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Commentary: My car stereo is loud- I’m sorry

Brian Velez, LV Life Editor

Brian Velez, LV Life Editor

I listen to music loud on my headphones and listen to it even louder while driving past the University of La Verne campus with my windows down. I know it’s annoying. I’m sorry.

I routinely turn the car stereo volume up on my way to school and on my way home.

On any given morning I will drive to school and have the music so loud that if a fire truck was approaching, I wouldn’t be able to hear it. I know because it has happened before.

I play my hip-hop loud as if I am an athlete getting ready for the big game. In reality, I am only hyping myself up to sit in my morning class.

When I play my music at the end of the day it is to relax. Listening to songs about selling drugs, shooting guns and spending money in irresponsible ways are my stress reliever.

I enjoy songs filled with ignorant lyrics after a 12-hour day on campus. Music by rappers such as Waka Flocka Flame and Rick Ross suppress my worries about tests, 2,000-word papers and surprise quizzes.

I get in to my car, pick a song on my iPod, turn the music up, roll the driver side window down and drive.

I can only assume why I and people like myself do this. Maybe it is something primal, the type of thing cavemen did in their cavemen cars. OK, I know cavemen didn’t have cars but the action seems primal.

Forcing other people to listen to your music selection feels good, it’s satisfying, even if it’s only for 10 seconds.

In the same way that my dog urinates on new territory to claim it, I claim audible real-estate only for a short time. I know it’s obnoxious.

Even though I participate in this activity I still judge other people who do the same. I do not judge the person for playing the loud music but for their music selection.

When I see a person blasting a song I like, I grin and tip my imaginary cap at them. My attitude quickly changes when a car’s unpleasant melodies reach my snobbish ears. “Really? You’re playing that song?” is what I say, as if my actions and music selection are so much better.

I wish that songs by pianists Erik Satie or Frederic Chopin gave me a rush on par with “Pop That,” by rapper French Montana, but they don’t.

Every once in a while I see people on the sidewalk stare at me while I create a Doppler effect of hip-hop.

I know those people think I am as dumb as the songs coming from my car but I like to pretend that they think I am cool and admire my music selection.

People like my mother, father and professor of communications Mike Laponis have all suggested that I listen to music at a decent volume level. I am not ready to make that life changing decision yet.

I would like to think that one day I will mature and reach for Mozart or Bach to pretend I am in a hip-hop music video while driving. For now I will continue to raise the volume and be a musical judger hoping to one day mature, turn the volume to a decent level and play “Gymnopédie No. 1” by Erik Satie and feel the same satisfaction as I do from hip-hop music.

Brian Velez, a senior communications major, is LV Life editor of the Campus Times. He can be reached by email at

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