Make it your music

Societal changes have led to a more tame music industry


If you look at music over the past five to 10 years, you will notice a change. Music has gotten less vulgar or blunt. I think it’s clear that people have become more sensitive to what they hear or see online nowadays. Due to this, some artists have had to become more attentive to the opinions of their listeners, and making sure they create music that doesn’t upset society.

One artist that I think represents this well is Tyler, the Creator. In his earlier albums such as “Goblin” or “Bastard,” Tyler, the Creator is not as careful with his words. He mentions sexual assault and other topics that aren’t the most family-friendly. If he said these lyrics today, I feel as if it would be covered by all news outlets, people would be furious and he would probably be pushed out of the music community.

One example of a song that I think shows this very well is “Blurred Lines.” It created a lot of controversy due to its suggestive lyrics and creepy undertones. People became very mad once a meaning had been brought to their attention. Now, this happened in 2013, but since “Bastard” came out in 2009, society was much more different.

Tyler, the Creator has slowly changed over the years to a more mellow rap artist who mainly talks about love and does more of an R&B style. I think this is mostly because he saw that he had to adapt to the music industry to be successful. If he kept his past stance on music and kept creating his old type of rap music, I don’t think he would be nearly as successful as he is today. He would’ve gotten turned down because record labels wouldn’t want to produce such problematic music. It could ruin the producer or label and no one would want to partner with them.

Another artist that I think has transformed their style is Childish Gambino, also known as Donald Glover. In his past albums, such as “Camp” from 2011, in one song, “Campfire,” Glover mentions topics such as the song being “retarded” so he calls it a slow jam. He also says the n-word with a “hard r.” I also think that if he said stuff like this today, he would definitely be bombarded by angry people who think that stuff like that shouldn’t be in today’s music.

Overall, I think this filtration that is pushed on musicians is not good for their overall performance. I don’t think they should have to  filter themselves to be a “good musician.” I also feel as if it’s mainly pushed upon the rap community. You don’t hear many pop songs from a while back that are questioned when it comes to their lyrics. If a musician is blatantly offensive, I think they should have some sense of filtration. Although, artists shouldn’t have to conform to the opinions of their fans. Prohibiting an artist seems as punishment in a way.