From the likes of The Temptations to Boyz II Men, The Manhattans to Jocedi, The Supremes to SWV, Labelle to TLC, The O’Jays to H-Town, The Marvelettes to Xscape, The Jackson 5 to Men At Large, and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas to En Vogue, they all illustrate the parents and offspring of music. Over the decades, music has definitely evolved. When I turn on the radio, very rarely do I hear the infamous and harmonious sounds and styles of such groups. The mainstream rotation is flooded with the likes of Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Lil Boosie, Waka Flocka, and Drake, just to name a few. Even the brand of rap music has changed, and in my opinion, not for the better. I will admit that I sometimes enjoy listening to rap music from the 80’s and 90’s as oppose to the rap music of today. However, this is my opinion and preference. What is your opinion and preference? I have to listen to a bunch of nonsense on the radio before I can hear something worth enjoying. What has happened? Old school music was not solely about making money, but it also truly meant something in the process. However, now it seems that any and every thing is put to a beat, and money is all that matters. This is the reason why I do not listen to the radio as much, not the regular stations anyways.
Recently I have found a new love for Sirus/XM Satellite Radio, as it caters to all types of genres. On satellite, I can enjoy the sounds of the aforementioned groups as well as the likes of Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, Gerald Levert, Mariah Carey (old school), Whitney Houston (old school), Keith Sweat, and Luther Vandross, just to name a few. I understand that such groups and solo artists are considered “oldies”, but they are also “goodies”, and most importantly, have meaning and appeal to the ear. When I do want to enjoy the new school sounds of Ginuwine, Monica, Kandi Burruss, or Robin Thicke, satellite radio allows me to choose the perfect station that caters to this genre without having to listen to what I feel is displeasing to the ear.
According to the letter and video directed to Lil Wayne from ten year old Nia, nine year old Nya, and five year old Kamaria (collectively aliased as Watoto From the Nile), such music is also displeasing to their ear; specifically, Lil Wayne in their letter/video. They feel that artists such as Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, and Michael Jackson, just to name a few, make music that completes their soul. Furthermore, such artists make music that have meaning and make individuals want to dance, clap their hands, and stump their feet, as oppose to promoting the degradation of women (queens, according to Watoto), drugs, and profane language. In my opinion, it is commendable for such young children to express such strong feelings. As the good ole' saying states, "Well, you've heard it from the mouth of the babies!"
One thought that always ponders my mind is, "I wonder if music will ever be what it used to be. They say history repeats itself. I sure would like to see that history repeated." I concur with the lyrics of Marvin Gaye when he sings, "Ah, mercy, mercy me. Ah, things ain't what they used to be, nah." The question is, "What's Going On?" (Gaye, 1971).
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