Today’s culture lacks originality and creativity when it comes to music.
Most upcoming artists get absorbed into fame and lose their originality and freshness when they become mainstream.
Dictionary.com defines mainstream as: “the principal or dominant course, tendency, or trend.”
Artists transition from not being known by anyone to having millions of followers.
However, the price they pay to reach fame and recognition is changing their original style to one that producers and media want to see.
Artist, The Weeknd is a great example and even mentions it in his song “Adaptation” The Weeknd sings, “I made a trade, gave away my days for a little fame.”
As a follower of The Weeknd, I can see how fame has changed him. He went from having his own unique genre and being compared to “Michael Jackson with a twist” by Rolling Stone, to [a] simple pop artist.
A few years back, Pandora, a music streaming service, would pair his music with artists such as Frank Ocean, Jamie Woon, and James Blake—artists with unique styles and vocals. Today, his music is associated to PartyNextDoor, Juicy J, and 2 Chainz—artists that utilize auto-tune and sing about meaningless topics.
Mainstream rap, hip-hop, and r&b sound very similar because the recording industry has built them into stereotypical ways.
When we listen to mainstream music, we are constantly bombarded with messages about gratuitous sex, excessive drug use, and money.
Sexual content and profanity has become popularized because society continues to welcome them into our culture.
“You gon’ let me hit, or nah?” and “keep sayin’ you’s a freak, are you gon’ prove it, or nah?” are both explicit lines from rap songs.
Anyone would think that both of these lines belong to the same song, but they are actually from different songs by different artists: “Or Nah” by The Game ft. Too $hort and “Or Nah” by TY Dolla Sign. Yes, both songs even have the same title.
Rapper Wiz Khalifa admits that artists mimic each other’s style—”I think everything sounds the same because it’s all Ace Hood’s flow, Meek Mill’s flow, and A$AP Rocky’s flow.”
Using other people’s artistic ideas shows lack of originality. It is undeniable that each music era has its own style, but today’s music is dumbed down.
Rapper, Sage The Gemini, indirectly confessed that he slightly altered his originality in order to fit in and reach fame by reaching charts—”[…] I had to dumb it down and not make it say a lot of lyrical stuff. [It’s all about] giving what the fans want and giving what the record label needs, instead of what the record label wants.”
However, there are some people who do not agree with the argument that today’s music culture lacks originality and creativity.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say that we lack creativity. I say we upgrade ideas. True, we are not extremely unique, but then again, every culture during their time are pretty much into the same thing,” said Jorge Llamas, CEO of 2Beast Movement clothing line.
“For example, artists like Drake take old music samples and tweak it to make it his own and fans like it,” continued Llamas.
Unquestionably, every era goes through different musical trends and artists will always influence each other’s vibes and styles.
However, present day musicians are replicating existing ideas and letting producers corrupt their uniqueness.
Following the foolish musical trend only proves that today’s culture lacks ingenuity.
Though it is easier said than done, musicians should remain genuine to their individuality and style because fans fall in love with the authenticity of the artist.