It's crazy how music can touch a person. It can make you go through so many emotions within one song if the song is orchestrated correctly. The gift of being able to create or present music is one of the greatest gifts a person could have. Creators of music are given the opportunity to control the emotions of their audience not only by the words they have chosen, but also the beat, rhythm, or melody of the song, as well as the type of voice that is chosen over specific instruments. All of these things are key elements that give a song its personality and determine how a song will be received by the audience. Music has many purposes, some music is just meant to make your cry or spark a memory, while other music is specifically meant to help people get their party on or to praise their God.
I would consider myself a real lover of music. I can pretty much vibe out to any type of music played. There isn't one specific genre of music that would explain my musical preference completely. I love to listen to music more than anything. Most of the times I feel like certain music explains my emotions better than I can at a certain point in time. I have always appreciated music but recently I feel that this appreciation has been even more prevalent in my life as of now. After watching Hip-Hop Beyond Beats and Rhymes (a documentary by Byron Hurt) I was forced to take a closer listen to the music I love. Not just the beats that move my body to but actually listen to the lyrical content. Even though this documentary mainly focused on hip hop culture it did not stop me from including other genres of music in my skepticism about the lyrics and the purpose behind the lyrics.
I always said I was never offended by the derogatory names or ways that women are portrayed in the entertainment industry, mainly in music. I would think that most young women would feel this way. It is natural to say, "They aren't talking about me because they don't even know me" or "it’s just music". When it is anything but "just music" and they are talking about YOU. These characters put on display in mainstream media are the ones that people tend to model themselves after.
For example, look at the new Nicki Minaj trend. She came out saying that she is a barbie and with all these different types of hair, and what do young girls and women do....well they follow in her footsteps. Every young girl wants to describe herself as a barbie and dye their hair outrageous colors like pink, purple, blue, etc. Not to say that she started any of these trends but she did bring them all to the mainstream hip-hop world, kind of, I would argue that Lil Kim was the 1st female hip-hop artist I saw with the different color wigs. And Barbie had already had a following long before Nicki came along, which in itself makes her a follower of the ideologies that mainstream media has fed her since she was a child.
Nicki and Kim are just 2 examples of the characters that the creators of mainstream media have put forth for young girls (mainly young brown girls) to idolize. The question is why do they have to display an over the top sexual nature? There are many answers to that question but the one that stands out the most is because out of the top 5 corporations (that control all of the media we consume as citizens) there isn't one that is owned by a female let alone an African American female. This in itself explains the reason why these females are characterized in such a negative manner. Yes it is true this may be the attitude of some women including but not limited to women of color but these depictions do not show that there is variety. Instead they generalize and feed into the self hate of the black community as well as other minority communities. This process is a monkey see monkey do process these characters and others like them are the people young people aspire to be like without realizing that these are most likely not the true attitudes of the people they consider their "heroes".
Today's children need more of a variety of heroes to choose from they need different personalities to model themselves after instead of the same personality just with a different name and maybe face. There is a different type of positivity in the underground music scene. There are so many more personalities to choose from and the music gives a different type of feel. I don't like to say it but it seems as if the mainstream world of music has been taken over by a team of evil doers and the right to choose has been eliminated and there is no longer a variety. Listeners are fed the same music constantly on a daily basis. Yes, the songs may have different beats or melodies but listen to the messages behind the music and they are all pretty much the same. I think variety in the music world is worth fighting for. Next time you are enjoying your favorite song stop bobbing your head long enough to truly listen to the words and I'm sure you will be just as disappointed as I. But the question is what will you do about it?