Peter Oliver Jr.
You can't help but stop and think, "Are we sending the wrong message?" when you hear what music is popular on many radio stations today.
Give a listen to today's hits playing over and over whenever you come across it. You’ll hear it in your favorite store, on your way to work, or even playing in the background of that YouTube video that your kids are watching. Mainstream music has changed over the last couple of decades, and not for the better. Some artists are continuing to work hard and put out content that they believe in, but we're letting some clowns in along the way.
Music has always been about what people feel. It addresses things that may be going on in the world at that time, or even what's going on in an artist's life. Mainstream music has always been very specific though, and what is made from that is that catchy chorus that gets stuck in your head all day. You know the one, you were just humming it before you clicked on this article.
There has always been vulgar music, and there always will be. However, we haven't always let it play on the radio. The clowns that we have let take over are sending a new message to this era of listeners.
In 1998, some of the top artists that would be played on the radio were among some household names that we still have today, such as Aerosmith, Madonna, and even The Goo Goo Dolls. By no means are any of the talents from those groups exactly "role models," but they came through with a clear message to everyday listeners. Most music playing at the time was about bettering yourself, or issues in our world thought out in a clear way. Sometimes it was even about love.
Now, let's fast forward 20 years together. The year is 2018, man buns are still in, and Donald Trumps is our President (those 2 things may not be related). Violence has been present since the beginning of mankind, but are we being desensitized? Top artists on our current "Billboard Hot 100" consist of people like XXXtentacion, and Cardi B. X? Really X? One of our top artists in the nation is XXXtentacion. This is a man who beat his homosexual cellmate to the brink of death just for "being gay." X also beat his pregnant girlfriend, and trapped her in their apartment, holding her hostage. When did we change our mainstream music from love and bettering ourselves, to taking Xanax and "Lean", along with a heavy dose of lack of self respect?
Cardi B however tops the cake of unapparent self respect with lines in her songs such as "my pussy feel like a lake, he want to swim with his face" and that's an exact quote. Today’s kids are listening to that garbage.
Maybe we have been desensitized. The songs that we hear now on a day to day basis, the same tune you may have been humming earlier, have a different message than what we were sending in the past. The questions standing are: What do we do about this? Can we even do anything? Are our children going to be walking around humming the tune they heard on the radio or in the store that's about murder and Xanax? What does that mean for our future?
The affect everyday music has on our modern society may have a larger blast radius than you think. And when it’s the smut we hear on every radio station in the country? It won’t be an affect anyone is proud of.
Peter Oliver Jr. is one of the hosts of 990WBOB’s podcast “Well Played.” Tune in Monday night’s at 7
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