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The Orion

Stop listening to bad music

Photo credit: Dongyoung Won
Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

You walk into a party and hear “Ass so big I told her look back at it, look back at it, look back at it, then I put a fat rabbit on the Craftmatic, I am so high … attic, I am so high like an addict.” The music sounds good and it makes for a fun setting so it doesn’t really bother you.

In any other context where the listener can control what they listen to and conscientiously listens, songs of such little substance and irrelevant lyrics aren’t as enjoyable and seem stupid. People today seem more willing than any time before to deal with shallow, stupid lyrics for driving beats and catchy instrumentals.

Look at music that comes out today: It’s hard to find any popular music that expresses any valuable verbal message aside from cliche themes of being horny, rich, dealing or taking drugs, drinking or partying. Most radio favorites and monthly chart toppers lack vocals that offer little value other than a changing rhythmic noise.

Music fans today have to dig deep into their preferred genres to find lyrical substance in good music: rock ‘n’ roll fans most often look into the past to find quality hits; country listeners turn to the legends and icons of old to find meaningful messages.

Even hip-hop and rap fans in today’s age of mainstream appreciation know that a lot of big names became famous off nonsensical, irrelevant lyrics and offer little intellectual substance, though many rap artists today do write thought-provoking works. The days of the King, the Boss and the Don undoubtedly merit more appreciation than almost anyone out today.

This dumbing-down and simplification of music lyrics makes today’s music cheap and lesser in value because people don’t want to hear nonsense in all their music. Most prospective listeners won’t find repetitive, meaningless, useless or excessively vulgar lyrics attractive, and annoying pop hits aren’t often remembered favorably, if even remembered after everyone becomes sick of them.

There has always been music that has no specific purpose because music simply exists to please people and doesn’t have to express valuable themes. There hasn’t been a rate of acceptance like today’s irrelevant, vulgar or useless lyrics becoming popular.

These qualities of millennial music, combined with how most music today even lacks its own originality, means that if the future of music doesn’t become worse than today’s, people will look back on this generation’s music as one of the stupidest ages in musical history.

Some artists’ careers embody this problem as many like Miley Cyrus, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Rich Gang, etc., consistently drop hits that the public consumes heavily through the pain of stupid lyrics. The whole industry doesn’t release music with cheap lyrics however, because fans of Adele, Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce and others, can testify that these artists satisfy the intellectual needs of their audience.

Not much can change this trend unless artists somehow miraculously take more pride in the work they publish. While senseless music has an appropriate place and use and can be appreciated in the right context, it would be refreshing to see music give something more to audiences.

Sean Daly can be reached at [email protected] or @sdaly3orion on Twitter.

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