This I Believe

Tavis - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on October 4, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the music industry. With so many downloading programs out there like Limewire, Bearshare, and Bit Torrent, it’s hard to have faith in what looks like a dying industry. People are downloading music for free all the time. I know I have before and I’m sure whoever is reading this right now is probably waiting for The White Stripes’ new song to finish downloading.

Some people see the downloading as a problem, but I see it as just another bump in the road. Certain musicians have spoken out against it, like Metallica, and it just ended up making them look like a bunch of tools. I think the illegal downloading was bound to happen, and while it may put some record labels out of business, it won’t end music.

We’re entering a new age in music where artists promote themselves. Labels have less to do with music than they used to. Since most of the distribution of music today is digital, this means anyone can upload their music. And programs like iTunes are making it very easy to become an independent artist in today’s music world. For the most part, the only artists under huge labels are pop and rap acts.

People who buy albums are worried that physical copies of music, such as CDs and records, won’t be sold soon. Some speculate this will take effect beginning next year. It’s hard to tell right now if this will actually happen, but even if it does, something will be invented or changed so that those who aren’t into the iPod craze can still get their music.

A concern of mine involves the radio. There’s been a new trend on the radio of what I’d like to call “the dumb-ing down of music.” Everything I hear is getting more primitive: whether it’s the song’s message or the beat, everything is getting simpler. Take for instance Rihanna’s recent song “Umbrella.” The lyrics to the chorus are as follows: “Under my umbrella ella ella eh eh eh eh.” and it continues with what sounds like a series of vowel noises. Another example would be the recent “Stay Fly” by Three 6 Mafia. The chorus is “I got to stay high I I I I I I I I I.”

This isn’t a bad thing though. I just think that mainstream radio pop is currently on a broken rollercoaster, stuck in one of the dips. But I truly believe that very soon the music will get so basic and unintelligent that the demand for better music will rise and the “roller coaster” will be up and running again. The music industry has seen this before with genres such as disco, so I think it will bounce back from whatever blow it takes. Seeing record stores closing is discouraging, but at the same time there are more bands making music now than ever.

There is no mistake or trend in popular music that could be serious enough to stop everyone from enjoying music. The industry will simply take a hit and bounce back like they have a million times before. The music industry will make it.