The Truth Board

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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Wait, What Did I Hear?

“Are we old?”

I’m sitting with my friends Dakota and Coco on a hot Saturday afternoon. Shaded by her house and surrounded by Dakota’s extended family, we are celebrating Easter. She’s Jewish, her extended family on her mom’s side are Christian, so Friday was Passover and Sunday is Easter, but her family splits the difference so that everyone can come together.

“I don’t know anymore!” I take a sip of water as I stare into the glass doors that lead into her house.

“But really whatever happened to leaving something to the imagination?” I sit back and suddenly feel like grandma complaining about bad rap music, but are we so wrong?

I guess I should digress. The topic we were covering on that light and fun filled day surrounded the fact that music seems to be getting more and more crass, and this opinion is coming from someone who loves, pop, hip hop, rap, and everything in-between. I don’t really get shocked at anything anymore, but maybe that’s a bad thing. I’m so desensitized that I literally can listen to any unedited song and not bat an eye. Yet, despite my ever-expanding idea of acceptable things in music, there’s a part of me that dies a little when certain songs come on the radio.

I know I’m no saint when it comes to swearing and vulgarity, because I like the “that’s what she/he said” jokes as much as the next person, but when I’m literally listening to Nicki Minaj rap on the radio and half of it disappears because of the content, I seriously have to wonder. What really got me thinking about the content of what I’m listening happened when I heard the new E-40 song that’s literally called “Let’s fuck”. Something like that makes me wonder, what happened to allusion? What happened to a little mystery? I think there’s something to be said for songs that don’t bulldoze the line between “Hey I’m hinting at sex in this song” and “Let’s fuck,” there’s something way sexier about less is more in terms of music.

When I think of less is more I think Death Cab for Cutie, Rufus Wainright, Damien Rice, Dashboard Confessional, there’s a level of ambiguity or even just an eloquence of subject that seems to be a little less...degrading? Perhaps that’s the problem. As I sit worrying about whether I’m becoming old, or if over night my sensibilities towards swearing changed, I realize that instead of feeling like I’m going insane, I just have started noticing that songs have just been more and more degrading to me. Not necessarily as a woman, though that may be one side of the case, but just in general with the way certain topics are handled.

Maybe I need to just ignore it, maybe I’ll end up accepting this as the new wave of music, but for now I’ll sit and wonder how someone thought making a chorus of the word “cake” and utilizing the phrase “put my cake in you face” would be anything less than demeaning on many levels.


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