The Future of Music

It’s not part of your mother’s album collection, but maybe it is in yours

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“Rockstar,” “Finesse” and “Havana.” What do they all have in common? They are the songs that the radio chooses to play over and over again, until I contemplate jumping out of the car to save my ears.

Here’s the thing with most of today’s popular music, the words have lost meaning to many of the listeners. In fact, half the time, people listen for the beat rather than the lyrics. Music needs to send a message, and not just yell Panda repeatedly. Therefore, seeing our generation listen to music for the beat drop rather than the words causes me to wince like Shaggy and Scooby when they’ve run out of their Scooby Snacks.

So, my question is, when music right now is already teetering at the edge of a cliff, will the next generation bring forth electronic dance music, or maybe just bad yodeling?

Despite my pessimistic introduction, I actually do have hope for the future of music. Well, at least hope for what I consider to be good music. I only listen to music with a message. For example, The Lumineers, The Fray and, my greatest guilty pleasure, Kendrick Lamar.

Now, when I normally tell people that I love Lamar, they immediately respond with, ‘Oh my God, I love “Humble,” and “Loyalty!”’ I roll my eyes inwardly every time I hear that statement. Wow, you know the songs that KISS FM plays on a loop, good for you. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good songs, but there is so much more to Lamar’s music than just that.

Recently, Lamar won a Pulitzer Prize for his last album, “Damn.” According a New York Times article, part of the reason Lamar won the prize was for “tackling thorny issues both personal and political, including race, faith and the burdens of commercial success.”

That gives me hope, because it tells me that there are others who listen for lyrics and meaning beyond just the surface of beat drops.

But Lamar poses an interesting question. With the rise of cultural awareness, as well as rap, is the future of music a combination of the two? Is it representation intertwined with hip-hop? I think so!

Now don’t misunderstand me, I am aware that there are many people who love music without any lyrics, such as classical or jazz, but those tunes carry emotion and meaning all on their own, one I am yet to hear in modern pop music.

There’s also the fact that music is the definition of the word subjective because everyone has different tastes. But, you have to admit, if 104.3 MY FM is playing it, then it means the majority of us are listening.

In addition, I know there are many components to consider when labeling a song as good. Lyrics, rhythm, tune, emotion, etc., they are all important, but our generation has grown way too fond of the beat, and has let go of the true purpose of music.

What’s the purpose you may ask? Well it’s to convey meaning, expression and emotion through minor and major chords, through singing, and through toe-tapping, finger snapping rhythm.

At the end of the day, we have to let go of the instant gratification, or the “beat drop,” and search for the substance, or the “lyrical meaning,” because pure, unadulterated expression conveyed through C sharps, and F minors can become the catalyst for the enlightening evolution of our generation.




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