Today is music. This one is difficult with as is tomorrows post, books. There are so many genres of music and so how are we supposed to know what is going to last? How do we know what will affect future musicians? This question has actually been in my mind about fourteen or so years, as opposed to the other media which I only really started to think about recently. I started to think about this when my father asked me what music would be the remembered in the future. I am guessing I was probably fifteen or sixteen and we were in the car listening to what I wanted to listen to, he didn't really like what I listened to at the time which was the grunge rock/alternative rock of the early to mid-nineties. I am guessing at the time based upon the fact that I think that it was right after Kurt Cobain died as I think I named him as someone who would live on. I would stick with this thought. I think that Kurt Cobain and Nirvana were the voice of Generation X and as such will have an everlasting place in history.
As I started to think about this post, I thought about maybe Michael Jackson. Although now he is associated with pedophilia and other weirdness, I also think that Thriller was one of the greatest albums of my lifetime. The Thriller music video did something to define the art of the music video and really has not been replicated. I think that in time what he did as a solo singer and with the Jackson 5 will be able to be looked at more critically without the current view of him obscuring it. Madonna also seems to have to make this list. She was another voice of the 1980s that would seem to have defined a generation and paved the way for Britney and Christina among others.
When looking at hip hop and I know I am not qualified to do this, but I would have to say that groups like Public Enemy, N.W.A. and Digital Underground would have to be seen as critical to the growth of the hip hop movement. Tupac and Biggie Smalls would also seem to be important to the change in hip hop. All of these people took hip hop from more of a party sound to more hard hitting. They attacked the current situation in race relations and how the modern black man is understood and at times even were critical of their own neighborhoods and the prevalence of black on black violence. I know that this is what cost Tupac and Biggie their lives, but in this way it also shone a light on what was happening. These groups and individuals also brought hip hop out of the strictly urban areas and created mass appeal.
As to country music, I can only really think of Garth Brooks. Since I did not listen to country until I turned at least 18, I have the same issues with country as hip hop, I know I am not qualified to judge them. I know there are plenty of other singers like Brooks and Dunn, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill that may live on and have a lasting effect, but it is difficult for me to judge.
This really is tough for me and I look forward to who future musicians quote as their musical influences to discover who really has an impact and who was a limited pop culture idol. I will leave you with the Thriller video as I still really love it. Ok so the original Thriller video is not available to embedding from YouTube, but here is a version using Legos. If you want to see the original you just have to go to YouTube and look it up.