Sunday, May 15, 2011


At the risk of sounding redundantly similar to many generations before me I unfortunately have decided to tackle an issue that is directly correlated to differences in generation. When it comes to behavioral issues, or beliefs and laws I've always been open minded to the differences that are clearly present from generation to generation. There is one topic that I hold closer than any other generation issues and that is the quality or lack there of in today's music industry. As a high school teacher in the twenty first century I have come to accept that many things are just different and will continue to change for years to come. Issues I knew of as an adolescent have taken the back seat to new forms of technology, and how to use and abuse them. I not only embrace these changes but accept that they are a natural part of the world I now live in. I still however can not accept that in today's world music just isn't what it used to be and it damn sure isn't what it should be.
Now there is no doubt in anyone's minds that the music industry has taken huge blows in profit due to the increase of technology and general availability. I myself am apart of the reason why it has become ten times more difficult for major artists to go platinum. However a lack of sales does not give the industry the right to insult my intelligence and pollute the airwaves. It has become a game now more than ever rather than a true competition of skill and wit. During the 90's artists fought to achieve the title of the best or the greatest and put their all into each and every release in order to bring themselves closer to the title. As the early 2000's rolled in Napster and Limewire appeared on every desktop and Youtube made it possible for everyone to express themselves. It wasn't clear at the time but these new staples in our lives would change the music industry as we once knew it. These new internet sensations would bring out such classic music memories that we could manage to live without such as : "Crank that Soulja Boy", and "Teach Me How to Dougie". Don't get me wrong I am no hypocrite I too am guilty of singing and dancing along to these musical "hits". But where exactly do we draw the line?
When do we face the reality that commercialization has given life to many artists and sucked the life out of meaningful feel good music. I am not asking for deep political global scholar tracks every single time, as I realize that music is a tool used to escape for many of us from our every day struggles. True good music in it's rawest form has saved many lives and raised spirits on different levels. Even the most popular of party anthems during the 80's and 90's had something to say, had a statement to make. "Mo' Money Mo' Problems" sent a message loud and clear, gave us insight into a culture, and unfortunately that message is lost in translation when it comes to the new #trendingtopic "Racks on Racks". For every BIG, 2pac, or Jay Z lyric that you may not know I can give you thirty records out now that you don't even understand. Not because the content is superlatively beyond your intelligence level, but because annunciation and clarity mean nothing over a tight beat, fat ass, and new dance craze.
The world is listening and waiting but it seems were all waiting for different things. My high school students wait for Fridays so they can sing the Rebecca Black phenomenon, my close friends await the awakening out of this musical depression, and me I'm just waiting for everyone to realize the true reality. That true reality is there will never be another musical era like the 80's or the 90's. While a few artists: old, new, and up and coming aim to rejuvenate the ingenious of musical technicality, influence still remains the main hindrance to that goal. You can't rebuild Rome you just have to enjoy the memory of it. There will be no next Biggie or 2pac or Jay Z just like there has never been a new Diana Ross, or Michael Jackson. Appreciate and hold onto what they've left behind: which is great music and great influence for the new school to attempt to revive. I don't end this with a sense of hopelessness but more a sense of acceptance and a call for awareness. Be aware of what you listen to and what it says about you. That is the beauty of music it offers indefinite options and forms of expression. You can "Roll in the deep" with Adele, continue the show with Lupe, or sell **** on your Iphone with Rick Ross. It's your choice… and I choose to be aware.

- Stephen R. Covey

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