Music has changed in the past years. From artists like Biggie Smalls and Tupac who talked about real life issues, to artists like 2 Chainz who talk about “pulling up to the scene with their ceiling’s missing”. Where did the music from the 1990s go? Where is the music that told the stories within stories? When did we become so attracted to songs that promote violence and degrade women?
Hip-hop began as a genre dedicated to discussing social prejudices. The usage of drugs and guns is now a new attribute in the hip-hop culture. The quality of music seems to not even be important anymore. Music labels are producing what sells because their main focus is the profit instead of the social value of a record. In the midst of the change of focus in music, we have accepted the new images hip-hop portrays.
There are still artists, like Jay-Z and Nas, that continue to talk about important social issues, while up-and-coming artists gain fame and credibility writing songs dedicated to sex, money and drugs. Hatred and degradation of women, homophobia and sexism are all found in today’s hip-hop culture; however, that does not mean it needs to be promoted through music. Instead of chanting about these issues in society artists should produce music about abolishing and fixing these problems. Music should be more like poetry; lyrics put together in a melody expressing things cardinal words would fail to do. In our new age we are so concerned with our quantity, trend setting and everything else, we have lost the quality of what we produce.
Where are the real artists? Matter fact, where have we gone? Why, as listeners and fans, have we allowed these songs to not only circulate but also penetrate our thoughts and actions? So many of us look up to artists and tend to do what we see them do. If only they stopped approving these controversial topics in their music maybe we’d begin to follow them as well.
By: Jasmine Barlow