Pop Life

These Are Serious Issues: A First World Problems Playlist

Twenty-seven seconds into the song posted above, Canadian rocker Matthew Good says the phrase "first world problems." It is, as far as most Internet detectives can tell, the first time that phrase was used in a piece of art. Good wasn't setting out to create a punchline that would be beaten to death 16 years later, but these things happen sometimes.

A first world problem is a something that is annoying to you but in the grand scheme of the world is utterly trivial. Soup being too hot to eat right away, having to sit through a pre-roll before a YouTube video, the batteries in your remote control dying -- all manner of things that are annoying but pale in comparison to hunger, genocide and lack of clean drinking water.

Music has its share of songs that feature trivial issues. Art is often used as a way to get over the things that upset us, even when those things are pretty silly.

In honor of Mr. Good turning 41 recently (June 29), we're honoring his inadvertent position as the father of a meme by picking out some of the more perplexing first world problems in modern music.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Cory Garcia is a Contributing Editor for the Houston Press. He once won an award for his writing, but he doesn't like to brag about it. If you're reading this sentence, odds are good it's because he wrote a concert review you don't like or he wanted to talk pro wrestling.
Contact: Cory Garcia