Music with a Message

I miss the days when music had a message.

Today's music scene is filled with nothing but images and sadly most of them are vulgar. Lady Gaga's video for her single 'Telephone' is the epitome of where the music industry is heading towards if it's not there already. Her songs are catchy, no doubt, and I'm not going to pretend I don't have them in my playlist but if anyone tries to listen to the words she sings you'll find that she doesn't have a message and definitely has nothing of substance to pass on to her audience. What's worse is that I keep hearing over and over again about what a genius she is.

Her outrageously distasteful image and persona is her message and they're screaming, "Dare to be vulgar! It's cool and it'll make you super famous like me! And who knows someone might mistake you for a genius while you're at it!"

Has the word 'genius' been devalued or is society becoming dumber for dubbing her as one?

During my study break at 2.30 am last night I stumbled upon one of India Arie's music videos on YouTube. It was so refreshing to hear some positivity in music! I remember how popular her songs were on MTV when I was around 15 or 16. It's sad to see musicians like India don't even stand a chance in today's music industry unless she does a mini striptease in one of her videos.

I find myself saying words my late father used to say to me. "What is this music you young people listen to? This isn't singing this is talking." In case you're wondering, he was referring to Eminem. I used to listen to real R&B music ya'll... Musiq Soulchild, Erykah Badu, Common, John Legend, pre-nervous breakdown Mariah Carey, KCi & Jojo and Boyz II Men, just to give you a rough idea. Music used to be soulful. Music used to be meaningful. Now music is just another form of advertising which promotes all the wrong values to its audience who are hanging on to its each and every word.

On a brighter note, we still have YouTube =) This song by India is a gem. It lifted my spirit and brought some nostalgic memories of days when I could watch a music video channel without my jaw-dropping.

P.S. Speaking of music with a message, Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) has confirmed his tour to Australia and New Zealand! Check out his Facebook fan page for more information.

P.P.S. Thank you so much to everyone who commented on my last post and said a prayer for my sister. She is doing much better now, alhamdulillah. I spoke to her earlier today and she was saying how beautiful the view from her hospital room is. Apparently she can see the Kuala Lumpur skyline! The doctors didn't really explain what happened. I'll have to call again tomorrow to find out.


Aisha said…
I only just caught up on your last blogpost and just wanted to say im happy to hear ur sister is doing well and that my prayers with her regardless...hope u and ur family are ok too =)

and music...ugh ur so right! i cant stand lady gaga, theres people saying shes a legend and shes only been around for what? 5 minutes? and on top of that theres sooo many new artists out there but not one has caught my eye/ear because of talent. more because their songs are catchy, and sadly thats it. the younger gen in my family tell me im out of it and i dont know what good music is. lol they make me sound like im ancient! so i dont really tend to take much interest in the new stuff these days, much rather just hit repeat on what i KNOW is good music!
Mustika Sari said…
Alhamdulillah... I am happy to hear your sister's condition :)
Anonymous said…
omg I just read about your sister and am so so sorry to hear that your family had to go through all that.but am glad to hear that she's doing better now alhamdulillah.

and yes,I despise lady gaga too thank you very much.
Texan after UAE said…
I can't stand, lady gaga. YUCK. She doesn't make music, she makes, noise. I really enjoy, Yusuf Islam. I like his old music, a lot.

I am happy your sister is doing better. Insha'a'Allah the news will be good. Praying, for her.
poshnmodest said…
Aslk, I stopped listening to music after I watched "The Arrivals". Scary stuff. I have also heard that music causes hipocracy in the heart that is why its haraam.

I now listen to halaal music, Zain Bhika, Raihaan, Talil al Habib and mostly quraan recitals.
Anonymous said…
Leela James... That's all I have to say... My Favorite R&B artist aside from Jill Scott and India Arie, oh and Joss Stone :) Good music is out there but it is no longer mainstream. Garbage is now mainstream... Glad to hear you spoke with your sister :)
hatim a.r said…
hi im one of ur readers.i just wana say i love seeing u evolve from stylish girl to stylish muslimah.u r really an inspiration!keep up! =)
Mona Zenhom said…
Great post! I also think "Genius" is thrown around too easily. As well as "Hero" for that matter. I love India Arie and have a few of her songs on my favorite playlist. Beautiful music.
Mona Zenhom said…
P.S. So glad you're sister is better alhamdulillah.
Shahirah Elaiza said…
Ashi: Thanks Ashi *hugs* I feel ancient too! and to think we have children imitating singers like Gaga... it's scary. I started to wonder how hard it will be raising children when I have them someday.

Mustika: *hugs*

Aimie: *hugs* Good to know I'm not the only one. Without her catchy songs and daring behaviour she is nothing as an artist.

Texan in UAE: I'm so happy he's coming to NZ soon!!! Thank you for the prayers for my sister =)

poshnmodest: Yes I can see why music is considered haraam especially nowadays. Allah knew how music would encourage reckless behaviour and immorality.

Sarah Elizabeth: I had a listen to Leela James =) She looks like a younger version of Oprah lol. And you're right, good music is still out there... it's just unfortunate that they're not mainstream anymore.

hatim a.r.: Thank you =) Thanks for reading my blog!

heart/and/soul: Checked his songs out. He has a great voice mashaAllah. Very soothing. Oh and thanks for commenting this time ;)

Mona Z: I forgot all about India Arie until recently! But I'm so happy I found her music again. I especially love 'The Truth'. Beautiful words =) And yes, I'm glad my sister is feeling better too. She texted me and told me she's alright now but still feeling weak...
LA ❤ said…
Thanks for introducing her to moi, loved her messages =)
Izmir Fariz said…
Your title was what caught my attention. "Music With A Message".

Throughout the process of reading this post, all I could think of was, "Oh my God, she gets it!" I've always believed that music is a medium to pass on a message; music is an extension of the artists' soul, stories, emotions, etc. So to have artists like Lady Gaga & Kesha, oh God, it REALLY annoys me.

It's cool that they have catchy tunes that make people wanna dance or what not, but the least they could do is put in some thought or emotion into their lyrics.

Thank you for speaking my mind!