Saturday, October 30, 2004

Just Music

Now this is disturbing. (Link courtesy of Amy Ridenour.) Michelle Malkin blogged on something similar in an earlier post surrounding the rappers involved in the movie, Shark Tale. Today's music is becoming more and more violent, all in the name of art. The first article is regarding Usher, and his latest CD release, "Confessions, Part II." I am surprised that he would resort to violence, if only because he has traditionally been such a sweet kid with fun R&B sound. And the second article....well, does anything Eminem is involved in really surprise you? From a personal experience....my ex-husband, white Jew boy from Central PA, liked to think of himself as a thug. Mind you, he was one preppy thug. But he drove a low-slung black Lexus with impressive rims, wore "Lugg" boots, and listened to rap music. And Will Smith was not his rapper. He listened to the hard rap music, with parent warnings on the cover. Music that described raping women, sodomizing young girls, murdering those that angered you, beating cops, how to smoke weed, etc. I hated it, and would refuse to listen to it while in his car (so instead, I got to listen to the Grateful Dead....less violence, more drug use - I guess that was better). When he would come home after a day spent in his car (his job involved driving around all day), I could tell you what was in his CD player. Okay, not the artist, but I could tell you what genre. If he was listening to Celine Dion (I know, quite a change from his usual appetite) or the Beatles, or the Grateful Dead, he would be pretty mellow and relaxed, and usually in a good mood. But if he spent the day listening to his rap music, which was his usual habit, he was riled up - his temper was ready to explode, his actions were impetuous and impatient. I used to go out to his CD player and eject the CD just to prove my point. I don't know that I hold with censoring music. I do not want someone to censor me. However, we need to acknowledge the severe effects listening to violent music can induce. My ex-husband is one case, but not an isolated one. How many of us want relaxing music when we are stressed out, or up-beat tempos when we want to go out and have fun? Music can encourage and change our moods....sometimes even our actions. Seems to me that would be a good reason to take what we listen to more seriously.