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No Hysteria Necessary: Music Is Still “Good”

It breaks my heart that the world around me has lost respect for 21st century pop and rap music. I believe the interrogators who rashly criticize today’s artists are well, quite rash in their legislation. I know exactly where this school of cynics comes from because I used to think the exact same way: “when music crossed the 21st century line it died” or “rap is all about bad things… and it’s just… it’s just unethical”. For folks who live by these quotes let me ask you this- what do you think much of classic popular music was about, how to eat at a dinner table? No. It was about the sex, the money, the drugs, the looks. There are other things too, but how do you know the clichés that you think rot today’s music aren’t how these artists actually feel? We all have clichés per say- we have romances, we have morals, and we want prosperity. I find it difficult to believe that any person could say that music now- a- days is a stinking abyss.

When jazz grew out of New Orleans and into the big cities like Chicago and New York, aristocrats believed it was “all about bad things”. The racial barriers did not help jazz either, so it was not just frowned upon because of its then radical sound, but also because the Negro founded it. I see an obvious pattern, a racial one that has unfortunately transcended into rap. So, I say that the aristocratic purists of those days are recreated into the interrogators of today’s music. Maybe people are so critical because of nurture. Their parents did not embrace it (it may have not been born yet) so neither do they. In addition, they may be influenced by what their friends say, which is ironic since they are pointing fingers at the characteristics of the “pseudo- commonalities” in today’s musical culture.

If disgruntled by now, at least consider Jacques “No Fixed Conceptual Orders” Derrida. His deconstructionism is logically obvious in music in that once one signifies something (such as writing, art, and music), the signification is no longer in their control and is then in an indeterminable association with anything else. Whoever receives the signification can take it however they wish to. Music is naturally deconstructionistic. A person who makes such an objective statement pertaining to the current quality of music is going against the very definition of music. It is impossible for music to have a signified structure universally at any point in time, which in my heart makes music such a mystical abstract even today.




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