(This post was one of my responses in a thread about a metal band not being “metal enough”)
It’s in our nature to classify and sort things, for example using shared traits. The issue arises when the “popular kids” start using a label, and broadcasting it to the world, and then everyone wants to be like them… Labels as internal reference is one thing, labels as method of passing along relational info to another person is another, labels as inclusionary and exclusionary devices to enable better sales or popularity? Not good. Music (in addition to other works, be they art, science, spiritual, whatever) should stand on it’s own merits; not the merits attributed to it by persons who think they know what should be “cool”.