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Pop Culture Essay

Popular culture expresses the personality within the individual. We as people observe the actions of the environment around us through television, social media, and the behaviors of celebrities. A huge proponent within pop culture is the influence of music. I believe music influences our actions and how we see the society around us. Everyone has different taste in music and individuals are categorized to a general population that has people of the same interest. The more popular a song is, it will trend and our peers will jump on the band wagon and jam to the new song.

For example, when the hit song “Watch Me” by Silento came out, I would see multiple videos on YouTube and Facebook of people trying to “whip” and “nae nae”. When you think of a whip, the first thing that comes to mind is a weapon or a tool, but in the context of the song, it is a dance move. The word “nae nae” results to a term of slang and is developed to be a dance move. According to the article How Pop Culture Affect Teens, it states how individuals develop a sense of mood, behavior, and even new vocabulary when listening to music.

I myself enjoy many genre of music including rap and EDM, and each genre gives me a different mood every time I’m listening. Although music has a positive reflection of people’s lives by letting those express themselves and enjoy what satisfies their ears, but there are also negative aspects. Music influences individual’s behaviors in many ways, create stereotypes, and subjugate men and women within our society. Throughout history, music has molded our behavior within society.

Many popular songs we listen to today define our actions and thinking. According to Kevin Liljequist’s article Does Music Influence Human Behavior, he provides scientific studies that music typically with violent lyrics will generally cause the listeners to behave in a violent manner. Also those who are constantly listening to explicit lyrics will alter their vocabulary to be more slang, aggressive, or unprofessional. For example, referring to a heavy metal/rock music, people tend be more violent because the lyrics may promote violence.

I have seen videos of live heavy metal concerts and people would dance in “mosh pits”, where they would violently throw each other’s bodies around in a circle hitting and pushing people around them. On another note, from a different genre of music involving the rave scene has influenced individuals to result in doing drugs while listening to the music. Referring to Shelby Merten’s article Along Came Molly: Rave Culture Sparks Drug Popularity, she states that Molly, which is another form of ecstasy, has been on the rise and popular in rave and club music/ culture because it enhances the experience of the music through hallucinogenic effects.

I have experienced seeing Blink 182 which is a rock band and I have attended many raves in the past few years, and I have observed many people’s behaviors around me. Although not everyone is a proponent to bad behavior due to specific genres of music, it is still relevant and an issue that needs to be resolved. Not trying to categorize any music because I love listening to all sorts of genres, but every genre has their own culture and scene, which may influence individuals to behave in atrocious behaviors. As American’s, we see cultures around the world much different from ours.

Due to the differentiation, we tend to stereotype what other cultures represent just by what we hear and observe without the facts. Not all stereotypes are considered bad, but they can be taken out of context. Even within music, there are different styles, traditions, or even customs to follow. Music determines our identity because what we enjoy listening to lets us express our personality. I can say I use to stereotype certain genre of music and it is not always true. According to an article Music and Stereotypes by Madelyn Konsor, she explains how “People may define their musical identity by wearing particular clothes, going o certain pubs, and using certain types of slang.

So it’s not so surprising that personality should be related to musical preference. We really got the sense that people were selecting musical styles to like that match their own personality” When | think of those that listen to rap music, I may generalize their identity as sort of a gangster attire. If I think of heavy metal, I would probably refer to skin heads. These stereotypes are not always true, but if a huge population of individuals represent these genre of music we tend to judge a book by its cover.

Not only do music genres can influence a way a person looks, but usually music genres appeal to a particular race/age more than the other. For example rap and hip-hop may be more popular for African American audience and Rock/Metal will appeal to Caucasian audience. Music can be listened and enjoyed anybody, but over time race tend to click with certain genres and subcultures and stereotypes begin to build. According to an article The Politics of Race in Rap, “hip-hop, a predominantly African American genre with ever-increasing nationwide popularity, presents a valuable opportunity to examine how racial tension still manifests itself.

By working in an overwhelmingly black genre, white rappers must justify their positions in an industry that evolved out of serving African American communities. ” The article focuses on a rising popular white artist named Eminem and how he has evolved in the hiphop/rap culture while being Caucasian. On the bright side, there is nothing wrong with having a passion for music despite your skin tone, but people can still judge you. Over time Eminem’s career bloomed and he became a legend in the rap world.

He is a great role model to allow more Caucasians into the rap industry which negates the stereotype of black artist producing rap and hip-hop music. Music has evolved from the past to present and it has created a subculture for individuals that particularly fit into the scene, but music was made to express our enjoyment and personality. Everyone should be able to enjoy producing music and listen to anything without the regards of their peers. Some genres of music can be vulgar and demean males and females. Not only do lyrics speak for themselves, but music videos are showing explicit in our culture.

For example, men can be portrayed as handling money and drugs and women are sexual objects. Provided by Ann Powers in her article The year In Pop and Profanity, she states how “pop has hardly just developed this pretty potty mouth. But never have so many artists spilled profanity so blissfully, or embraced salaciousness with such ease. There’s a sort of carefree, cheerful quality about such naughtiness now. Red-hot content has become strangely warm and fuzzy. ” In other words, sexual content is on the rise in music and the use of materialistic things has become the center of fame and success when producing songs.

According to Sarah Neff in her journal Sexism Across Musical Genres: A Comparison “rap and hip-hop, on the other hand, often portray women as explicitly sexual objects, sometimes to be appreciated, sometimes to be used and discarded. ” Not generalizing all rap and hip-hop music as portraying women as objects, but in the recent years the music has evolved to be more vulgar and explicit. As this style gets more popular, artist will begin to show explicit content to go with what is trending to get more listeners and viewers.

Throughout centuries music has evolved and influenced our culture in many ways. Whatever is popular at the time goes with trends and people hop on the band wagon. Music shapes our identities because there are a diverse amount of genres that people have interest in. Although music portrays our interest and molds our personality, music can have negative effects on our well-being. For the past few years, some genres have created music to be more vulgar, contain explicit content, and promote violence. Our generation is more exposed to these content and children can easily be influenced.

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