Musical mayhem

How my music taste caused me to fall victim to poor choices

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CREDIT: Photo by Vova Krasilnikov from Pexels

Music has had a powerful impact on peoples life choices.

By Felipe Rodriguez, Staff Writer

You’re scrolling through your social media and see everyone posting about a fresh album from a popular artist. Tempted by the many posts on your feed and not wanting to feel left out of pop culture, you listen to the album too. 

You overhear your friends talking about an underground artist that they enjoy. Influenced and curious by their talk, you check out the artist too. 

Music is everywhere and in everything. With many genres, artists, and purposes music and its influence is something we can’t run away from. 

Everyone has their own interpretation of music and you might view a song differently than I do. As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we’re all allowed to possess these differing views. 

But there’s a reason for everything so we might want to ask ourselves why we choose to listen to certain music. 

Why are we drawn to certain genres? What messages do we get from our music choice? Is there a deeper meaning to our music preferences or are they solely entertainment-based?

These are questions that I asked myself and I completely changed my musical preference. 

I used to listen to rap music and my favorite artists were none other than the rap icons Biggie Smalls and Tupac. Although I prefer different artists now, I have no resentment for them or the rap genre. 

However, there’s no denying that their songs took a toll on my beliefs and negatively influenced me. One song I favored, in particular, was “Hypnotize” by Biggie Smalls which included a lot of profanity and sexual lyrics.

The rap genre possesses a common theme of female objectification and the promotion of illegal activities that I was exposed to by listening to it. I would use profanity more than usual because rap music convinced me it was okay to do so. Rap music influenced my racist behavior with its use of racial slurs and remarks. I viewed women as an object only meant for sexual pleasure because that’s that message rap music would send.

Then I started to attend church more and turned to Catholic beliefs. Doing this made me realize that women aren’t objects but human beings whose feelings are valid. They have a special role in life and should be viewed as people, not toys. My faith in the Catholic church caused me to stop listening to music advocating immoral messages

Music influences my personal choices and beliefs. It has a great impact on my life and I’m sure it does for many of you as well. This Is why it’s sad to see the effect of modern music on the youth especially music promoting sexual and illegal content.  

Now that I’ve changed my music preference,  I enjoy listening to old school music like Elvis Presley or Michael Jackson. My favorites include Frank Sinatra, Ben King, Paul Anka, and Roy Orbison. 

Older songs talk about love and other emotions in a positive way. This is different from what’s popular among the youth and what plays on the radio now. My choice of change makes listening to music an enjoyable experience without the profanity and promotion of drugs. 

Michael Jackson is now my most listened to artist. When I listened to rap I judged everyone for their poor choices although I was a hypocrite. “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson made me realize that I was in no position to judge others without judging myself first. This song’s message is that to change the world we have to start by changing and correcting ourselves.

“Black or White” is another one of Jackson’s classics that positively influenced me. The song deems race as unimportant and advocates racial equality. Songs similar to this one made me a question and correct my behavior. I didn’t think twice when making jokes about racial stereotypes. 

Ben King’s “Stand By Me” has an appreciative message. This song tells us that it’s important to recognize reliable people in your life that stay by your side when you’re experiencing a difficult time. 

The music I listen to now has a positive influence on me as opposed to my previous music taste. I’m glad I changed my choice of music because it caused me to be a better version of myself. 

We have our music preferences and whether we choose to admit or not, there are helpful and harmful outcomes of listening to them.  

So the next time you recommend your music to someone ask yourself what impact it might have on this person. When you’re listening to music that you see trending, ask yourself if you’re listening because you want to or because you don’t want to go against the grain of trendy pop culture. Always remember to evaluate the music you consume and what effects it has on your character.