Music is something listened to everywhere. Every part of the world has it. Every culture in the world uses it, and most of the time it is in festivities or special events or when you’re bored. Yet music has evolved, and it has helped humanity. From protesting the Vietnam war to exposing the media, music has helped people express themselves and change people. Music is known to be a universal language and is something that is not always directly understood from first hear or glimpse. For example, in one of my three songs, titled This is America, by Childish Gambino otherwise known as Donald Glover. His single first appears to be a song with no meaning as many songs today do. The lyrics are of old edifying choir saying “Grandma told me to get your money, black man” but the music video has lots of hidden messages that are not noticed because the artist Gambino does exaggerate movements and tries to distract you from the chaos behind him. This represents how the media hides more pressing matters with nonsense such as Fortnite and less important things. As the pilot had said in the little prince. Matters of consequence. Gambino was smart when he decided to show this, he knew nobody would care about a speech or some video. That’s why he used catchy lyrics to make people want to understand what the song stuck in their head is about. I enjoyed it, it was like seeing the world in the eyes of a successful African-American male.
Songs as I said before, are also used to express by people to express themselves and sometimes have high emotions. An example of this would be Mask Off. The artist Future is popular for his rap songs and decided to rap about his Drug abuse. In his past, he would get high on Percocet and ecstasy which he in song, calls the latter Molly. He tried to cover this up for as long as he could as it would hurt his image and eventually started debating with himself which he refers to as Mask off and Mask on. In this song, you find evidence in the lyrics. Very little of the evidence is in the video which happened to not be school appropriate which is why I didn’t decode it. The lyrics, however, aren’t as bad. I spent a couple of hours reading and listening to it. The song is full of my annotations in the lyrics and I have confirmed the following: “Hendrix I promise, I swear I swear” in the first and second lines of the song. I believe he was so high that he saw his inspiration, Jimi Hendrix and “talked” to him while trying to hide the fact that he was under the influence of Percocet and “Molly”. In another line, he said ” I can barely move” which suggests that he would take doses in an extremely high amount which led to frequent overdoses. He also said “Drank promethazine” when I first heard this I decided to check what it was. So after checking the lyrics for the spelling, I found out that it was according to google: “Promethazine is a first-generation antihistamine. It is used to treat allergies, trouble sleeping, and nausea. It may help with some symptoms associated with the common cold. It may also be used for sedating people who are agitated or anxious.” Now, this can be several things, but I would like to focus on the part where it says it helps with nausea, a common side effect of drugs and alcohol. This to me seems like he used drugs to get high on drugs with fewer side effects. This seems to have been a huge addiction for him. It could also be that he was anxious about his issue and decided to use promethazine to calm himself down. It’s not known if he sought help or not, but he seems to have left in the past now. I enjoyed the catchy song, but now know what it is about and though my opinion of it hasn’t changed, but I will say it’s much deeper than it is on the surface.
My last song is a song from 1967. It’s from a group called Buffalo Springfield. The song is titled For What it’s Worth. Inspired by a rally protesting a curfew. A few days later, this song came out. It was the band’s only hit ever. It later was used as a protest song for protesting the Vietnam war. The lyrics were great and fit the mood. An example would be “There’s battle lines being drawn Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong Young people speaking their minds Getting so much resistance from behind”. It’s a song that played a big part and helped a lot going against the protest. Personally, I wouldn’t listen to it in my free time but I’m glad it was made as it had a huge impact.
Music has a long history and is an art. Music has been used for years as a political force and in every human felt emotion. Music is emotion in sound. It’s used in our saddest and happiest days. Music is a force to be reckoned with and is a very powerful element. Use it to express yourself.