One of the major musical influencers of all time had to be Elvis Presley. He was scandalous for his time. One thing he did to influence our culture was to incorporate African American music with jazz. This was taboo because we hadn't yet blurred the racial lines in our country. Using the radio, his music was aired to all who were willing to listen. By listening to his songs over and over, we soon became accustomed to his lyrics and rhythms. One other cultural influence he had was with regard to sexuality and music. He moved in provocative ways and women were known to rip their shirts off at his concerts. The question is, did the music make them do it?
Another big shift in music was the introduction of Rap/Hip Hop music into our culture. Pictured above is the popular and violent Rap artist, 50 Cent. He has been in the news for fighting and even being involved in shootings with other Rap artists. Most Rap music can be summed up by violent lyrics and movements. Rap music seems to epitomizes the African American's fight with political, social and economic oppression. Many will argue this is the reason behind the violent lyrics and dancing. But the question remains, did the music make them do it, or was it something else?
There are two ways to view the influence of this type of music on our culture over the years. Either the music is so powerful and influential that it creates a completely new type of society, or society was on the cusp of needing a change and the music properly portrayed what a specific group of people were feeling at the time of conception of said music.
Which do you think is more accurate?
I'll go with answer number two. While I neither favored Elvis music or Rap, it does seem more likely to me that these unique genre's of music are stemming out of emotions and feelings already present within different cultures. Instead of blaming the music for the outcomes of a few, we should be looking into the meaning and see if we need to make some kind of cultural change to solve a deeper issue being portrayed.
Until next time,
Thanks for reading,