Lately I’ve fallen prey to what I deem “musical cynicism” (or MC for short). MC is a tricky thing because to some degree it exists in everyone. We all have tendencies towards certain types of music more than others, thus we all consider certain artists and genres superior to others. The problem with MC is when it becomes too prominent in one’s life that it clouds one’s ability to reason.
The other day I was listening to some “popular” music and couldn’t help but shed a single tear on my laptop keyboard over what I heard. My view of humanity shifted in that instant and I then realized that all the pain, suffering, hunger, and problems in this world can directly be linked to people who make terrible music, and those listeners who make it popular. I went on and on ranting about how terrible this stuff is and how degrading some of the lyrics were. Who in their right mind would support this stuff? Isn’t music supposed to be about expression of emotions and feelings and not about what went on at the club last Tuesday because it was half off Long Island Iced Tea night, and that one chick from the other club just so happened to be there wearing next to nothing?
I then proceeded to listen to my music, you know the good stuff. The stuff that has positive lyrics, that tells a moving story, that has an actual point to it. My ears stopped crying and I calmed down a little knowing that there were good musicians out there vying for the upright.
The next day my rant was slowly finishing its march through my mind and I realized my folly. In all of my justifications about good music versus crappy music, I failed to recognize one big thing about music: that not everyone is the same, thus music styles and themes can, will, and should be different.
My mind was so riled up and moving rapidly that I forgot about all the songs crammed in my iTunes library that are about kicking it in the club and fronting with the homies that I actually like and listen to on a regular basis.
In my level-headed state I understand that as long as music is portraying a truthful representation of the realities of different lifestyles (i.e. NWA, 2pac, or Public Enemy), or simply meant to be enjoyed with others (LMFAO, Miley Cyrus, or Rihanna) it has worth and should be celebrated. Sure the lyrics may not be deep, philosophical, or life changing, but if the beat gets people on the dance floor smiling, then there is some worth to it.
To say that one type of music or artist is terrible and has no worth is a lame excuse that I make often. Just because I don’t approve doesn’t mean that everyone feels the same way. Plenty of artists that I don’t like have more fans than the amount of people in my cell phone’s contacts. Just because I speak poorly of them doesn’t mean much. I do have a voice, and what I say is important, but honestly, if it gets you going and feeling good or resonates deep within you, then happy listening.
In the meantime, here’s a song that I’ve been fond of for a while now.