Young iTunes Users Asking “What Is U2?”

Back in 2012 when Paul McCartney performed on the Grammys, youngsters took to Twitter to express their confusion.  Here’s a selection of actual tweets:

  • “Who tf is Paul McCartney?…who is he? hella old, too.”
  • “I don’t know who Paul McCartney is.”
  • “Wait, who is Paul McCartney?”
  • “Who is this Paul McCartney guy?
  • “To be honest, I have no idea who Sir Paul McCartney is.”
  • “Who the f**k is Paul McCartney?”
  • “Wait, who the f**k is this Paul McCartney dude?
  • “Who the hell is Paul McCartney #oldfart”
  • “Who the hell is Paul McCartney LMAO he is hella old!”
  • “I’m about to sound naive as f but who the hell is Paul McCartney? This songs sucks, btw.”

U2’s automatic delivery of Songs of Innocence to iTunes this week has prompted a similar outpouring.  I quote:

  • So am I the only one who phone got hack wtf is ah U2 and how tf did it get on my phone in my music
  • Wtf is U2 ? I never put this bullshit on my phone. Hell na who did this ?
  • Who the hell is U2?
  • Who and what is U2? And why is it under my Music
  • yea I was like wtf, who is U2 loool
  • If Apple wanted to give away free music they could’ve at least put Beyoncé. Like who is U2
  • who is this U2 why its in my itunes
  • Who is U2? Who tf downloaded this into my phone?!

(Via Consequence of Sound)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

10 thoughts on “Young iTunes Users Asking “What Is U2?”

  • September 12, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Well according to the itunes top 100 albums chart U2 has twelve albums in the top 100 right now. So who wants to know who U2 is?

  • September 12, 2014 at 10:12 am

    “If Apple wanted to give away free music they could’ve at least put Beyoncé. Like who is U2.” Please tell me I never, ever have to meet the person who wrote this.

  • September 12, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I know I’ll get flamed for this, but as someone who works with kids and teenagers (the children of Generation X) I can tell you point blank that U2 has no cultural relevance for most people under 25.

    They’re seen as a corporate brand. Something that used to be cool a long time ago, but has long since sold out and are desperately trying to appear relevant in a world that has passed them by.

    One kid asked me that if Bono is supposed to be such an influential activist, how come he buddies up with politicians and businessmen instead of speaking out against the rampant corruption everywhere?

    • September 18, 2014 at 2:35 am

      Man I am glad this generation see Bono for what he is I have been saying this for so long. All his posh houses, cars, designer clothes, and practically a billionaire… seriously there is a point where you made enough for yourself no matter how hard you work and he hit that point somewhere around $950 000 000 dollars ago. All his charity work is publicized just to further market his image. If he really cared about his fellow man he would pony up some of that cash as he has more money than most African governments combined.

      In all honesty I think you are reading too far into these tweets as I bet most of them are joking since these guys are irrelevant, like what the heck do you expect they peaked in the 80s (amongst youth) that was 3 decades ago they were barely relevant when I was in junior high and high school in the late 90s early 2000s U2 was no ones favourite band back then. Allen you are just old now! This new album is garbage anyway. Also we never really gave a crap about the Beatles either for the most part (always exceptions but for the most part what I am saying is true), and McCartney can’t sing worth a damn any more so no wonder these kids were like wtf!!!

  • September 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Instead of asking who are they, they were simply too stupid to look them up or find out why it was on their Itunes. This generation posts questions instead of having the brain power to find out stuff for themselves.

    • September 12, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Exactly. My introduction to this phenomenon was the “Who the fuck are the Stone Roses??” meme when they were announced as Coachella headliners. This doesn’t phase me at all.

      I don’t expect kids to know who they are per se, but I would expect them to do a cursory Google search before ranting.

      • September 18, 2014 at 2:40 am

        You were surprised by that? Come on this band was only hyped by indy lovers they had only 2 albums released that never cracked the top 10 in NA so of course the youth hear would of never heard of them! In fact I think that was the first time I heard of them and I was 27ish then.

  • September 12, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    It amazes me that these kids come tech ready and they can’t type “google” they would only have to type a letter and a number.


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