Imho, "radio-friendly" means, to a certain extent, lame.
In my generation we bought Cheech & Chong or George Carlin or Richard Pryor comedy albums just because
we'd never hear that shit on public radio. Same with any- and everything by Frank Zappa and similar artists. I think it's awesome that there are still brave new artists putting out the truth in ways that won't EVER be radio-friendly. Serj's music will hopefully NEVER be for the brain-dead TV & "pop"-addicted Zombie masses.
I just hope there are enough fans with money to still make it worth their while. It's far too easy to steal music these days & I'm not judging because I've done it too. Even back in the '70's & '80's if you couldn't afford to buy music you could find someone who had a stereo system where you could play those vinyl albums and tape them to cassette. Poverty always finds a way.
Being Radio Friendly usually does mean lamest, but Zappa had 'Yellow Snow' and that was kind of his only song playable on radio
it is also one of his best, no matter how radio friendly and popular.
I think that the difference between pirating now and then is the social side of things. Instead of trading tapes and having to sit around a friends house to listen to an album and then bringing a counter offer to the table it is just a lot more anti social, and that is what I kind of miss. I'm JUST old enough to have experienced this cassette swapping. And I still have some old cassettes with crap like Linkin Park on and Korn because a friend I had was into them at the time. We were about 8 at the time. But I remember fondly sitting up at night on a few occasions hosting our own direct to cassette radio show and just swapping his CD and mine over and playing each other a track we liked at the time. I felt like sharing that for some reason.
ANYWAY - To relate this to Serj somehow. I think that he has a good strong set of fans that are exclusively his, not strictly System fans. I'm not a Serj fan... not anymore. Maybe once. But I think what I respect most still is he does not try and write radio friendly songs all the time, and neither does Daron. FFS Daron had a single called "Fucking" and Serj had a chorus saying 'Fuck Let's Figure it Out, No Bullshit' to play those on the radio in a 'clean' state would be hilarious. And whilst I respect that he doesn't pander, I think he does make things simpler and more 'brain dead' politics. But then again, I think maybe he is cutting out the filibuster chit chat and the monotonous bullshit that politicians fill their media campaigns with instead of them actually doing things. And that's good too.
I have no idea what I'm going on about, it'll make more sense in the morning. Flarbaun garbunarger