I’ve found myself without a vehicle and forced to join a large percentage of the Trini population: pedestrians (or as it is locally referred to: traveling). As much traffic as there is, I do think there are more citizens traveling than driving in this country (but that’s for another post all together).
One morning, I got into a car (taxi) that was blasting R&B. Not just any R&B but that 80’s/90’s, slow jams, love and good times R&B. This happens to be one of my favourite types of music (don’t judge me) so I didn’t mind at all. But it always shocks me that some men in this society still openly choose to listen to this type of music. And it’s quite common.
The more I listened to (and sang) the lyrics to End of the Road by Boyz II Men, the more I thought, “Where did this man go?”. I wasn’t thinking about the boy band and where they are now but rather the type of man who feels comfortable enough to express these pure, real emotions to a female, in a song! This was “cool”. This was popular. These songs were in everyone’s Walkman and radio. This type of music was the norm. Love was the norm. I couldn’t help but think I wish I were a single female in the 80’s instead.
Now, a couple decades later, the music scene has completely changed, as is expected with time. But we don’t hear that many love songs and definitely no longer from men. Think about it. We had boy bands and male singers like Usher, Babyface, Backstreet Boys, Tyrese, *NSYNC, Brian McKnight singing their hearts out to women and whoever else listened. Now, we have Drake? We have the women singing about love and love lost. We have men singing about sex, drugs, strippers, and alcohol.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that no men are singing about love anymore (cue John Legend) or that they weren’t always singing about sex, drugs and alcohol before. That’s not it. I would be crazy to say that. I’m saying that there’s been a huge shift in what’s popular; and love, men being in love, is no longer popular. And I think music is partially responsible for the rise of fuck boys, situationships, and the fucked up excuse of relationships young people encounter today.
Culture is a powerful force, whether we want to admit it or not, music is a huge influencer on our lives, one way or another. And somewhere along the way, with the shift in music, came a shift in us and how we deal with each other.
Think about it. Am I making sense?