Two Cents Presents: the second installment of Iman Fears’ 21 Under 21
Taylor Momsen, 18:
18-year-old Taylor Momsen has been in the public eye since 2007, when the then-pre-teen starred as Jenny Humphrey on the preppy cult-classic Gossip Girl. Five years later, she’s finally come into her own as the lead singer of her own—sometimes painfully serious, especially coming from an actress-turned-singer, but undeniably good—band, The Pretty Reckless.
That said, Momsen is incredibly controversial to teenagers and parents alike. The lyrics to her 90s-esque punk rock jams and ballads are innocent enough, if not predictably angst-y (Hey there father/I don’t wanna bother you but I’ve got a sin to confess/I’m just sixteen if you know what I mean/ Do you mind if I take off my dress). But her on-stage persona is racy, to say the least. The lyrics above are for her song “Goin Down”, and for a while in early 2011, Momsen performed the song by literally pretending to “go down” on girls she pulled from the audience.
Her dress consists mostly of Courtney-Love-kinderwhore boots and bustiers without much else. Momsen has also performed more than once in a shirt that said, “I Fuck for Satan”.
I’m all for expressing yourself in whatever way you see fit, especially at 18 (I turn 18 later this year and I plan to celebrate by finding and wearing one of those “I Fuck for Satan” shirts) however, I can’t help thinking that all of the show and controversy around Momsen distracts from her actual music, which is soulful and wonderful. Case in point: I’ve spent the majority of this article talking about Momsen’s dress and appearance instead of her music.
Kitty Pryde, 19:
A lot of people really, really hate Kitty Pryde. This is most likely because she’s a teenaged white girl who raps about smoking weed behind suburban middle schools and buying Justin Bieber Christmas ornaments.
Go to Kitty’s YouTube page and you’ll see tons of comments about how much she sucks. Which is ridiculous—I mean, Kitty’s a rapper. Rap is protest music, one of the few genres in music expressly devoted to talking about everyday experiences in a way that’s meant to hold a mirror up to society and all of that. And…well, Kitty Pryde does that wonderfully.
Yes, her “OK Cupid” video has nearly half a million views. And her song, “Justin Bieber” walks the line between satire and delicious, earnest fangirldom.
But my favorite song by Kitty Pryde is “Thanks Kathryn Obvious”, where Kitty raps:
No one likes my music/they just kinda want to fuck me.
Well said, Kitty. Well. Said.
Coco Gordon Moore, 18:
Coco Gordon Moore (the teenaged daughter of Sonic Youth founder Thurston Moore) is basically punk rock royalty. Her band, Big Nils recently released their debut EP, Sibling.
It’s not so much that her music is good—I mean, it is, if you’re into garage punk—as it is that her band was featured in Pitchfork Online’s “New Tracks” section, which is quite an accomplishment for a band that, as far as I know, hasn’t had any national tours or anything like that. Was her music featured by virtue of her own work, or because of her parents’ Sonic Youth status? Take a listen to her music and you be the judge.