Type of Work

Research Paper

Publication Date

Winter 2-21-2021


In the past two years, the “microgenre” hyperpop has garnered a cult internet following as well as the attention of journalists and skeptics who seek to contextualize the genre in a variety of ways. Hyperpop is an offshoot of pop; it is best understood as an exaggeration of mainstream pop tropes. But, beyond just defining what hyperpop is through song analysis and genre theory, this paper seeks to center hyperpop in the study of how genre exists in contemporary culture. Specifically, I draw on recent research to argue that music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music are more than what they might appear, that is, expansive music databases. Instead, these streaming services wield a curatorial power which allows them to construct genre and create taste through somewhat nonapparent mechanisms (interfaces, algorithmic results, aesthetic authority, etc.). Wielding this curatorial power, streaming services codify and create genres like hyperpop. And subsequently, they become the arbiters of cultural taste through the manipulation of genres.

Hamilton Areas of Study


Hamilton Sponsoring Organization

Levitt Public Affairs Center

Hamilton Scholarship Series

Levitt Winter Research Fellowship

Hamilton Faculty Advisor

Lydia Hammessley

Included in

Music Commons