Another year in the books and the world keeps on spinning. If anyone was going to give us a great 2012 edit it had to be Matt Reyes (Wheeltalk). Reyes is talented both on a bike and also behind the camera. His videos have a way of immersing us in the moments. He always finds a way to make the viewer feel as if they are there live, watching the tricks go down. That takes more than just good filming. It takes great story telling. Finding a way to blend clips with music is what I consider to be along the lines of what Mozart could accomplish with an orchestra. It’s easy for anyone to film an amazing trick and make us appreciate the skill it took to land said trick, but to make us feel an emotion is a stroke of genius that only someone as talented as Reyes can give us. I feel as though he must see the edit in his head before he goes out filming. He must hear a song in the back of his mind while catching clips and just knows that it’s going to all come together. His music tracks for edits are always unique. So unique that it got me thinking about music a lot this morning.
Music in the 20th century found a way to define generations. The music connected us with a time period. Listening to a song while letting your mind wander brings you back to a moment in time. If you were to play some jazz or big band, your mind would no doubt travel to some form of 1930’s club filled with flappers and mobsters. If I played you some Bebop you might think of a malt shop. If you heard a song by Elvis you might think of the 1950’s and the birth of rock n roll. If I played some Jimi Hendricks or the Beatles, you might think of the Vietnam war and hippies. A little disco and you’re thinking about a 1970’s dance club. If I played you some Dr. Dre, we think of ghettos in south central, the birth of gangster rap in maybe the mid 90’s. The thing I have noticed the most however, is that as we entered the 21st century music changed. We no longer have a new style of music that defines a generation. Lil Wayne has now become the artist with the most hit singles. He dethroned Elvis and Michael Jackson. But does Lil Wayne define the 21st century? Is this how the 21st century will be remembered and revered by the people of the future? Does the music we listen to on the radio today really define a generation? If it does, what does that say about that generation? I heard a line the other day, “America is not a country, it is a business … now fucking pay me.” I have to admit, it got me thinking. It is kind of a business, but it’s not our country’s fault. If I soon came to realize in some way that I could make a lot of money by putting in the least amount of effort possible … I would do it. So would you. Why work hard when we don’t have to?
I think the music industry started viewing music that way about 18 years ago. In order for a musical artist to be successful back in the day, it required them to possess some form of authenticity. It’s what helped them sail to the highest that they could possibly achieve and reach. People not only had to like the music but, they also needed to believe that the musician was a genuine person. Vanilla Ice is always a go to great example. As people began to realize he wasn’t authentic, his career ended. In modern times we no longer care if an artist is authentic. We just want some good music. Rappers refer to other rappers as “Studio Gangsters.” It sounds like a dis but it’s true. Some of the rappers out today are “Studio Gangsters.” They didn’t grow up in the hood. They didn’t carry a gun, sell drugs, or any of the other things they claim to have done in each track. Drake for example is from an upper class suburban neighborhood in Canada. He was never a gangster. He was an actor. He had a roll in a teen drama called “Degrasi.” Most people know this but, no one seems to care anymore. We no longer need authenticity. It’s as if we already foresee the product being pitched and sold. We know it’s no longer real. It’s all just for show and make believe. The musical artists that exists today are actors. They are whatever their label wants them to be in order to sell records. Katy Perry started out as a Christian singer but, you can’t make millions in that market. So three albums later she showed a lot more skin and sang about threesomes, kissing girls, gay boyfriend’s and BAM! …. millionaire. It’s not the music industries fault either. It’s always easy to point the finger at someone else. It’s our fault. We are for sale. Over the last 20 years industries have realized this more and more and they’re buying us. Walmart’s across the county went on strike this past Black Friday, protesting the awful working conditions of Walmart. We know they’re bad. We know Walmart is evil. We just don’t care because their prices are cheap and we’re broke. Therefore we are easily bought. Several publications interviewed people on Black Friday who crossed the picket line and continued to shop at Walmart and asked them a simple question, “Do you believe in what these workers are protesting about?” Almost every person interviewed across the country agreed with the protestors and then those interviewed proceeded inside to purchase their larger flat screen tv’s. I can’t say I blame them… I mean Walmart does treat it’s employees like shit …and I know it’s not right I mean something should be done about it … but I also deserve a bigger TV don’t I? It’s simple. We are no longer hunters and gatherers. We are consumers. We are looking to spend money and buy something. It’s not the music industries fault that they are willing to do whatever it takes to sell us something. It’s not the musical artists fault that they are willing to BE whatever we want them to be in order to sell records. A whore will lie to you for $60, but at least Drake held out for a million. We know it’s all lies and bullshit, but we just don’t care anymore. It’s too exhausting to care.