I've been debating on which angle to take with this post and I couldn't decide so I'm choosing to wing it. No plans, just writing. The topic that has been on my mind for the past few weeks is my disgust with today's music industry. Everyone complains that music has changed, records aren't selling, hip hop is dead, and all that jazz. Quite frankly, R&B has always been my thing so I don't typically care about "artists" like Waka Flocka, Soulja Boy, or Gucci Mane.
I grew up listening to Anita Baker, Freddie Jackson and countless other amazing artists. I assumed that I'd grow up, find my "true love" and have a life that would enable me to relate to songs like "Angel" or "Have You Ever Loved Somebody." Over the years, I've been forced to come to the realization that the songs that I enjoy the most are ones that I may never be able to relate to. If I asked you to define "love" what would you say? It is my belief that the music that is popular today may be altering our views about what love is.
Earlier today a friend of mine posted a link to a music video by P. Diddy (Puff Daddy or Diddy or whatever his name is now) and those other people that make up Dirty Money. I can't say that I'm a fan of their music, but the song was titled "Your Love" so I decided to give it a listen. The lyrics shocked me to say the least. The song is about sex if you fail to include Rick Ross' references to making and spending money. "Imma put it in your face boy as soon as you wake up. Know you wanna hit it, want me to be your little slut..." sings one of those women that usually wear panties as part of their outfits. I don't want to complain, but the song title is extremely misleading. I suppose they wouldn't have gotten much play on the radio if the song was called "Your Sex" but still.
Here's my problem, I listened to songs like "Sweet Love" growing up and kids these days have Diddy's sexed up "Your Love." These song titles differ by one word. My younger brother and his friends listen to songs like "Toot It And Boot It" and consider it good music. To make matters worse, songs that demean women and suggest that they do things without the use of their limbs are amongst the favorites of many. This day in age all that's needed to entertain the masses is a good beat and/or a catchy tune. This saddens me.
Gucci Mane, a semi-popular rap artist with an ice-cream cone tattooed on his face, has a song called "I Think I Love Her" and I can guarantee you that it's not about the same type of love that I and many others hope for. I could go on and on about the numerous songs that include some incorrect aspect of love in the lyrics, but it would be pointless. The bottom line is simple. R&B is popular right now only if it includes a techno beat and love is a word that is becoming extremely difficult to define. Love songs have a new sound, one that I'm not interested in. Don't get me wrong. I know that artists like Betty Wright, Marvin Gaye, and even R. Kelly had songs that were sexual in nature but it was never as tacky as it is today.
What are your thoughts? Is love a lost cause in today's music industry? Am I being a prude or has the four-letter-word been given a new, sexual meaning? Do you prefer listening to oldies or does the new music suit you just fine? Lastly, I don't want this post to seem like a random rant about how lame I think music is these days so I've included five of my favorite love songs below to add a fun element to things. Check them out and tell me what you think!
- Jesse Powell - "You"
- Musiq Soulchild - "Don't Change"
- Dru Hill - "These Are The Times"
- Toni Braxton - "You Mean The World To Me"
- Joe Sample & Lalah Hathaway - "When Your Life Was Low" (OK, it's not a love song BUT I love the song, LoL)