This class has raised many questions regarding music, its style, its history, and its influence over the society. I might not have even thought of some of the discussion questions that have been brought up and it’s great to see everyone’s points of view. It gives you a different perspective and gives you new ideas that might not have been thought of alone.
One of my favorite topics so far has been music as an advocacy for change. We can be so blind to the influence music holds over our lives. Musicians and singers use their talent and stardom to advocate for the people. They are role models and icons and their words have a lot of power in them. Songs tell stories and can be very reflective of the time period.
The example I used was the song “Where is the Love” by the Black Eyed Peas. This song came out in 2003 and it discusses the issues of discrimination, hate, and hypocrisy. They say “to discriminate only generates hate” and everyone is “distracted by the drama” (genius.com). With todays technology, many songs are accompanied by music videos which enhance the power of the songs. The music video for “Where is the Love” puts images and videos with its words and shows the issues they are talking about. A picture is worth a thousand words. Over 10 years later, the Black Eyed Peas put out a new version of their song that incorporates even more artists and is updated on current issues. With all of the shootings and terrible events happening in the world, the song is even more prevalent than ever. This song brings to light the issues at hand and makes people talk about them.
Relating to the Civil Rights Movement topic of the class, Aretha Franklin came out with her song “Respect” in 1965 (Wikipedia). This song became very influential during the Feminist Movement. It is an empowering song and Franklin changed the way for domineering sexual authority (Rolling Stones). Her voice spoke for the thousands of women who couldn’t speak out about the issue and she also empowered many women who might not have stood up for themselves. She sings, “All I’m askin’ is for a little respect.” This time was fighting for women’s rights and they wanted to be treated equally. This song refers to women as strong and independent and its fast tempo gives it an anthem-like feel.