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Embracing Change in Music

Do you ever feel like you go through the same old music catalogues, playlists and albums day-in and day-out?

Do you have that feeling of drought with your musical palette? Well, fret not, for I have a proposition.

Why not listen to something other than what you’re used to?

Be it a genre you’re not familiar with or an artist you dread, stick it on and delve into the plethora of the unknown. Even if it just for an hour and you come away with a little bit of knowledge about something you didn’t know an hour ago, that is equally fine.

For me, I’ve recently been diving into the classics of hip-hop, rap and more importantly, the mysteries with the likes of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls.

Notorious in not just their alter-personas as international music artists, but notorious for their sounds they made and their power-house profile it brought to the scenes of East Coast hip-hop and “Gangsta rap”. Although they were taken from us by a scenario we’re all too familiar with, within the crevices of America, the sheer impact they had with us in the world paints us a picture how iconic these two were and are.

Of course, this led on to the mightiest who are still mighty in their corresponding leagues – Eminem, Jay-Z and Kanye.

So for today’s Sunday – where I usually request for you to take out your favourite Sunday chill playlist with your morning (or afternoon) coffee, instead, listen to something different and learn something new along the way.

Hope your week upcoming is just as prosperous, folks. Take care of yourselves.

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The Importance of Making a Scene: Controversy in Music

Controversy in music has been around for decades.

From songs involved in plagiarism where an artist has nabbed the same bars or so, to music censorship and its subsequent murder – even to the calamities of live performances with the cynical attempts of miming, auto-tuning and generally being an arse to your fans while on stage – controversy in music is a popular topic of conversation.

And of course, with controversy, comes with popularity.

Now, whether that’s popularity that is hard-earned or merely popular because its popular, is an entirely different kettle of fish.

Is it as important as we first thought? Are making a scene for the benefit of ourselves or the musician?

Controversy of Culture: Biggie Smalls and Michael Jackson

Notorious B.I.G’s murder remains one of LA’s biggest unsolved homicides 20 years on. Michael Jackson’s controversy surrounding his paedophilic notion is unsolved on speculation and mere here-say, and remains one of the biggest unsolved controversial topics to a global star to date.

The controversy with Notorious B.I.G (Biggie Smalls) and Michael Jackson, has allowed for them to be within conversations, playlists and talking points for decades. Are they still present in our culture for their endless controversy surrounding a ugly drive-by, murder and paedophilic omissions, or is it simply for the marvel of their music?

I often wonder whether this controversy undoubtedly tarnishes the reputation of other like-minded artists and – overall tarnishes the music. Maybe not, maybe I’m being too cynical, here. But, whatever does happen to the name of Jackson in the coming years, I think it’s safe to say that we would still listen to his music …?

Controversy of Censorship: Nicki Minaj and Cardi B

The controversy of censorship plays a different story. When something arises as being wrong or unlawful, it makes people listen to their music more and more. You could argue that artists actively lavish this prospect and are nothing but controversial. For her lyricism, nudity, and questionable dress-sense, Nicki Minaj has been on the tail-end of controversy for the past ten years. And yet, it’s not stopped her progression, but more so, elevating her to one of the most influential female rappers in the past decade. But, is this for her controversy or is it for her utter creativity and genuine talent when it comes to writing music? I may be a tad bias, but I may go for the former with this one …

The Controversy of Rebecca Black’s Friday

We can’t discuss the controversy of popular music without talking about this one. Deemed as the “worst video ever made”, it’s controversy and instant hatred for the whiny singing, and hideous melody-making, catapulted it to instant notoriety. Still, it didn’t stop her music career from surging, grabbing 150 million views via YouTube and 11 million plays on Spotify (despite not being added to Spotify a year later) . Making multiple profits, Black lavished at the prospect of being one of those hated music singers and joined the queue. With the “if you can’t beat em, join em” mantra in the back of her mind, she has gone on to make remixes of the very same hated song that was first published 9 years ago. No shame, eh? She’s really pulling on the heart-strings of nostalgia in music, that’s for sure.