Monthly Archives: September 2016

Admired or Obsessed?

Musicians are looked up to by many. From children to adult we look up to celebrities like they are role models. Whether it be as small as adapting their fashion sense or as big as stalking everything that they are doing 24/7 we all want to be like them in some way.

Nowadays anyone can become famous. With tools such as Youtube and Soundcloud upcoming artists can present their work and gain an audience with no professional help. It is all just a matter of whether you become popular enough to make it big. Justin Bieber began posting singing videos on Youtube. After some time he started becoming popular and was eventually discovered by Usher Raymond. His career skyrocketed and he was under the watch of many young fans that admired him.

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But Justin Bieber as many other famous artist have a huge impact on viewers. Some will even go to the extremes to be identical to their favorite artist. One viewer went as far as to spend $100,000 to try to get Justins youthful look. Tobias Strebel said “What brought me to Bieber was the whole package: the full cheeks, the full temples, the bright open eyes, the full luscious lips, and spatial framing… Justin’s just extraordinarily beautiful.”

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Not only do celebrities change the way viewer want to look but they change their perception of what is good and bad. For example when Justin urinated in a sanitary bucket it was shown all over social media. Tons of people saw it including the young people that looked up to him and that could of made them think that things like that was okay.

 

The fact of the matter is, is that everything in the music industry is changing. Whatever is popular at the moment is what todays artists grab onto even if it is not what they usually do (for example Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez). They are effecting the way people dress, act, and even look. But the crazy thing is, is you don’t even have to be talented. Auto Tune and editing programs make it so artists don’t even have to be good at singing. All you have to do is make a song that gets stuck in the viewers head and be seen by the right person and your in.

 

Yung Thug

I think what makes an artist popular nowadays is their image because there aren’t a lot of great artist out there who actually masters the craft of being an artist. In other words artist nowadays are lacking musically but thriving with getting what their audience want.

For example an artist called Yung Thug is not the best artist vocally but because he knows how to sell himself to the audience, he’s labeled as a great artist. He gives his audience what they want to hear about, which includes: sex, money, drugs, and power.

The way music has evolved

Music and music stars have transformed since they were first introduced into the world. The way music was spread around has evolved too. it went from radios to twitter, Instagram, snap chat, etc.  Back then it was much harder for people to rise to fame due to the lack of publicity, but now our society has so many different ways that can help you publicize yourself. For example, appearing on T.V. shows back in the day would help you to your fame, but now we have  YouTube and if used correctly, you can become easily famous. In this day in time we have shows like The Voice and American Idol that can exploit your talent.

Music Celebrities have the biggest impact on the society today. From B.B. King to artists such as Drake, Young thug, and Chris Brown, the sound of music has definitely changed in a drastic way. From the blues and classical rock to now hip hop and R&B music, music stars really have changed the game. Music these days is just a trend. If one song or album gets showcased really good then everybody is going to start listening to their song or album. It’s the same way with fashion: if NBA player Russell Westbrook wore some kind of fancy attire and you like Russell and their clothing gets marketed then you are going to imitate him and try to dress as if you were him.

Due to the invention of social media, we know all about celebrity drama and what they’re up to. Instagram, Snap Chat, and Twitter allows us to follow up with your favorite artist and you can possibly even see when they will be dropping a new song, album, or mixtape. Back in the older days, you would have to wake til a band came on the radio or something in order to hear their new stuff. With social media i was able to view solange beating up Jay-Z in the elevator, i was able to see Kanye West take the spotlight from Taylor Swift and completely embarrass her, i was also able to see rappers argue with each other like the feud between Drake and Meek Mill.

I still believe that today the quality of music is what keeps people going. It comes down to where if you are popular outside of social media and if your song is good. People love good music that they can connect to, so if an artist creates a good song that relates to them then they will show interest in them and that is how people become favoring rappers. For Example, my favorite artist would happen to be Aubrey “Drake” Griffin. Coming from a hit show called Degrassi, Drake has evolved from an actor to an artist that makes number one hits and has top songs on the billboards. He makes songs that everyone can relate to.  What makes Drake my favorite rapper is his style of music. He is not the typical rapper or singer, he combines soul, hip hop, and jazz into all of music and he is really unpredictable, you never know what is coming next. Just like on his album “Nothing was the Same”, he had a mixture of genres of music. Songs like “The Language” differs from songs like “Connect”. “The Language” is more of an upbeat song and could be categorized as a rap song but a song like “Connect” is more of a slow-paced song that you could relate to and that is what makes Drake ls good.

Even though Music has definitely evolved since the 1920’s, we still hear a little of music that was popular back then combined with songs now; and Drake is well-known for that. Social media plays a big role in the music industry and the artist. How else would we be able to follow up with certain artist and see what they are up to ? I know that sounds kind of creepy but still it is beneficial and it’ s an advantage that people did not have during the 1920’s.

Childish Gambino – A New Age of Artists

It isn’t anything new for actors to start a music career and it isn’t anything for music artists to start an acting career. But rapper Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) didn’t stop there… well he didn’t start there either. He started his career as a writer for SNL, 30 Rock and, The Daily Show. Which are pretty big projects to start with but he wasn’t done there he would secure a lead role in NBC show Community moving from writer to actor. After five seasons with Community he left the show to peruse a career in music releasing debut album “Camp” to poor reviews from critics Pitchfork Magazine gave the album a 1.6 out of 10 Rollingstone gave it 3 out of 5 stars. But, long time fans of Glover fiercely supported the project. The reason Glover was so polarizing was simply, he had no image. Why should rap fans like a comedian? Why should comedy fans like a rapper?  Although Glover turned off some fans at first he started to gain a lot of steam from sophomore album “Because The Internet”. In the album Glover told a story merging all of his personalities into one. No person before had a single persona spanning multiple mediums, there is LL Cool J the rapper and LL Cool J the rapper and there is no in between.

 

But what Glover really shows is the new wave of artists replacing stereotypes in the hip-hop industry. With this new wave still being a minority, it is hard to say what the future holds.  But new artists using multiple platforms all combined to tell a larger story could be the future of celebrities themselves. This, would have a huge impact on pop culture having aspiring artists be inclined to study more facets of art. and fans focusing on different works their favorite celebrity created be it cinema, music or, painting.

 

Lil Yachty the Lil Boat

Lil Yachty is a new “rapper” who has bust out on the scene over the last year or so. However he gets alot of criticism for not being a real “rapper” because he does not always have clear lyrics which makes him very hard to understand, thus many people have called his music “Mumble Rap”. How ever Yachty has a different view of this, he does not consider himself a rapper but a entertainer, and considers his music “Bubble Gum Trap”. He says he has different sounds and melodies which makes him different and makes people not like his music.

Just as unusual as Lil Yachty’s music is, was how most of his music was discovered, it all had to do with media and social media. It all began with one of his first popular songs “1night” it was used on a Vine that became very popular and “revined” over and over again which led to this song becoming the top searched song on the app “shazam”.  This causing him to become one of the more popular artist for the time being, but all of this success came from the media and social media.

 

With Lil Yachty’s rise in popularity he got more and more following which lead to him to being featured on the 2016 XXL Freshmen Cover. This is a annual magazine that  features the newest up and coming rappers for the year and gives them spot light and coverage. Yachty was among those voted on purely from social media.

In addition to Yachty’s different sound and different music social media also gives him alot of attention for his unique look and his unique personality. For one he had bright red hair and still wears beads on his braids, so the look alone gets the medias attention alot which helps push  Yachty’s music and gets him more plays and views. Aside from his look being unique style and personality which can be seen in many of his music videos, which also gets social media talking about him more.

The self proclaimed “King of the Teens” Yachty  is very social media driven while he has a huge support system and fan base which support him at concerts and social media, thats basically where it ends. Lil Yachty’s music does not make it on the radio much which means he must rely on social media sites to stay relevant, Such as Twitter, Instagram, Sound Cloud, Spinrilla and other music apps. Having this much success purely with the power of the media and social media show how truly powerful of a tool they are.

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Justin Bieber

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Justin Bieber is a prime example of someone who contributed a lot of success through social media. His videos which weren’t studio recorded or anything were uploaded to YouTube, a free video  uploading service, that is offered to millions of users. His first video that was recognized by  51,746,416.viewers(https://youtu.be/eQOFRZ1wNLw),which was his ticket to fame, he was contacted by Usher and Justin Timberlake to sign a record label (goo.gl/SGdhxH). The reason his fame escalated so quickly was because the way he attracted himself to the media, he looked like a innocent child, but he was far from that. While he was growing up he made many poor decisions that put the spotlight on him, for example when he was in Miami he got into a little bit of trouble after driving a Lamborghini under the influence (goo.gl/omM1OH). It wouldn’t be a complete arrest without going out with a bang, in his mug shot you can see him smiling.  The quality of his music is phenomenal, he is a well established artist, winning many prizes and awards for his talent(goo.gl/vyin61),he won his first Grammy in 2016. It’s not only his talent for making music that drives the demand for his music but he is just as good as a entertainer, he seeks the attention of the people. If i were to take a guess Justin Bieber is probably known internationally. Although he may seem like a negative impact in our society by going through trouble along the way he has also helped a lot of organizations today and is a donor of half a million dollars to research Aids in Africa (goo.gl/ikP9Rc). 

More than Music

In the 21st century, music stars have become famous through social media, whether it’s through MySpace, YouTube, Instagram, etc. Here, artists have the ability to create their own image of who they are and see themselves as. MySpace, for example, allows “people to set up a personal profile on which they can post original music” (Chapter 6: Music). One can become a successful artist by getting likes/comments, or in broader terms, attention from the public. Justin Bieber is a perfect example of an artist who became famous through social media. When he was young, he had multiple videos on YouTube of him singing and playing instruments. All it took for the public’s approval, or the right person to see it. He becam famous when a talent manager discovered him. He quickly became “the first artist to have 7 songs from a debut record chart on the Billboard Hot 100,” (Justin Bieber).

I believe Justin Bieber became popular through his talent and public image. He was a young, attractive teenage boy with a great voice. It was only a matter of time before someone who could help him discovered him and assisted him in forming his image. Once Justin grew older and discovered more of who he really was and wanted to stand for, he began to establish his own style. This caused him to become even more famous. His music is great, but his image is almost “better”. Even after drama went completely South with ex-girlfriend, Select Gomez, and Justin threatened to make his Instagram private, he upset many fans and followers. My point in this is to show how fans are so consumed in the public image a celebrity or artist has that they are almost more focused on that than the very reason they are famous in the first place. People have become obsessed with the physical image an artist has, which influences people, both positively and negatively.

Artists, such as Justin Bieber, can positively influence people by encouraging them to follow their dreams and to never give up. When Justin first became widely known, it took him a few years to really become a notable artist whim attracted more than just teenage girls. Artists can negatively influence people as well through the ways they choose to live their lives. Artists who even do simple things like curse on a regular basis or drink/party all the time can push younger generations to do those things in order to feel acceptance in society. Regardless, artists have a major impact on the culture of our society, whether they realize that or not.

Heavy Metal: Loud, Brash, and Misunderstood

Heavy Metal music is arguably one of the most criticized music genres on the market today. One of the biggest criticisms that a lot of people make is that it “just sounds like noise” due to the strong in-your-face instruments or it’s signature styles of singing such as growling or screaming. The truth about the genre, on the other hand, is that it is rich with musical value and is arguably far more complex than the majority of music out there. For the sake of the argument one would have to admit the sheer speed of the instruments in traditional metal is impressive enough on its own, right?

Due to the extensive backlash that Metal gets as a whole in the mainstream media, Metal remains as a more underground genre of music that doesn’t generate a whole lot of attention to the majority of the public (at least here in the United States). The Grammy Awards for Metal musicians are quickly brushed over rarely even presenting a live performance from any sort of Metal band completely disregarded from the audience (which, in all honesty, the majority of the audience anticipate the winner of best Country or Pop artist anyway), which is what gives metal musicians a reason to hate the Grammy Awards, because they don’t get the mainstream attention that they deserve. The Grammys debacle aside, what about the Super Bowl half time show? Will we ever get to see a band like Slayer play at an event as big as that? In fact, when was the last time a local radio station played a song by Cannibal Corpse or Carnifex? Although these things would be crucial to make Metal more popular, the genre seems to thrive just fine in the shadows of the mainstream media. People who want to find the latest and greatest in Metal rely mostly on the internet where metal maintains its exclusivity strictly in the Metal community among “metalheads” and away from the unnecessary criticism of the Country folk or the typical high school prep. There are many reasons why Metal may resonate with it’s fans such as myself, and with many sub-genres to go off of, its sound can be so diverse to catch what a particular listener likes. Whether it’s loud and aggressive or subtle and depressing. Metal surprisingly draws people who are more passionate about the music creating a much more passionate and loyal fan base than any other music genre according to Spotify.

Despite how Metal seems to be better off among it’s own community, there are some great success stories that come from the genre where bands break through from the wall of obscurity and into the eye of the public. One of my favorite success stories happens to be one of my personal favorite bands, Slipknot. Who would have known a band originating from humble beginnings in a state as small as Iowa would eventually become a staple to modern Metal? These masked marauders who often sport satanic imagery have recently rivaled the popularity of Ozzy Osbourne, how is this even possible in today’s society? Believe it or not their popularity began to creep up on us ever since their conception during the Nu Metal boom of the late 90’s among other bands of the like such as Korn. Slipknot quickly made a name for themselves for their sheer number of band members at a whopping nine members, extremely intense live shows and their signature masks, not to mention their unforgiving heavy sound.

To express a sense of how quickly they exploded onto the scene, shortly after they released their first official album the band found themselves a gig on Conan back in the year 2000.

Today, Slipknot has gained such a massive following and would eventually become a world wide phenomenon with some of their biggest fan bases being in Mexico, London, and even Japan. Despite the tragic loss of their bassist, Paul Gray, and the recent outing of drummer and founding member Joey Jordison, Slipknot is still just as big as ever having their own annual “Knotfest” and which had recently joined the very popular “Ozzfest”. Whether you like them or not, Slipknot has made their mark on the music industry and will go down in Rock and Metal history.

Kanye

Who is Kanye West?  Some may know him for his music while others know him for his clothing brand Yeezy. No matter what you know him as he is one of the most influential music stars in the industry. What exactly makes this possible, is a question we may all have. As an artist of the twenty-first century, he has produced many albums. His most recent being “Life of Pablo”  released in 2016 to my personal favorite “The College Dropout”  released in 2004. Capturing the attention of young adults worldwide, he has accomplished to gain fame and become a musical icon.

Without a doubt, Kanye is famous for both his creative music and public image. Married to reality tv star Kim Kardashian, his fame which was already in the mix of society, boomed even more. I wouldn’t consider his  popularity to have come from marrying the Keeping up with the Kardashians reality star. Although I do believe it has opened new media outlets for him. Using social media outlets like Twitter, he has been able to connect to fans providing upcoming music and apparel launches.As an icon, Kanye’s countless interviews and performances have placed him on a pedal stool for people to see. He believes in himself so much that people become believers.

As one of the top music artist in the game, it has occurred to me that people will do just about anything to get a hold of Kanye merchandise (Yeezy Boost, Yeezy clothing, Albums). When critiques look at “Yeezy Clothing” their input on the clothes may be overrated and priced too high for clothing that may not look appealing to some. The negative effect it has on the youth is the pricing. Although it may not seem negative, the popularity of his music and clothing can break the bank to anyone interested with his affiliations.

As a person of society, he has managed to accomplish many things at a fairly young age. There is no doubt in my mind that people will continue to follow him on his journey. If Kanye can see the light at the end of the tunnel, others will join him.

Foxy Shazam

Foxy Shazam was an american rock band created in 2004 that had a slow but good surge into the mainstream of music. They began their conquest in music after releasing the bands first album The Flamingo Trigger. This album which was entirely free of charge put the bands name on the map and eventually help launch them in the right direction. The bands popularity came from live concert performances under big headliners The Darkness and Panic At the Disco. With such a broad act on stage the bands fans never had a dull moment enjoying the crazy music and the hysterical look of the group. Foxy Shazam would continue to shock’n awe their way to success on stage not relying much on media or internet in the early years to help them, but only sight and sound.

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Enough performances and album releases put the band into a somewhat known state. The bands single Unstoppable was featured in Superbowl 44 which help project them on the big screen. Another sound of success for the band was when their lead singer accompanied Macklamore in his Billboard top 10 hit DowntownEric Nally the lead singer was even compared to Freddie Mercury the lead singer of Queen in some cases. Which could be seen as a positive for the band in any way they looked at it. Overall the band took a break in 2014 and hasn’t been back since then, but the music and the shows they put on still have impact on viewers of their past work.