American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson states “New arts destroy the old” (Emerson). An illustration of this is that the music industry has grown a tremendous amount since music started being recorded in the 1800s. Music is one of the most influential arts to ever be created. While at first it was being used to express such lyrics with deep emotion, now its slowly being transformed into an action of disrespect. The effects of this generation’s talentless musicians on adolescent minds have become a problem, because of the influential roles they play in young people’s lives.
Pubescent brains can be altered by anything and everything, generally because of their destitute judgment. Peers, parents, friends, enemies and of course celebrities all affect their everyday life choices. Parents and peers teach you how to act, friends and enemies show you how to act, but celebrities tell you how you should act so what do you go with? Young minds are always developing. Despite the fact that come kids were taught to do better, everyone makes mistakes, but is this generation’s musicians worsening the cause because of the examples they set? American society is infatuated with fame; they set celebrities up on a pedestal and act as if they are royalty all because of what they do for a living. Does anyone ever think about how talentless half these people are? Paying someone to write a song about your sexual life, the drugs you enforce, the amount of money you make, and many more pointless topics isn’t talent, but it is influential.
In the past, artists used their lyrics as a way to communicate their emotions. Whether it was Bob Dylan or Edwinn Star addressing the matter of the Vietnam War, Elvis Presley and all the happiness of old fashion platonic love, or anger because of struggles they faced in those years, the songs didn’t ever have an imbecilic meaning. Musicians wrote about important subjects like world issues, not sex drugs money and alcohol. No one ever seems to find real genuine music now days, which is ironic because there are more issues today than before. Columnist Kristen Key of Derf Magazine writes about the dilemma in a recent article “Is it because we do not care or are not aware? Is it because these topics are too controversial to sell records? These questions are significant because they make you come to the realization about today’s music.
Artists have constant opportunities to write about a valuable issue and make it known to people around the world. They have the power to create a chain reaction throughout other artists and people just by writing and recording a simple song, but they do not. No, and like Mrs. Key stated, is it because we don’t care? Most everyone is aware of the problems that America has, but no one takes the time or energy to do anything about them.
After reading those questions and listening to music from both sides you can realize it’s not because the artists don’t care, which some might not, but it is because most are enamored with themselves. A recent computer analysis brought attention to the fact that the words “I” and “me” appear more commonly in the latest popular music and at the same time, the use of words like “we” and “us” has dropped down. This society is not structured admirably, which questions why the population is so egotistic then? And what makes all these artists have a supercilious attitude about themselves?
Since music is all around you, it does affect you. While a musician doesn’t deliberately try to bring people’s lives down, their actions pressure you, and they set up the generations young minds to believe that it’s okay to do drugs, to drink, and get in trouble. Celebrities can’t control what a kid does, a great deal of parents can’t even control what their children do, but the examples they put out are greatly disrupting children’s mindset between right and wrong.
Everyday there’s a new story on the latest drama about a musician and/or celebrity on their erratic lives. Just like anything ridiculous, you’re going to get some sort of response. It could be a letter replying back to what they’ve done, or just more bad publicity on their part, but with teenagers it’s been noticed that how they respond is by mirroring the actions. Parents think it’s crazy that their children are doing drugs, drinking alcohol and having sex, even though most know the kinds of music they listen too. Do they realize that the music is crude and blasphemous or is it that they trust their kid will make the right decisions? You can’t just go with your instinct, especially when it’s your kid’s future that gets affected. They are in love and idolize people that they have never met; of course they would follow in their footsteps.
“Music related or influenced fashion accounts for nearly a quarter of all clothing sales to teeangers ages 12 to 19” (Shoemaker). Truly teenagers will forever embrace the most recent trends that the music industry puts out. Seeing your favorite celebrity up on stage or in a magazine inspires you to dress as they do. Everyone’s cheering and adoring them, they are dressed with the most expensive, unique clothes and dolled up by their overly paid fashion and beauty teams. To everyone they seem flawless and incredibly powerful, but all they do is stand on a stage singing and dancing. People pay enormous amounts of money and drive all over creation just to see these shows. It’s an obsession that anyone could have. Everyone has that musician that they can’t live without. They could be an older group like The Beatles, or a newer artist like Lil Wayne, either way both are very provocative and draw you in. People view these artists and think how hot they are, how amazing their lyrics are, how everyone loves and wants them, but in the end it’s how cool they are. Their popularity grows irrationally, and before you notice you’re dressed like them, doing the same actions they sing and write about, and completely copying them. This supports the point that we are so infatuated with them that we try and be them.
So why does the music industry have such a huge impact on peoples mentality? Amy Hites wrote in ‘How music industry influences your teen’s lifestyle’ corresponds to this when she states “No matter your teen’s choices, the industry will most likely do quite a bit to dominate his or her mindset. Teenagers are often searching for an identity during these formative years and musical artists can help fill that gap” (Hite). As teenagers grow older their minds, opinions, tastes, and more simplistic features about them change all of the time, which is reasonable because in a world with 7 billion people you won’t to be you, even if you don’t know who that is. Children and teenagers are the most influenced by this music. They are trying to find out who they really are, and where they fit in at, they choose their music preferences. Music has always been there, it’s a way to cope with your emotions, or find new interests and friends.
Music isn’t a real human life, but an art that has the ability to make us smile, laugh, cry and scream. An art that can potentially convince us to spend money that we cannot afford to do, or make decisions that we usually wouldn’t make. Why and how is everyone being so controlled by an industry/art that doesn’t even have to affect us? We just choose to let it. In the world there’s an infinite amount of sorrow, hatred, and envy in every single person, understandable because 7 billion people will never be able to all get along. Like mentioned earlier, this society isn’t structured admirably which is partly why people have so much built up inside of them. Humans naturally develop a dislike for one another. Every problem someone has, they don’t want to solve it, and they want to find someone to blame so they’re not at fault. The point is that maybe we let music control and influence us because it is not another person. It doesn’t hurt us, most people don’t notice the effects because they are not dramatic enough or do anything about it and it’s not something we have to deal with on a daily basis. Music’s just a beat you enjoy, and lyrics you relate too, that’s really all.
The music of a generation really does say a lot about the people in that time period. When you think of the 50’s and 60’s music industry you think peace, because so many of the songs from then were about Vietnam. The 70’s and 80’s make you think about the disco, crazy fashion, and fun. The 90’s really start out the appeal towards hip hop, and the 20th generation’s music, well what do you think of? If you’ve lived within this generation, you think about what it really is, and what really on. Now, if you didn’t and just listened to past popular songs written by the generation’s musicians you’d see more than likely see differently.
Slowly this generation is ruining their future. Young lives mindsets are compromised because they listen to a simple radio station, iPod, or cd. Their being influenced in the wrong ways, and who know if it will ever be different. Parents need to step up their game and watch closely what kind of roles these musicians play in their children lives and everyone needs to acknowledge the effects of lyrics they listen to on a daily basis before its too late.
Blog by Megan Dalton Hodgin