Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Every Generation's Voice

Every decade has a voice. Sometimes we can associate a celebrity with that voice. In the 60's Bob Dylan was a fresh-faced voice for youth. Recently, Dylan was honored with a pulitzer prize. Read the article by clicking here. Other names come to mind when thinking about musicians whose voices are important to society. I recall John Lennon's fight for peace. I think about rap's early days with Public Enemy and with Boogie Down Production's KRS-One. I think about Bob Marley.

So....who are today's voices. Notice i mentioned musicians in my thoughts above. Let's keep it in the same vein. Which musicians performing today do you think should be honored as trying to help society and why are they important? Do you feel some musicians of past have been overlooked? If you don't agree with someone's selections, give reasons why that musician is not worthy. Remember try to give me two paragraphs.

22 comments:

Sidney W. said...

The first person that comes to mind when reading this is PINK. She is not one of my favorite singers but she is not scared of singing about what she believes in. She may hurt other people in the mean time but she doesnt care she is going to sing about some of the problems we are facing today.

Pink sang the song I dont want to go to rehab after Lindsay Lohan. Some of her songs you may not be able to understand the underlying meaning or know which way she is leaning, but if you here her talk on her songs you know how she feels. Also stupid girls..she sings about many problems that teenage girls are going through now and how stupid it truly is. She talks about throwing up, not eating, parting to much and other stupid and saying how STUPID it is..Her songs may not always reach all of her viewers but she is going to sing about something in which she believes.

S. McElfish said...

It seems that no one today can match up with those monoliths of pop culture that spoke their minds in the 60's and 70's. The only performer today that comes close to the efforts of the way music can change the world maybe Bono from U2. His contributions to the world may one day equal those of the past. It appears time will be the only thing that can tell.

As for over looked musicians from the past, The Clash from Britain is a band that played true messages for the people with a common view. From songs like "White Riot" and "Career Opportunity" to "Ivan Meets G.I. Joe," The Clash sang of real issues that affected everyone no matter the continent. The message is what is important, and if enough people feel the same way, the world may just change or at least a few people will never be the same.

R. Wickersham said...

Sidney, I think you are talking about Amy Winehouse when you mention the "Rehab" song. Ironically, Amy Winehouse was not allowed to enter the US for the Grammy Awards due to her lack of desire for rehab. The United States refused to issue a visa to her based on her open lifestyle of drug abuse and past indiscretions that were illegal in nature.

I agree with the second poster here in saying that Bono of U2 is certainly one of the most proflic forces in the music industry. He is recognized all over the world as one of the most well-spoken and active philanthropists for causes that affect the planet and its people. He has spoken before many influential audiences to include the United Nations and even members of our own Congress. I dare say that Bono has done more in his life to further noble causes than John Lennon ever did.

I also hear that Shakira is quite the political activist. Many of her causes are directed toward Hispanic countries, but she is very serious in her charity work. Despite her sultry looks, I also have read that she is multi-lingual and quite the intellect. Brains and looks in the same package? Sounds like a great vehicle for a persuasive argument!

EThompson said...

I love all types of music but I have noticed that some musicians do get overlooked such as Erica Badu, India Irie, and Common these musicians sing about many issues facing people today. But they are often overlooked and not recognized. I also loved Bob Marley his music was great. I also liked the beatles and Pink Floyd I was not alive during this time but the woman that I work in the office with has a varitey of different music and as I began to listen I found that I liked it. It most definitely spoke of a simplier place and time, different from the world that we live in today. Alot of rappers are overlooked because it is such a crazy industry but Naz and Kanyne West are both artists that speak about real issues that are facing our society today. Whether we like it or not there are alot kids and mostly everyone listening to this style of music and this would be the way to reach children and get them to thinking of how they can impact the world and change it for the better. Will Smith is also wonderful with kids and his music is different from any other Rapper's because he doesn't curse in every sentence the way most rappers do. I also noticed that Kayne West keeps the cursing down to a minimum also. That is what the kids need also. Will Smith is a great role model for the kids and has been honored by receiving the kids choice award. He is really conscious about the work that he does and is always trying to keep it positive for the kids because he loves them. That is what we need alot more of. I am really enjoying Kanye's new album he is great and he speaks of real issues facing all of us today and not just one race. I really love Erica Badu her music is great and she really reaches her audience with her music.

LaJoyce Roseborough said...

The first person that comes to mind is Kanye West. Kanye is never afraid of expressing his views. He tells about things he is against in his songs and he also made his views clear when he confronted George Bush on television.
Another person that is not afraid to express his views is Wyclef John. Wyclef John fight for world hunger and slavery in third world countries. He lets America know what is going on and how we have it good. Most countries don't have freedom of speech and other things we have. These are people who makes America what it is today and express what they believe in.

Tessa Horn said...

The very first name the pops into my head is . . . John Mayer. John is an American guitarist and singer-songwriter. Originally from Connecticut, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1998, where he refined his skills and gained a following. His first two studio albums, Room for Squares and Heavier Things, did well commercially, achieving multi-platinum status. In 2003, he won a Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Grammy for "Your Body Is a Wonderland".

John began his career performing mainly acoustic rock and pop, but gradually began a transition towards the blues genre in 2005 by collaborating with renowned blues artists such as B. B. King and forming the John Mayer Trio. The blues influence can be heard on his album Continuum. In 2007, John won Best Pop Vocal Album for Continuum and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Waiting on the World to Change".

John is also involved in philanthropic activities through his "Back to You" fund and his efforts trying to stop global warming.

Rebecca said...

The first person that comes to mind is The Rolling Stone. The Rolling Stones are an English Rock Band formed in London in 1962. Rolling Stones were inducted into the American ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’ and in 2004 they were ranked number 4 in Rolling Stone magazine’s ‘100 Greatest Artists of all Time. The Rolling Stone is a great group. The Rolling Stones’ commercial breakthrough came in mid-1964 with their rollicking, country-blues with Bobby Womack’s “It’s All Over Now,” which went to #3 on the British chart. But it was in 1965 that the Stones discovered their own voice with the singles “The Last Time” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” The Rolling Stone, Beatles and Bob Dylan influenced one another.

The Rolling Stone is a great group. Many of their songs are about love and many of the problems we are facing today. Their music is influential in many of our lives. It seems that no one today can match up with the music of the 60’s and 70’s. The music from those days was music you could really relate to and music you would really want to listen to in today’s society, it had meaning and really makes you appreciate life and look at many aspects of life in a different way. As for over looked musicians from the past, I would say the Supreme, and Diana Ross.

Mari said...

Every Generation’s Voice

The first musician that comes to mind is Bono because his voice is being used to inform the world about the suffering in Africa. Africa is paying debts to other rich countries that have stolen most of their resources. The country is being torn apart with war and destruction. Bono is the face of that suffering and he is using everything that he has to bring awareness to this unnecessary suffering. Plus, there are so many people dying of AIDS; an entire generation is being wiped away. There is a need for clean drinking water and the basic needs of life. I admire the work Bono is doing and I pray that we began to listen to him.

The second musician is Stevie Wonder; he has taken on many causes. I remember when he was arrested in 1985 because of a protest outside the South African embassy against apartheid. Mr. Wonder did a concert with Bob Dylan and Jackson Browne that was an anti-nuclear rally at the Rose Bowl. He has done humanitarian work for AIDS awareness, hunger in Ethiopia, Anti-Apartheid effort, crusades against drunk driving and drug abuse, and fund raising for the blind and retarded children and the homeless. His music is used to promote awareness on many issues and he has worked with many other artists around the world. Mr. Wonder was instrumental in making Martin Luther King’s birthday a national holiday.

Deanna Wilson said...

I am like the others; the first person to pop in my head was Bono from U2. He has done so much with his RED campaign. He has also gotten many other celebrities involved and raised millions and millions of dollars for Aids research in Africa. So, not only is he a great musician; he seems to be a genuinely good person.

To me, there are not as many musicians out right now that are really singing for a cause. I think Kanye West is an excellent rapper and I love his music. He raps about things that are happening in the world, but I can’t hardly watch him on television on radio interview because he is so cocky.

One artist of today that does come to mind is Ben Harper. He promotes peace and Christianity. He doesn’t come out openly and say what he promotes, but if you listen to his music it is very clear. He has also recorded a John Lennon song for a compilation CD to raise funds for Amnesty International, which is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights. He also supports several other causes and charities.

Leeanna McVay said...

One artist that I feel has the most impact on today's youth is Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana). She is an idol for many young girls that are at a very impressionable age. It is great that these girls can have someone to look up to other than Britney Spears or Paris Hilton. Miley sings songs that promote self worth and gives these preteens someone that they can look up to. She has also done some work helping Katrina victims.

Another artist that has always impressed me is Sean Kingston. You will never hear him say a cuss word or use vulgar language on his albums. I recently heard an interview with him and he said that he wants to show the world that it is not necessary to use foul language to sell albums. He also said that he has more respect for his mother than to use her name paired with an cuss word just to get a point across. He has also done several concerts to benefit different charities.

Heather Noble said...

I thought a lot about this posting before I decided to comment. When reading the topic for this week I had the same thought that many other posters had which was Bono is probably the most recognizeable musician of our generation. Not only does his music speak to many different genres but the message in his music is always trying to convey a message of tolerance and love.

Not only is he an activitist through his music but also his charity work. His (RED) campaign and his work in Africa are things that show that some celebrities truly do use their status for good and are not just selfish.

I think that its hard to think of someone that is younger that is a good example of being the voice of our generation because the ones that are at the fore front of our minds are the ones that are doing stupid idiotic things like Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton,etc. I also don't think that its fair to give someone that honor who has not paid their dues and proven why they should be considered the voice of our generation. I mean I doubt that Jessica Simpson is going to be in the running...she doesn't know the difference between chicken and tuna!

Gunner said...

I love to listen to music everyday and during most of the day. I have alot of favorites but when I step back and think about each one of my favorites I would have to say James Taylor. I love to listen to his mellow music. He has inspired many and I think that his music is based more on relationships and how we should focus on that. Special relationships are so important in today's society. I'm not big on the singer's that have only been around for a few years. So many of them are in trouble these days and grown-ups and children look up to them as idols. I don't agree with that. I don't think that musicians today get enough good messages out in their songs like the older musicians do. As far as the new music goes, if I had to pick someone that makes a difference in how she presents her music and the message she sends in her music, it would have to be Hannah Montana. My daughter listens to her cd all of the time and her music is a good influence on children. I do not ever want my child to listen to Britney Spears! She is definitely not someone who should be honored.
Heather F.

NancyH said...

One word, slim shady! Wait that's two words. Eminem, that's one word, and he may not be the mainstream's idea of help for society, but one has to recognize the truth in his art. www.phong.com/imagery/gnn/white_america/white_america.html

White America!!!! Give it a look see and a listen. Warning it is absolutely not for children. Listen and watch where they are not, please!

He's our closest pal, and by his own admission, a poster child of sorts, also the &&&&&$ %%^( spokesman for the hurting America.
Whether you want to admit it or not he expresses some feelings that we all have at some point, if you say you don't you can only kid yourself for so long. You are not fooling anybody.
He is crude, but he is adamant about freedom, which we should all want. Hate is here. Let's be honest, we have seen it right here in this class blog! It is not going to go away because the stars talk about love and show us hungry kids. Why don't the super duper stars start feeding those kids and cleaning up the garbage dumps they are digging through. Quit spending all that money to broadcast the suffering on prime time and take those people to another location. Say, Madonna's castle? The stars have mucho $ and I personally don't think their work warrants the kind of payday they get. While the common people (me) are struggling to pay bills, pay for school for ourselves (because nobody else could,) and keep our children in food and clothes, and GAS, don't get me started!

Of course, I am aware that Mr. Mathers is setting up straight rich, and....yeah, he probably slaps bitches, which is wrong! But at least there is a message in his work that relates to the shape of the nation.


On the other hand, Go BONO, you are a real hero. I mean, a middle aged man who grabs underage girls' asses and rubs himself all over them on stage at his bad concerts has got to be someone to look up to! Yeah! That's what we need as a model for society.

Liberty and Justice for All. Ha ha.
Thanks so much, I'll be here all week.

elizabeth bowling said...

I do think every generation has a voice especially when it comes to musicians, their words tell us what they are thinking and remind us what is going on in the world today.I'm not sure that I can think of too many singers that should be honored for helping society, maybe Bono from U2 because he is such a great activist for the aids crisis. I am sure that there are others that I can not think of at the moment.
On the other hand I think it is much easier to think of musicians that have hurt the image of our society but I will not get into that. I am sure there several of todays singers have been good role models for children and teens, and maybe even inspired them to follow their own dreams to becoming a singer. I think there are musicians that are good and some that we could do without.

Rosie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rosie said...

I think Will Smith. When people think of Will Smith the first thing that comes to mind is the multi-million dollar actor. Smith however has a successful music career. The first thing that is usually thought of when the word Hip-Hop is brought up is "sex." Most music videos consist of half-naked women, drugs, alcohol, graphic and somethimes violent lyrics. Will's songs, however do not contain any such things. His lyrics are always uplifting, catchy and violence free, and never degrading towards women.

Will Smith doesn't follow the typical hip-hop trend of money, bling and strippers. Instead, he creates meaningful songs that have caused him to be overlookd as one of the greatest artist of hip-hop. He should be commended for his non violent lyrics. He has showned that you can still make it to the top without the cursing and degrading of women. Smith is a great role model for the upcoming generation.

roslynw said...

Some of today’s music artists display a positive aspect on our youth as well as the society. Music needs to be like back in the day when you had MC Lyte, Salt N Pepper, and Queen Latifah; these women set positive examples of how music suppose to be. I can’t think of any music artist back in the day that did not get recognized. Lauryn Hill will always be remembered for her songs. Her voice is so unique and the lyrics are so touching. She was also a member of the group, The Fugees. The Fugees is an outstanding group with the help of Lauryn which became one the hottest groups. When they open the BET Music Awards last year the crowd went wild with excitement. Another leader in music is WyClef who is one of the members of the The Fugees. WyClef has written and produced inspirational songs that will be heard and respected for years to come. Like a lot of people, WyClef believes that we are fighting a pointless War and should hurry up and get President Bush out of office. He also tried to encourage the American people to get out and vote.

Mary J. Blige is an evolution of music and shall be forever known for her lyrics and vocals. When you are having problems in a relationship or just need confidence in yourself, listen to any of her cd’s and I guarantee that you will feel better about yourself. You can feel the emotions and uplifting spirit through her songs. Jill Scott is another musician that has her own unique style. Jill sings songs from the soul that don’t consist of using degrading words to express how she feels or to attract the audience. She is a true believer that women of today are beautiful in every way and do not have to settle for less from a man or anyone. India Arie and Erica Badu are two females that sing from the heart not just to impress the audience. India expresses through here music how your appearance doesn’t make you who you are its what’s inside that counts, while Erica says be your own person don’t try to compete and copy someone else lifestyle. I almost forgot Alicia Keys who has had so much impact on my life. Alicia is a beautiful and talented vocalist that says she was influenced by artist such as Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker and Diane Ross.

Jessica said...

I have to agree with Sidney W., the first person that I thought about when I read this question was PINK. Pink is one of my all time favorite artists because she "keeps it real by sayig what she means and not being afraid at all about what society will think of her. I first heard PINK while I was still in high school and thought that she was a great representation of the feelings and angst that I felt at the time. I have since then grown up with PINK and her music is still following along with the issues, emotionally and politically that I find important.

My second choice would have to be Kanye West who gives the same messages as PINK but to the African American community. Throughout the years Kanye has written music that speaks to the heart and soul of the African American community but sadly he will only be remembered for one event. During the Katrina disaster Kanye made a comment about George Bush not liking black people. The world stood still, as did Elton John while we witnessed this event on live television. These are the icons of our time, talking about current events and things that actually matter to the average person, unlike singers that sing about their wealth and social status. There is only 1 percent of America that can identify with having a personal jet plane and although the beats are nice, the message does not ring true.

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Barbara said...

The musician performing today I think should be honored as trying to help the society is Sheryl Suzanne Crow, born February 11, 1962. Sheryl is an American country; blues rock singer, guitarist, bassist, pianist and songwriter. Her music blends country, pop, folk, and blues rock into one mainstream sound, and has won nine Grammy Awards. Crow is also a note political activist. She has give a lots back to the community, through her contributed many songs to movie soundtracks and special projects that were never made available elsewhere. She has performed with the Rolling Stone, and recorded with Vince Gill and Willie Nelson. She also toured with Michael Jackson during the BAD tour from 1987-1989.
She has performed fundraisers to the Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF) as result of her friend dying from scleroderma. She also has contributed fundraiser for breast cancer, because she was diagnosis with breast cancer 2006. I think everything that Sheryl is doing is very good, especially the different things that she during with breast cancer, because in February 2007 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. We are both breast cancer survivors.

c.mcnair said...

A true musician finds beauty where there is none. The real voices of today work to bridge where others may cross. These voices can be found in the same people who held problems similar to their audience base by connecting on many levels. It is easy to think only a handful of voices exist, but in fact there are thousands now with Internet technology.

For many of us, the digital revolution is still uncharted frontier. We know what we explore. But for the younger generation it has taken a matter of years to be exposed to unprecedented ranges of selective musicians, media and pornography that most old farts ever rid of in natural life. Back to music, the voice of today is the self-proclaimed voice, especially the musical one. Someone like Marie Digby, who appeared on YouTube with a guitar or piano, got up there and rocked out just being herself. She sang a killer cover for Linkin Park’s “What I’ve Done” and Britney Spears’ “Gimme More”. Now, just recently in April she came full circle to release an album entitled “Unfold”.

Toni said...

I have to say that my mind goes straight to Sheryl Crow. She has been through a lot and still comes out singing.

She breaks up with long-time love, Armstrong and then discovers that she has breast cancer. She fought her battle and has come out on top. From that difficulty she has now become a real vocal activist for breast cancer and its awareness.