Tuesday, March 07, 2017

More Music Ranting

Further to my previous rant about bad music permeating the waves and music streams these days, I have come to the realization that on this Planet there exist two types of people; those whose taste in music mimics the rest of the crowd and those whose taste in music is 'discovered' as opposed to 'spoon-fed'. 

The former are usually newbies to the soft skill of 'discovering' good music, while the latter are usually more picky when it comes to what their ears are exposed to, and more inclined to a wider range of music to suite their different moods than the simple 'plain-vanilla' of the masses.

That much is evident from the increase in sexual innuendos and references, cursing and 'wild & carefree' themed lyrics that are coming out of relatively unknown bads, so-called DJ's and Rap artists. They bombard the masses so much that they become the 'de facto' premiere music scene, and they're almost all coming from so-called "Rap" artists, a term that has - sadly - morphed into a generalization made up of half-wits and non-educated delinquents who somehow consider themselves as 'artists' just because they can make a bunch of words rhyme with 'f&*k, 's@#t' and other curse words. 

I've always maintained that music is supposed to move you emotionally, and it's that motion that forces a need to physically move your body all over the dance floor like a Boss! But how is it emotional when you're describing in lewd details how your need for sexual gratification or  - worse still - the search for drugs is the precursor for an emotional expression?

Even teen heart-throbs like Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran are riding this wave too!

Imagine a father driving his daughters to school in the morning, with the car's radio tuned to Kuwait FM's 99.7, and some moronic Girl band called "Hey Violet" is on and singing "Boys my age don't know how to touch me"..?  

Yup, that poor sod was me this morning!

I turned red with rage, so I switched to the VOA channel (to my daughters' protest, no less!!) and this rap song was playing, and this rapper was going on like "My Bitch is bad and booji (?) cooking up dope with an UZI". I looked up at the rear-view as I reached to change the channel, and there was  my 6 year old bumping her head back and forth to that crap!

With my mind shouting "NOOO!" so loud I gave myself a headache, I swiftly but quietly switched to the AUX input on the radio and streamed music from Apple's Beats One, only to find Ed Sheeran singing "Last night you were in my room, now my bed sheets smell of you" and "I'm in love with your body".

I switched to my own playlist featuring "Foreigner's "Urgent" and Psi's "Gangnam Style" on my iPod instead, thinking whether or not I should go full-on "40-something" and play my Classical Music playlist instead!

There's supposed to be a overall general 'improvement' in Humanity's quality of life, its called 'evolution', and it seems to me that Humanity - driven by Music executives of ill repute - are doing exactly the opposite by signing on street-side thugs and high school dropouts of all colors, shapes and sizes onto major record contracts, simply for the quick buck that comes along with this destructive enterprise. 

Was that too much?  Am I being too protective of my children's media consumption? Let's consider the following lyrics:

"And you keep me in with those hips, While my teeth sink in those lips"

Now try convincing me that the people who came up with - and promoted - this tasteless misuse of the English language are actually promoting meaningful relationships among society.

(and yes, that happened in the car too...thankfully, there were other distractions like a crying 3 year old.)

Personally speaking, I still listen to (and still indulge) in PM Dawn's music. Their mastery of words in "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" or even their "When Midnight Sighs" songs is - as yet - unrivaled in my books...and they're both rap songs, and both speak of love. In fact, nearly all their songs are similarly themed, including lust, desire & want, yet none have cursing, swearing, objectification of women or drugs, unless you consider emotions as such.

More rap? Try Soul 2 Soul's "Back to life", or "Keep On Moving", again, both rap,  full of positive emotions and true desires, none of the garbage that's being produced today. I remember jamming to those songs like there's no tomorrow! Even their music videos were 'presentable', none of that waist-shaking/twerking crap (although I have to say, there's something quite artistic about it) obviously representative of the taste of those years. 

Given, some of the Rap music that was generated back when I was growing up younger (!!) was in-your-face blunt force lewd, like Salt-N-Peppa's "Push It" "Let's Talk About Sex", but they had a few endearing virtues; They had a message to communicate (it's ok to 'talk' about the good & bad things about sex, relationships, partying responsibly, etc..), they used - mostly - original music score, and not recycled music on a loop, they featured actual spin doctors, DJ's and Rap Artists who actually to make good (and clean) rhymes, and last but not least  (drum-roll.....wait for it..) Synchronized dancing!!!

Of course there were a few earlier (and bolder) versions of disgusting rappers back then, like 2 Live Crew, who had some of their songs banned, creating a Freedom of Speech firestorm. However, 'few' being the keyword here, they were - in fact - exceptions, and not the mainstream like they are today. Even their fame was attributed to the fact that they were fighting lawsuits, and not because they were 'good' or even artistic!

Even the seemingly-considered lewd Rap groups would have an actual message to society, like Naught by Nature's song, "O.P.P.", which warns men to stay away from extra-marital affairs, their friend's women, cheating in general...and not a single curse word!

Tell me you wouldn't be moved by these lyrics from The Cure;

"I kissed you in the Water,
And made your dry lips sing.
I saw you look like a Japanese Baby,
In an instant I remembered everything".

This beautiful and emotionally bountiful tapestry of words is taken from The Cure's "The Walk", a song remixed at least three times, and in each iteration of it sounds as amazing as the original radio edit version. The Cure's got an entire album filled with such remixes, nearly all of them as melodic to listen to. How many rap songs can you think of today that fit this description?

And before you say it, I support the view that there is 'good' art and 'bad' art, but NO, it's not all Art! Talking about your desire to have a shallow sexual experience while high on drugs is NOT art, it's a crude and tasteless waste of time.

Dare I say it, even Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer's Rap music were great back then !! As for today, I'm pretty sure than none of these so-called artists can have their work blended so perfectly like this!

..or maybe it's just me?

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