I have to bring this over from my author blog to here. It just makes perfect sense don’t you think?
When I was younger, there was a singer name J. Englishman. He was an amazing talent out of Canada and when his first song (first to me anyways) More dropped I stood up and got down! What does that mean? I took notice. I began following this singer, loving More like crazy. Then he dropped a beat called Abused and omg! Much Music (Toronto’s MTV) when batshit- and not in a good way. Apparently they refused to play the video at the time because the Kit Kat girl sat on the side of J. Englishman’s head ind the video.
Fast forward a few years later…
After a while I got a little bored with the music Much Music was playing. I mean come on – when I lived in Jamaica I had the good stuff–Linda Ronstadt, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey (when she did more than press a finger to her ear and squeal loud enough to break glass), Percy Sledge, Ghost etc. Then I moved to Canada and was introduced to Pink Floyd, Metallica, AC/DC, Blink 182, Backstreet Boys, New Kids…then I got addicted to HIT LIST/BRIT LIST and then there was 5ive, Bozone, Spice Girls, A1, Blue-
I mean, sure, the last set were boy bands but they had some songs that made you bop your head and move. They had songs that meant something to a teenager at the time because we were falling in love for the first time, getting our hearts broken at the same time, learning what its like to go out for the night dancing, having experiences these songs were about. The Spice Girls taught us girl power, that girls were strong–that we could jump out of plans and wreck parties and dress how we want, wear our hair how we want and we are who we want to be.
Backstreet Boys taught us how to dance with Backstreet’s Back – there wasn’t one person, BSB fan or not who didn’t know how to do that dance break at the end of the Backstreet’s Back video but they taught us that men can love women and it didn’t have to hurt.
And I could go on and on but who has the time? And I’m not saying in my teenage years there weren’t some…well, bad ones. I mean O-Town with Liquid Dreams … That alone is enough said.
Recently I stopped watching MuchMusic on the daily like I said…and by recently I meant about two years ago…then a year ago I just stopped watching completely. You see, we had a new cable company in our house and I didn’t know where in the heck Much was on it. Eventually I found it while searching for the Station that brings the Blue Jays games at nights and I started watching it from time to time again. Sometimes I see things on there that made me thing “so this is why I stopped watching this station!”
This morning, I wandered over there because there was nothing else on TV and since I’d been sick a few days, I was bribed and threatened to stay in bed. Lil Jon’s new one titled Down for What was on. Now for those of you who haven’t heard this song or seen the video, you’re about to get school in the pointlessness of the music your kids are listening to these days. This song is basically three minutes and thirty five seconds of Lil Jon periodically screaming Turn down for what? over beats of DJ Snake that is repetitive as it is mind numbing. Now the video? Now here’s a piece of art – the video is about people falling through roofs and gyrating, pelvic thrusting to the beat like they caught a dance disease….
But oh wait! There’s more…
The video had this one guy fall through the top of the building because his junk wouldn’t stop thrusting. He gave the disease to a woman in the room he fell into and she stood over his face, legs apart, knees bent, pelvic thrust to the sound of a gun cocking then sits on his face.
What? Was this not the same action that got J. Englishman no play on the SAME Much Music? Given this was ago but what makes this action appropriate now when it wasn’t back then? It’s the same action? So needless to say I think this song blows.
Then there is Jason Derulo – I love this kid. I mean he’s got some songs that I truly, truly love. And I thought after he turned his body into this mean, dancing machine I figured he would mature and being us progressively better music. I mean Don’t Wanna Go Home and Breathing were my JAMS! So how did this promising musician go from I only miss you when I’m breathing to you know what to do with that big fat butt?
Is anyone else scared?
Music has always been a feel good thing for me – the one thing in this world that can cure my bad mood better than anything or anyone. It has been my place away from the world to get back to me. But recently it seems the music industry has been taken over by poor lyricists, foreign DJs and reality show stars. It has gotten so bad, I’ve began once again digging through the oldies and trying desperately to find Indie musicians and singers/bands from other cultures to fill this void now in me from the disappointment of what the radio and television stations are bringing to me.
I am sad because my 15 year old niece is so fed up with the state of the industry she’s resorted to going through my music – my stuff from fifteen, twenty, thirty years ago. I mean yes I listen to some oldies like the Righteous Brothers etc so hence the thirty years ago. But she’s fifteen! Why should she have to go back to then to find good stuff without a curse word every other word to listen to?
Sure, people like Kiesza, Jamie Woon, Sam Smith, Tegan and Sarah, Philip Phillips, George Nazuka, American Authors etc are trying to save music, to bring it back to the days of purity and love but it seems to be like swimming upstream. Music does not seem to have meaning to those who make it anymore. They hear a beautiful voice like Alicia Keyes and they instantly see dancing dollar signs and soon she too is cranking out stuff that wouldn’t have made it off the floor for her first album. Then there was Ceelo and I thought – YES! We’re Saved!! He did a few seasons of THE VOICE and poof! Gone!
Singers out there seem to think the genres aren’t big enough for more than one. I mean we haven’t had a good FEMALE spitter since Misdemeanor and here comes Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azale who show so much talent and promise and what they do? Start a beef between the two of them! Why can’t they learn to play well together in the sandbox? Young girls look up to these fools and this is the behaviour, these are the lessons they are teaching these children.
I feel sorry for our kids and my young nieces and nephews. The music that they are cranking out will keep getting progressively worse because the industry is being controlled by people who think like petulant teenagers. But I don’t blame them–sure, they are a major part of the problem but we are the ones who stopped requiring greatness from these people. We lose interest if our favorite singers don’t crank out an album a year. We have no patience to think greatness takes time and an album–a GREAT album per year is hard then include the fact that all the execs see in the musician money, then cranking out a great album per year is just not possible.
We have to get back to the days when we demand great music. We must go back to the days when a musician can grow and evolve – this mean their sound will change without losing their fan-base. We deserve amazing music – we deserve the beauty of Breathe Easy the Adrenaline behind SKOM, the heart behind All American Boy, the life behind Night Air. We deserve sounds and lyrics that means something like Man in the Mirror and Have you Seen My Childhood and Ben.
When are we going to stand up and demand more – and will they listen?
This indeed is a sad state of events….