Music and the Influence on Society
Effect of Music
The sub-cultures in today’s society are all based on what you watch on T.V., the clique you hang around, how you were raised, and the music you listen to. Everything you do has an effect on your personality; Living in a community with gangs, violence, and drugs might influence you to do the same.
The media and parents wants blame music for the way kids act. They blame it for the gang violence, murders and suicides, They believe the music kids listen to changes their perspective about life. Then they start blaming the artist for singing about such vulgar, melancholy, morbid music.
Along with that, kids start judging each other by the music they listen to; they stereotype each other into certain cliques and they laugh at them because of it. If kids took the time to notice and listen to others, they might find out that there will be a couple common songs between them. When kids are grouped into certain clique they might feel like they only belong in that group. When did the music go bad? Music use to have a meaning, it use to symbolize a feeling and have heart filled messages being sent out. Now all you hear music talk about is drinking, guns, murder, drugs, rape, and suicide. I’m not just talking about rap music, it’s in rock and metal too.
Music can have an intrinsic meaning or can have an extrinsic meaning. The meaning of music may be interpreted from the viewpoint of the formalist or from the viewpoint of an expressionist. Some people may listen to music just because they are bored or they like the beat; others listen to it for the lyrics and the expression the artist is trying to send out. The media says that rap should be blamed for the gang violence, drugs, devaluing women and male control; rock and metal is blamed for satanic rituals, suicides as an “alternative” or “solution,” sadism, and masochism.
Rappers are blamed constantly for crimes across America. In 1988, Ice-T who was a well-known rapper was all over the media because of his song “Cop Killa”. Once he song was released numerous police were murdered; the media said they did it because of Ice-T’s song. Was it Ice-T’s fault for these crimes or was it the fault of the people committing the crime? The answer is no, cops were getting shot before the song came out, policemen know they have a dangerous job and the know the consequences. Rap music is growing rapidly, it has gotten many people out of poverty and out of the ghetto. Rap musicians donate thousands and thousands of dollars to charities all over America, but they don’t get any credit for that. Media only looks for the worse in all cases. Rap musicians rap about their life, the only way to fix what they rap about is to fix the society around you; they rap about what they see and hear. Rap music does not influence bad actions, but reflects it.
Also, similar to the rapper Ice-T, some rock musicians are blamed for the violent actions of people. Marilyn Manson was blamed for two teen gunmen in the Columbine Shooting; just because they were labeled “Goth” and listened to Manson. On a VH1 interview with Manson, he was asked what he would of said to the gunmen? He replied, “Nothing, I would of listened cause know one else had. I went threw the same thing and no one listened to me.”
Rock music is also criticized by the media and parents. They say that rock bands like Korn and Disturbed will give kids negative thoughts and act violently. The only way rock music influences teens is what they wear. Baggy pants, over-sized shirts, 3 feet long chains with 6 inch pendants usually listen to rap. Wide legged pants with chains and many pockets, body piercing, abnormal hair colors, excessive jewelry usually listen to rock or metal. Teenagers judge one another by the music they listen to and the clothes they were. Teens who listen to rock and metal are judged as “Goth”, “Emo” or “Scene”. Teens who listen to Rap, Hip-Hop, and R&B are categorized as “Gangster,” “Ghetto,” “Prep,” and “Jock.” Being placed into a certain group can hurt one’s self-esteem and making them think that they only belong in that group.
“Day, is fading here
My time, has gone away
I flirt with suicide
Sometimes kills the pain.”
- Jonathon Davis (Korn)
Teenagers are faced with the thought of suicide everyday; Jonathon Davis’s lyrics just shows that he understands what kids are going threw and tries to show them that it will be alright. To some teens this is a comforting message being sent out.
Musicians sing or rap about what they been threw as a child, how they were raised, and what they see and hear around them. The only message that these people are sending out is the fact that our society has gone bad and they are trying to make people realize how bad it got. Among the many rappers who rap about gangs, drugs, women and sex, there are those who rap about the positive side of life as well. Rappers like Tupac Shakur rap about the struggles they went threw as a child, they give thanks to those who help them out. Not a lot of people know that Tupac not only writes raps, but poetry as well. Most of his poetry is based on the love of a women, the hardship of life, and praying to God for forgiveness, and the dream of a better world. But does the artists get publicity for the good that they do? No, they get blamed for the violence in today’s society. Rock bands like Cold take other peoples problems that they hear and turn it in to music. Songs like “Wasted Years” is based on an ordinary guy that turned to drinking at a young age because of the way he lived and how is parents treated him. Many years later he realized that he can’t continue he life living like that and waste his life away. This band talks about everything and anything that has to do with real life problems that common people go threw. Do these kinds of artist really make kids go into rage and hate?
Teenagers use music to escape from their life problems, however the media and parents are blaming music for the cause teen problems. Do the parents ever think about what they do that can cause their children to become such aggressive melancholy disturbed kids? Maybe it is something that the parents are doing or not doing that can cause this. Growing up in an one-parent household, living in violent community or household, hanging around the wrong people. These things can affect the minds of a teenage more then music can. If someone were to grow up in a violent family, they might be influenced to do the same and thus becoming an aggressive teen. Yet, if the child grew up in a suburban area with both parents and no violence they will turn out differently. Another aspect of why kids act the way they do might be because their parents don’t pay any or enough attention to them and they may begin to think that being troubled is the only way to get their attention. Parent need to start thinking of what they could do to help their kids become better people, cause it’s not the music’s fault.
The media blames music for the problems with teens in today’s society. They blame rap music for drugs, murders and sex; They blame rock for melancholy, evil thoughts mixed with hate. But the truth is rap lyrics are rapping about the struggles in life and the societies problems. Rock lyrics is about the soul, rock lyrics are deeper then any other kind of genre of music out there. Music is so widespread and is the universal tongue that connects us to each other in someway; that’s why music is always going to be essential to someone.