Day 16: “Your views on mainstream music”
Everything has it’s place. When I tell my September 11th story, I always point out that my roommates ran up the West Side Highway singing Madonna. Granted, I love Madonna, but I point it out because to me, it all has it’s place. I’m willing to bet that few people have run for their lives while humming Radiohead. Having been through too many awful things in my life, I always assume that people who can’t see any validity in the light and shallow probably haven’t been through much.
When something bad happens to me, I might reflect on it to heavy music. But when going through it, I usually can’t handle any more feelings than I already have. I want the light, the shallow, the practically empty.
The other thing is that all music tells someone’s story. I listen to the same indie rock as everyone I know, but I relate to it far less than many I know. To me, it’s nice music. I like the sounds, but am rarely moved by the lyrics. Often I find them self indulgent in a way I can’t relate to at all. Many people would say the same about rap.
Meanwhile, everyone who knows me knows I love Jay-Z. The New York Times recently reviewed his book and came to the conclusion that, “…Decoded is a book that highlights the richly layered, metaphoric nature of the author’s own rhymes (even those about guns and girls and bling often turn out to have hidden meanings…)” I love his lyrics because they tell stories that I relate to.
I wasn’t a crack dealer, but I am the daughter of one. I’ve never been shot, but at least three people in my immediate family have been. I spent most of my childhood being a mini-adult because my mom was shot when I was a baby and her health has been effected by it every single day since. I grew up in the consequences of the world Jay-Z describes. So when I hear him pushing for bettering yourself, or describing the survival mindset of being from Brooklyn, it makes more sense to me than most things.
When in doubt, remember that change happens slowly, and the mainstream often gets around to good stuff when given the chance. And of course, look at all the bands that are influential that were also massively successful.