Friday, November 1, 2013

TLC Sparks Conversation about Longevity & Music

While watching TLC's bio pic, and finally listening to their albums (not just the singles I heard growing up) I wondered will there be more artist like them? Will today's music continue to slip into a black hole where it has no meaning and be slapped with the "garbage" label? Better yet, will music artists eventually be tossed in those same piles because they just don't know when to stop? I'm a huge lover of music, and I know that when it comes to (self) expression and creativity we the consumer don't have the right to tell an artist what to do. However growing up during the 90s and being blessed to hear great tracks, from artists we can now call legends, am I wrong to want the same for my daughter who loves music? Who one day may go down the path of creating music?

I didn't really "grow" up on TLC's earlier projects, but 20 yrs later their music is still great for the simple fact that the things they sung/rapped about are still relevant in 2013. That they filled up tracks with lyrics that we all could relate to on some level, whether it be about love, sex, heartache, or just wanting to have a good time. And while those topics can be very grown up, the lyrics weren't so blunt to the point where you knew the raw content because they were creatively written. Even if they were a bit obvious (R. Kelly's Bump and Grind for example) it was a bit more romantic. Some of the great artists I heard in the 90s are not the same as the ones today. For they are too busy trying to stay hip by dumbing down their lyrics, or adding autotune and effects to their music. Stripping away the creative imagery that flowed through a R&B track that was about love and the art of making love. Blame it on the writer in me, the creative mind that rests in this skull, but I'm very disappointed that this rarely exists anymore.

The story telling, the emotion filled lyrics describing a personal event that someone can relate to, those are the things that make music great. Those are the things that make an artist legendary- that make albums or tracks the classics they are. Music that has an effect and motivates positively is what needs to be made more today. There needs to be a balance between quality music and music that serves it's purpose for the time being. You know, those club hits and artists that will be forgotten 5-10 years from now. Setting Billboard records is cool and awesome in the present moment, but what good is it when years from now, that music has no real meaning? When people can't look back at a certain time period and say, wow, that track/album got me through some tough times. That no impact was made while the artist of choice was in power to do something awesome while they had the attention of the world.

I'm not a musician but if I was, I would be looking to make some kind of positive impact on those listening to my music. You never know how much you can change the world- even if it is only through music and a set of ears.

The piece above is crossposted from her site. Feel free to interact with her on twitter at @tiarahdenise.

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