The problem with music today and how our generation glorifies the seemingly untalented
By Joe Ramey
In a world of classics and musical talents, this generation of teenagers seems to take a liking to overly edited, and somewhat untalented artists who are just as uncreative as the last. With exceptions too few, the last decade is riddled with artists and songs that are shameful in some regards when put up against its predecessors.
With the unrooted tendencies of new artists today, we are seeing more and more musicians stemming from the likes of a “Lil” or a “Young”. As they emerge into the spotlight, our colorful past begins to fade. Progressive groups that made their own sound like Led Zepplin and The Doors are now taking a backseat to these seemingly artificial artists. Their decades of creation and popularity are now gone, leaving the next few generations to take the reigns.
Advances in music show themselves after about five years, laying out the change in sound and process in which it was obtained. The past five years has been non-progressive in that regard. Song after song reaches the top of the charts in different categories, yet they all have a familiar sound and require two or more artists in accompaniment to get the job done.
The range is gone, too. Artists with only the ability to “sing” is what we’re left with. Multi-talented artist like Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and Neil Young are forgotten, leaving unseasoned and fairly overdubbed artists in their wake.
Songwriting is also overlooked, making slip ups easier and rather obscene subject more and more mainstream. The glorification of these topics has become so synonymous with the charting genres in the industry that artists are becoming popular off of one song that required a default beat and ghost written lyrics.
Exceptions are made for artists like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Tyler The Creator (and gang), and the surrounding artist in ASAP Mob. These artist don’t rely on repetitive lyrics and catchy beats, rather they use personal stories to deliver a lesson and some wisdom. They use multiple techniques of singing and producing to make every album different from the last. Along with that, their style changes, changing the musical climate. They are at the forefront of their game, and they lead. They cause people to follow, proving their timelessness and tangible talent time and time again.
Trodding past the other genres of today’s music, you’ll notice that rap and hip-hop remain at the top of the pyramid, producing records seemingly every week. The quality of these tracks is what I’m discussing. Lyricists and voice coaches behind the scenes essentially spoon feed artists, sometimes writing entire songs or even records.
On occasion we’ve seen and heard beef between artists, claiming their content is produced by an outside source or a ghost writer. These writers are the pseudo-geniuses behind the mass popularity of the catchy and over synthesized songs you hear today. They can take notoriety from the likes of Drake and Rihanna.
This testament isn’t to say all hip-hop and rap is bad. At a time of its long-lasting peak, rhythm and poetry was a mixing pot of both young and old talents that had ongoing feuds. This only furthered their new and meaningful sound, and the talent came from trials and tribulations.
With hope looking up, front-running artists are straying away from overused topics and sounds. They are beginning to venture off in both the musical and cultural realm. After all, the artists are the ones creating the music and sound, thus affecting the culture.