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  • Jack Loftus

NOTEWRTHY: Does It All Need To Be Serious?

Welcome back to NOTEWRTHY, now back after a one week hiatus.

Today we talk about the question of: does music need to be serious and always have a deeper meaning?

The short answer: No.

The long answer: No, and here’s why –

Now, this isn’t to say that all music has to be informal or has to be funny in some way, but there is something to be said for it.

Music at its core is supposed to be enjoyed, and people enjoy things differently. But when it comes down to it, there is music that is meant to be serious, and there is stuff that is more lighthearted. However, someone who enjoys one isn’t banned from enjoying the other. The musical spectrum is one that ever expands with each day that goes by, and to limit oneself to one style is a disservice.

When it comes to the more serious side of music, we have lyrical styles that talk about very deep topics such as racism, depression, anxiety and many other topics that people don’t often like to talk about but are experienced often anyway. As such, people who experience these things are usually comforted by the fact that they aren’t the only ones going through it, myself included. A good number of the artists I listen to talk about the different facets of anxiety in their songs, and I find the conversation about it to be reassuring. It shows me that it is able to be dealt with and supported, and that it’s not a hopeless cause. Also, music is used as an advocacy format. We see with people like Kendrick Lamar, for example, who have talked about advocating for your own mental health, and even about the terribleness that is systematic oppression and racism. By opening these conversations, people start to talk about them on their own terms, and then start to take action as a result. Even with small topics as well, and progress matter. Serious topics need a platform to be discussed, and music provides that perfectly.

At the same time, music also doesn’t need to be serious. Music can just be fun for the sake of it.  Like life as a whole, no one likes music to be deadly serious all the time. Relaxation is a requirement for true enjoyment out of life, no matter what the situation may be. As such, many musicians focus on just making more surface level music, in the sense that they never get too serious with it. Take meme/Soundcloud rappers for example. For a style that has only been around since the mid-late 2010’s, many have risen to great heights off of music that is meant to elicit higher energy, happier feelings or just general enjoyment of life. Rappers like bbno$, SavageRealm and Yung Gravy hardly ever get serious with their music, but many people enjoy them regardless. These guys and many more are testaments to the point I’m trying to make here: not everything has to be critically acclaimed or groundbreaking to be considered good. We often attribute awards or reviews to a project’s worth or value, and while that isn’t an incorrect thing to do, to make it the only thing that matters is.

At the end of the day, whatever other people may think about a specific project or song doesn’t matter. Only the specific individual who’s consuming it should have a say in their enjoyment. In my experience, people tend to take others’ opinions on things way too seriously when it comes to their enjoyment of things, myself included. But as long as one person enjoys a non-serious topic from time to time, music doesn’t all need to be serious.

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