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Music Back in the Day
Vol 10 Issue 1

A song came on the radio yesterday as I was driving the car. I immediately turned it up as I recognized it as being from "back in the day." The day in this case not being 50s Brook Benton, or 60s Temptations, or 70s Jackson Five, but the 80s rap. Yes, early rap. A little bit after "hip, hop, hippy to the hippy hip hip hop you don't stop..." Let me catch myself. Yes, maybe right after that early tune.

It was a time when rap artist rhymed about how well they rapped and the other rap artists better step back. Specifically, this song was by Eric B and Rakim. There was a little scratching, as in records, in the background. There wasn't one "beep" word that I could hear. Beep as in a word that needs to be beeped out.

It was nice to be taken back to my, um, high school years with the song. But, I think how rap has changed so. As I hear rap screaming from the cars that may be riding beside me, so much of it is vulgar. It's sad. Especially because it's accepted now as if it's nothing.

It's the vulgar rap songs that win the music awards, it's the vulgar rap artists that get the most play on video shows, and it's the vulgar words of the song that are memorized, repeated, and sang so often by young and the not so young.

Perhaps rap was not every really totally innocent, nothing rarely is. But it has truly gone to the, well, I don't know what to call it. I worry about the students in high school and younger how they are exposed to negative images along with the vulgar music they are listening to. Music today is not like music was "back in the day." Nothing stays the same, but when I listen closely to some songs nowadays, all I can be in sad about change in music.

copyright 2004 Paula Lonergan