Friday, April 1, 2011

The problem with love is...

Nobody knows what it is...
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!

Alexandria B.


  1. I think we have to stop blaming hip hop...and music in general. For one I listen to the oldies dating back to the 1930's. We as a community have sung about sex forever. Yes it is a lot more vulgar now, but nothing new. I'm not justifying what's new. I'm just be cautious of where the blame is directed. When it comes to music as an art, I appreciate old and new (MUSIC. not Gucci there is a difference lol.) Secondly, the distorted images of love are by our own doing. The thing is everyone has their own perception of love and although it is based on traditions and enviroments, ultimately that person has to decide what love means to them.

  2. the music out right now saddens me i am so glad that i really only listen to gospel but even with that there isn't an anointing on half of the artists!

  3. Thanks for reading ladies!

    Great points, Chymere... Youth is easy to influence, that's kinda the point I was trying to make. I just rambled throughout the post. = )

    @ Beauty is in... Gospel is the way to go, but I'm a huge fan of R&B so both are all up and through my itunes library.

  4. I agree with you 110% the music out today is shame. Love songs aren't love songs anymore. I noticed the other day that most of the r&b songs are about sex, not many about love. It's a shame because I know many young people think that love is indeed about sex. Obviously thats something their parents should tell them about but lets be honest, the media is raising the kids nowadays.

    I am a lover of old school r&b, forever & always!

  5. Love - "Love is a temporary madness,
    it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
    And when it subsides you have to make a decision.
    You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together
    that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
    Because this is what love is.
    Love is not breathlessness,
    it is not excitement,
    it is not the promulgation of eternal passion.
    That is just being "in love" which any fool can do.
    Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
    and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
    Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
    and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches,
    they find that they are one tree and not two."

    That is the best definition of love I have found, but regards to songs, I listen to a variety, sometimes because i just like the beat, other time because i want an insight or something to fill an emptiness...

    but i do agree in todays music, love is use as a substitute for sex, and the meaning of love has evaporate from music, so i just put on my old school rnb, music soulchild, blackstreet, maxwell, boys to men and i pass the time

  6. Great post. I totally agree that modern culture greatly misrepresents's sad, and can make us forget what real love is really about.
    Great song list, my favorite love song: "Just my Imagination" by the Temptations :)
    xx LJ

  7. I agree with this post. I have always said female R&B singers are forever in love (Keyshia Cole, Beyonce) and male R&B singers always sing about sex (Chris, Trey, Usher). However, the music industry is meant to make money and entertain the masses. Hopefully smart people can separate their own reality from that of the music industry. My views of love are like the words to "Spend my life with you" by Eric Benet and Tamia or "For you" by Kenny Lattimore, but that's just me.

  8. Really like this post. But I do think that hip hop culture has redefined its followers attitudes to what 'love' is. In my opinion, love is a combination of an untouchable feeling and is represented by what someone does to show their love.

    Sexin for several hours, before the guy is gone for god knows how long hanging with his homies, is not love to me. Nor is referring to a woman as a bitch, discussing a couple's sex life with male friends, or confirming that you have the baddest bitch.

    'Sweet Love' by Anita Baker seriously was my croon song when I was a kid. I'd watch that video and think I can't wait for that to happen. Now I look around at the men propositioning me and think, that is NOT what you are offering lol

  9. @Poppy- I know right?!?! Sex is all people sing about and people wonder why all these teenagers are experimenting and whatnot. Real R&B for life!!! LoL

    Thanks for sharing that great poem, @Ms.Nana. I'm with you on the Boys II Men, Blackstreet, and all the others you listed! = )

    Thanks @LaTasha... I LOVE THE TEMPTATIONS! Great song choice!

    @Nichole Naomi- OmG, I promise you that "For You" is my jam! Man, I want Kenny Lattimore to come out with another CD. That would make life so much better. I also shoulda mentioned how much I love Musiq Soulchild and Corey Latif Williams too. Man, R&B music is just amazing if you're listening to the right people!

    Lastly, @Kam you said it best! I can't agree with you anymore than I already do. It's sad that some women these days feel loved because guys offer to spend stacks on them and/or call them the baddest. Your comment is too bomb!