusion

    I wouldn’t call them music snobs. Mostly because they broke the “don’t fan out” rule.

  • notwhite

    Interesting you mark jazz as one of your “dead” genres. As rap and techno start to die out, they’ve started to look for some middling ground to reinvent themselves. I believe this is being done through progressive jazz in the context of their respective genres. For example, nowhere is the mergence of forefront-rap and this progressive jazz more apparent than the advent of BBNG this year. In the future, I would expect to see not more traditional jazz, but instead more musical interpretations and improvisations of these fading genres.


  • Nah_Rez

    it’s weird seeing outkast spelled outcast

  • larl

    i differ with you on lil wayne, he’s a classic case of “old stuff=better stuff”

    oh fuck.


    @Confusion Blunt blowin is my shit. I agree with mass majority of lil waynes “Old Stuff” =05-10 complex made a top 25 verses from him this year and his best shit was mostly features and unreleased material. Most people who don’t like wayne or just music snobs lol. I agree with Talib saying “If you don’t like lil wayne then don’t listen to em but lil wayne studies hip hop and thats my shit” Rap is the only genre where you have people openly bashing other Rappers. You don’t go to rock videos on youtube and seee comments on MegaDeath videos of some dumb ass saying “Who’s Metallica?”


    and the 1 another thing is Lil wayne is on Parole and can’t use drugs for another 2 years so I doubt we’ll be hearing anything near as good as songs like “Demolition part 1″ and “Demolition part 2″

  • i just wanna hear good music

    Confusion, I’ll be the first one to call you out. I’m sick of these stupid ass “comedy” articles. can we not get back to the music and back to the way p&p has always been. just post new music and occasional old gems…. and maybe big industry news. stop with these stupid ass posts. you’re wasting my day and not making anyone smarter. you might be thinking now that you’ve accomplished something because i read your whole article. but that just shows how much of an asshole you are. misuse of power. stop wasting people’s time.. nobody cares about your thoughts.. except for the 25 or so people that always comment on these posts, you know at least 10 times as many people visit this site daily. I just wanna hear good music.
    pillsandskills hoootiehootiehotcakes

  • i just wanna hear good music


  • Confusion

    I didn’t know anyone hated it so much. I’ve always done these stupid “comedy” articles. Once I wrote a whole post about my goldfish. Lots of times I just rambled about loving music and not knowing what to do with my life. I’m not sure why you think this is a new thing, maybe just because it’s featured up top in that big section. You probably hate that whole section. Just avoid it, maybe? I’m not trying to abuse any power, and I’m not the type who loves haters on some “oh yeah, well you care enough to comment, so I win!” That’s never been my thing. It sucks to hear that you think I’m an asshole and that you hate my articles. I don’t know. Sorry, I guess. I will still continue to focus on music. It’s the biggest part of what we do here and always will be.

    You sound like a bigger asshole than me, though.

  • iamtom

    Is it just a coincidence that @i just wanna hear good music has a phallic shaped picture?

    Either way, that’s funny as shit.

    P,S. I love the comedy con, keep it up.

  • katee

    Hahaha I love you Con!

  • Confusion

    Love you too, katee.

  • Klyph

    You wanna know the ultimate way to be a music snob? Don’t actually like music, just talk like you do! It’s just like being an audiophile. They don’t like music either, they like audio equipment.

  • Toby

    this article is historic. this is completely relevant, there are so many music snobs out there and its good to see that the music blogged about on p&p is just about releasing good new music and isnt run by a music snob himself. and i like jokes

  • xx

    too be honest this article reinforces the reasons why i never visit this site anymore.

    uninformed music opinions.


  • CK

    This article was mostly railing against Pitchfork.

    I loved it immensely.

  • trillbau

    I hate the people who hate this post more than they hate this post to begin with. Those people probably don’t even like french fries.

  • Confusion

    Wait wait, maybe those people are just hating this blog ironically? Is that a thing? Is that happening in 2012? Oh fuck, so confused.

    @xx, can you advise? ‘Cause it’s like, you say you don’t visit the site anymore, but you commented, so you’re obviously still visiting. I don’t know. Is that meta? Sometimes people talk about being “meta” but I never got it. Meta-irony, perhaps?

    Can you recommend any good blogs/record shops/chatrooms with legit music lovers that are actually informed?? Trying to be informed in 2012, for sure.

  • Jules

    Nice. I now know why I sometimes hate pitchfork and can finally read bad rated reviews of music that I thought deserved better without feeling like someone who is just completely out of the loop. And A$AP Rocky

  • Jules


  • A.J. Crew

    This is Top 3 for best P&P posts.

  • Birdman17

    Fuck you “I just wanna hear good music” even the internet knows you are a dick by the looks of your picture, if you don’t like the site don’t visit its that easy. Con keep doin your thing!

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  • Jute

    Snobbery is easy…try faking old wealth.

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