How Has Pop Music Really Gotten This Stupid? Yes. The Answer is Yes: A Little Friday Funny

You’ll have to forgive me, but I’m just a little bit pissed off. I think I’ve made my thoughts about contemporary pop music pretty clear–you can read a full post on the subject here. It’s not a lack of ability. The pool of talent is rich and diverse: great musicians, singers, songwriters, producers, dancers, performers–these folks are incredibly gifted. The problem is they have nothing to say. Even worse, they seem to be engaged in some sort of contest to see whose song lyrics can contain the most creatively raunchy way to talk about sex, demeaning themselves, their subjects, and fans in the process. It’s absurd. The heart of pop music is now rooted firmly in graphic sex, violence, and debasing, disrespectful, and violent imagery much of which is aimed at women. The problem is that the music is just so dang good we can’t stop listening.

I love this video, not just because it’s funny, but because you can actually hear the inane and silly lyrics of Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty.” Been around the world don’t speak the language. But your booty don’t need explaining. Really? Your booty don’t need explaining? Got her saved in my iPhone under “Big Booty.”  Profound. Well done Jason Derulo. You have officially blown us away with your keen insight and clever poetic musings on the size and nature of the woman’s bottom you have presently chosen to objectify. We are now all just a little stupider for having listened to your song. By the way, my ten and eight year old boys love your music. Thank you for that.

I know what Derulo’s retort would be. In fact he wrote it into the song itself, specifically in the bridge which is rapped by the immortal 2 Chainz–formerly known (I kid you not), as Tity Boi: “Sold out arenas, you can suck my penis.” Well done Jason (and Dos Cadenas). You have nailed it. You have summed up the virtue of your art. You are getting rich by calling forth the very worst the human race has to offer. The only problem is that you are responsible for what you put out into the world. You are responsible.

I’m not a prude. I want artists to push the envelope. We need to talk about sex, but not like this. Contemporary pop music should be the slap in the face our sleeping culture needs to wake up and choose a new direction. Instead they are cashing checks, riding in limos and apparently, getting laid on every continent.

So I say, isn’t it time for pop musicians to use their considerable powers for good? Seriously, channel all of that creative energy and talent into imagining a better future. Take all of that ability and call out the powers that be. Take on the people who are running our world off a cliff. Deconstruct political corruption. Expose injustice. Tell a good story. Fight for something that’s worth fighting for. Stop, please for the love of all that’s holy, stop seeing how raunchy you can make your lyrics in order to make a buck. You look and sound ridiculous, and my kids–all of our kids–are your captive audience.

Music used to be important. It could be again. But the artists are going to have to change it.

"God was on the side of the North because of slavery. God will not stand ..."

Do Things Like Income Inequality and ..."
"What is Trump's problem?Humans kneel to propose, and to pray & show allegiance!Has Trump ever ..."

To Kneel is Human: To Listen ..."
"Are you saying Satan wants us to stop killing people?"

To Kneel is Human: To Listen ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Tim Keel

    Great stuff, Tim. I read an interesting and mildly depressing article on Slate last month about David Foster Wallace’s critique of irony and how our culture has become banal due to it. Your line – “The problem is they have nothing to say.” – made me think of it. Here’s the link:

    http://www.salon.com/2014/04/13/david_foster_wallace_was_right_irony_is_ruining_our_culture/?utm_content=bufferf4fb4&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

  • Linnea912

    So true. The only “pop” singer these days that I like (and I use the term rather loosely) is Josh Groban. He actually has some wonderful things to say with his music, and is really an artist, not just a pop star. 99% of pop today is just vapid and stupid. On the other hand, the pop of 30 years ago (80’s) was good stuff… *sigh*…

  • luke piestalker

    great summarization. but you seem to think these a-holes give a damn about what your kids tune into… they don’t. they don’t give a shit about anyone, nor do they care about music. coz music actually died when these no-talent, accursed, animals realized they could generate a beat on a computer and still sell tickets and albums…

    they are pretenders! can derulo or grande or kanye pick up an instrument and play for us? phuck no, they gotta have their synthesizers, their lazer light shows and their glitzy fashion in order to masquerade as artists. they are not artists. they are wicked idiots lead around by their greed trying like mad to exploit the market (your children) and win adoration. another sign Jesus Christ is about to hit the reset button – music no longer has anything to do with music.

  • Kookum

    Great article. This paragraph sums it up perfeclty IMO:

    “The pool of talent is rich and diverse: great musicians, singers,
    songwriters, producers, dancers, performers–these folks are incredibly
    gifted.” Yes, but you can be as good or talented as possible, if the people in charge, who own the companies, pay you to release music way below your abilities, what can you really do? And because in the mainstream music area, it’s not one company who does it, they all want us to become more stupid, demoralized and infected with the topics (party, sex, women are objects, materialism, drugs) many artists sing in their songs. They want to destroy society.

    “The problem is they have nothing to say.” In two ways: First obviously their lyrical content is crap, it’s just talking about superficial stuff, party and materialism, not good at all, in fact very negative and destructive. And the second thing: The visible music makers are not in control. Though it always appears that these artists are in charge, make their own videos and enjoy this awesome party lifestyle, they are not, they are interchangeable, either they play along or they’re gone.

    “Even worse, they seem to be engaged in some sort of contest to see whose song lyrics can contain the most creatively raunchy way to talk about sex, demeaning
    themselves, their subjects, and fans in the process. It’s absurd.” Great summary! And you’re absolutely right: It IS a contest, there is a clear agenda behind all that music to push the limits and there’s a “how low can you go” contest happening. What is “okay” or tolerated these days was scandalous and impossible to be played on the radio/screen just a few years or decades ago. The decay of society, the desenstization of people’s perception of what is decent and what is bad/negative and should not exist at all (like in the movies and tv shows: Bad is the new good/fun and vice versa)

    “The heart of pop music is now rooted firmly in graphic sex, violence, and
    debasing, disrespectful, and violent imagery much of which is aimed at
    women. The problem is that the music is just so dang good we can’t stop
    listening.” If you see something everywhere, it gets stuck in your brain. If a message is repeated over and over again, you’ll believe it at some point (except you actively do your research and take a look behind the scenes and what bad media content does to people and society) as being okay, good, decent, right. And the last sentence is so true: I’m a huge music fan. Though I’m not a musician, with all my years of listening experience, I am sure that I know what good sound is. And I swear to you: I could name like maybe 50 or more pop songs that musically are absolutely catchy, fun to listen to, good melodies, but with the lyrical content, I can’t listen to them. That’s the enemy’s trick: Get them with catchy music, it’s the same with the blockbuster movies or modern movies in general: They look great. It’s like they invest 99 % of the budget into the effects, the sets, the good looking actors, the charismastic musicians and only 1 % into lyrical content. One just has to ask one simple question here: Would it be possible for the music/film industry to write good stories/lyrics? Yes, it is, why shouldn’t it? So, why isn’t it done? Because they want to keep us dumb, sheeple who do not think, are very easy to control, to guide in every direction the elite wants. THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT ANY CONSEQUENCES CAUSED BY WHAT CRAP THEY THROW AT OUR FEET AND AT THE YOUNG PEOLE, CHILDREN EVEN. THEY ONLY WANT POWER, MONEY AND TO DESTROY SOCIETY!