Originally Posted by Captain Kirk
Questions in bold if you want to skip the text relating to each question.
We always hear the opinions and debates about this genre of music being dead and that genre not being as good as it was. It's usually directed towards rap (hip hop) music. Whenever I see such topics I usually avoid them because I don't see any way to logically debate that a genre of music has somehow declined because of the artist who choose to be one dimensional or promote nothing more than a fantasy in their music.
My question is this, why do we most often blame the artist or devalue the whole genre for what the consumers (those much like ourselves) choose to support and promote?
When I first heard Soulja Boy's "Pretty Boy Swag" I turned to my cousin to comment about how terrible it was and that there's no way this will be popular. I was wrong. It's all over mainstream TV and rap stations. Now should I blame Soulja Boy for making a crappy song? I can wish he put more effort into not selling a cheap fantasy in his music, but that doesn't change the fact that people choose to support, sing along, buy this music and attend the shows for artist like this. There is plenty of music in each genre that is as good or close to the classics we often bring up in reference to what we want the mainstream to be like, yet at the end of the day the masses still put more effort in supporting what's easiest to obtain (mainstream artist).
To add on to my first question, why is hip hop or any music genre dead or not as good as it once was simply because we the people choose to consume filth that we have the freedom to reject?
firstly, record sales are no where near where they were 20 years ago. although the internet can be blamed for this.
secondly, the way radio stations are run now, anything new,that is properly promoted (SJB's PBS for example) will get a ton of airplay. This wasn't the case a few years back, but now most of the airwaves are owned by a handful of people.
I think the problem is with the way music is being created. Some of the best minds in music are experts at sampling, re-producing and putting new takes on existing music. NOT creating music. While this can be fresh for a while it has a much shorter shelf life than newly created beats and melodies.
Basically this entire generation (of which I am a part) is just a bunch of copy cats, google, mash ups, samples, DJing etc... we just take shit someone else said or did and recreate it. We are quite lame, and because of this, art, or this case, music suffers, or best case scenario gets bastardized.
This is the generation that changed the definition of creativity.
Music used to be central to MANY people's lives, and it was creative and inspiring, a lot of music still is, but percentage-wise it is less than before, this is due to the corporatization of popular music, blending everything into a formula that will guarantee a specific number of units sold. There is a higher volume of crap out there than ever before, and it is dominating the airways because the mindless drizzle appeals to the masses.
Pretty Boy Swag is very typical of this. A lot of people today want WWE style entrance music as oppose to something they can put thought into, this niche, while profitable, is the lowest form of music, but it is a slam dunk for record companies (corporation don't like too much risk), so they flood the market with it, the same way there are fast food joints off every highway exit. safe, easy money.
I am fine with this, no need to fight reality or capitalism. But now there is a void of good, well thought out, spirited music. Bands like Kings of Leon (for all intents and purposes a generic pop-rock band) are celebrated as being special nowadays when in the past they'd be the Goo-Goo Dolls.
It is different landscape today, and anyone with a knowledge of the semi-recent past knows it is a sad sad sad time for music.