Music has always been one of the best way people use to express themselves in the world of entertainment and art. It reflects the thoughts of a generation, their passion, their beliefs, and their anger. Music is often influenced by the ongoing events in the world and the living conditions. For the past couples of years, certain themes have been dominating the music industry reflecting the move away from reality, as our generation becomes more engrained in the world of fantasy and make-believe.
The 21st century has seen a significant rise in overtly sexually themed songs. This contradicts the fact that there has been a significant decrease in young people having sex in their adolescent years. The number went from 55 percent to 48 percent since 1988 (cdc.gov).
Another rising theme is alcohol and drugs. About 1 in 3 songs reference to the use of drugs and alcohol. This goes hand in hand with the increasing of the number of people abusing drugs. Statistics have shown than that drug use among people between the ages 18-25 has been at its highest (drugabuse.gov).
The “you only live once” mentality and rebelling against the social norms is becoming more common than ever.
But the most significant change in music is the increase in songs about “self-love.” This comes as no surprise with the rising liberalism sweeping the western societies. In the last couple of years extreme liberals have been calling for structural societal changes in regards of how society perceives human perfection. Songs dominated by this theme talk about how people should love themselves and that everyone is beautiful in their own way.
So what does this say about our society?
These themes show how our society today is a society that seeks escapism. People are more invested in escaping than ever before. They talk about sex, parties, drugs and the lifestyles the can’t live. Music is surely a way of self expression and escapism but the direction music is following today raises concerns about how the in appropriate themes are going to affect the people listening to it. these fears doubles and triples when it comes to the effects of this type of music on the adolescent audience, seeing how the music they listen to affects the development of their identity.
Music is becoming more escapist than ever and people are accepting it an welcoming this escapism, so when are we finally going to realize that we should break free from this escapist world and start making real changes? Only time will tell.