Dear Black People: Stop Spreading The Lie That Music Was “Better” Back In The Day » VSB

Music, Pop Culture, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

Dear Black People: Stop Spreading The Lie That Music Was “Better” Back In The Day

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I have a confession: Every time I hear someone say music “ain’t what it used to be,” my ass itches. I mean this figuratively but you get the picture: This is, IMHO, a top tier bullshit statement — one of many that have somehow become hallowed communal knowledge. We peddle in many generically “truthy” statements that aren’t propped up so much by reality as by the fact that they’ve been repeated ad nauseum in somebody’s barber shop. Need proof? Consult your Facebook timeline. I’ll wait.

At best, these “truisms” are bogus. At worst, they’re ugly attacks on things we don’t like or understand. Either way, I argue, they’re pure monkey shit and it’s time we bury them deep. Here are the top three lies that Black folks can stop telling themselves right now and today. Make that change!

“Black music was better back in the day!”

I may have to fight someone over this statement, and that’s ok. My windmill game is proper! This truth must be told: Music was never “better” than it is now, just different. “How can this be?“, you say. “Dej Loaf!“, you say. Walk with me for a second. True or false: Each generation swears that the current generation’s music is crap. Your grandparents said that about Rick James. Your parents are currently saying that about Migos (full disclosure: I. Love. Migos.). And guess what? One day, when rocking linen suits, mandals and a straw hat starts sounding g-fly to you, you’ll be telling your kids that their music is crap. Sounds like music is just getting progressively worse, right? Tall glass of nope. If music truly kept devolving, at some point we’d be head bobbing to someone beating trash cans while incoherently grunting. Young Thug notwithstanding, we’re not there yet. The music of the ‘60s spoke to that generation. Same with the ‘70s and ‘80s etc. The “depth” of the lyrics is irrelevant; music captures the spirit of the moment.

When you put it in that context, no generation’s music could ever be better or worse. Music just…is.

Of course there’s the argument that rap in particular is far more violent and ignorant than it used to be. To that I say, are you being serious right now? I recall rappers like Kool Moe Dee and LL Cool J locked in jihad for the duration of the ‘80s — an era which, might I add, brought us such pinnacles of ignorance as a dance that involved bending over and rhythmically rubbing your butt. Rubbing. Your. Butt. Yeah I did it a few times. But this isn’t about me!

OK but music today is definitely more vulgar, right? Yeah no. I remember being a little girl watching 2 Live Crew’s “Move Somethin’” and wondering why those women were lined up dancing in the street. Grown Me wants to go back and tell Kid Me that this is a hoe line, these nice ladies didn’t have daddies growing up and go lay down now.

And that was in 1987 — we won’t even get into surreptitious filth of the ‘70s. This is the time of “innocent” lyrics that crept into your head only to make sense five years later. That’s when — over a bowl of cereal and a newspaper — it finally dawns on you what “feel my nature rise” meant. This happened to me. Tell ya what, Google Jelly Roll Morton’s ol’ turn-of-the-century hoe shit ass, then talk to me about how music was more elevated way back when. Nah son!

“If Black men would just pull their pants up, (insert amazing community progress that has nothing to do with pants) will happen!”

Some time over the past decade it became popular to blame everything from infant mortality to MLK’s assassination on men sagging their pants. For a while, there was a pretty steady flow of local legislation cracking down on ass cracks. It’s all been pretty terrible to watch, especially since the push has been so squarely led by Black people, against Black people. America has a significant history of villainizing urban street fashion; read up on the Zoot Suit Riots sometime and see how deadly fashion haterade can get.

Frankly, while the sag-induced thug waddle is pretty tragic, saggy pants as a whole never killed anyone. Now those gripping ass, butter cutter pants that held nuts hostage from 1970 to roughly 1985? Directly responsible for lowering the Black birth rate. Hell, I can’t be the first only child who saw an old picture of their dad in those heat-seeking infertility pants and instantly understood why she grew up playing hide-n-seek alone. Seems like all the people blaming sagging for holding back the race should actually be thanking the trend for emancipating nuts and reversing the population decline those birth control pants started. Low slung britches, I salute you!

“Black don’t crack!”

Sorry but this most celebrated of Black truisms just doesn’t hold up. Consider for a minute Morgan Freeman. Now, I happen to think Morgan Freeman is a regal looking guy, and given the chance, I’d probably hire him to live-narrate my life. But has this man ever NOT looked like he was AARP-certified? His face has been 75 since he was 25. His Black cracked – it just did so very early in his life and hasn’t progressed much since. He’s the Liberty Bell!

What real harm is there in this truism? Two words:

Mama. Dee.

Look closely: This is what happens when you don’t have a prayin’ grandmother. Bless her heart, this woman is walking around in carefully placed Ace bandages secured with faith the size of a mustard seed. All because someone told her Black couldn’t crack. Well my eyes have had enough close encounters with this woman’s labia to last me. We need to stop passing along this myth. Do it for the children!

 

Dhiraj Naseen

Dhiraj Naseen aka The Hostile Negress is a renowned ratchetologist and celebrated advocate of foolishment. An aspiring spinster, her hobbies include judging, not minding her business and yoga. Her spirit animal is an octopus, because she says so.

  • Shy Fran

    “this woman is walking around in carefully placed Ace bandages secured with faith the size of a mustard seed.”

    Just prepare my funeral. It’s inappropriate for me to exist after this statement. #LMBAO

  • BlackNGreen

    “this man ever NOT looked like he was AARP-certified? His face has been 75 since he was 25.” You ain’t right, CTFU.

    • kidvideo

      Morgan played a pimp in some movie from the mid 80s…he looked about 40ish in that.

    • miss t-lee

      He looked youngish on The Electric Company.

      • Nuh.

        Ah.

        Nah.

        • miss t-lee

          ????????????

      • PhlyyPhree

        I watched Lean on Me this weekend and thought his face was damn near smooth. SIGNIFICANTLY less wrinkles on Joe Clark. Significant.

        • miss t-lee

          Thank you.

      • Easy Reader looked to be about 40ish.

        His boy Clint aged like hard times and Korean War flashbacks.

        • miss t-lee

          Sheesh.

  • Meridian

    To paraphrase the original comment I made:

    * In order for something to be different there has to be a standard to compare it to. If music has a standard you can say it’s gotten better or worse in meeting that standard.

    * Music has identifiable elements. You can pick any number of them and compare them in the past to the present to determine if they’re worse or not. Musicianship for example is an element. Artists used to play instruments, the music was live, the pure quality of tone in the voice was distinct. In the present, music is created by computer software and vocalists have a weaker tone which is also enhanced via computer. On that one element alone you could absolutely say it’s worse, and there are infinite things you can identify.

    * “The “depth” of the lyrics is irrelevant; music captures the spirit of the moment.”

    Music captures the spirit of a moment because the lyrics communicate the experience to us. It’s the reason we don’t listen to instrumentals on the radio sooo. You can’t just dismiss the vitality of one of the most important reasons of why we even listen to music in the first place.

    * While soundscapes morph and the spirit of the present generation has something different to capture than the past one, you could still make an argument that the dilution that happens to morph the music makes the music worse. Or that the subject matter/experiences chosen to be captured are worse.

    * “Black don’t crack!”

    Morgan Freeman has an old face so that means millions upon millions of black people haven’t aged well? Having an old face isn’t even the same thing as the preservation of said face over time. Did you just try to twitter logic black don’t crack?

    • Uhh, people have been altering voices since before computers. All analog machines give their own additional timbre to the sounds going through them. That’s not even getting into the engineers that mixed the records. Also, plenty of people still play instruments.

      • Meridian

        It’s the difference between a camera altering what it takes an image of, someone spending hours photoshopping a picture, and CGI. Plenty of people still play instruments, so that means most of the music produced in the mainstream is created with said instruments?

        • People spent hours altering photos by hand since photography existed. You can manually do everything that is possible digitally. I haven’t looked at the linear notes for the majority of mainstream music so I couldn’t say.

          • Meridian

            That’s not the point I’m making. It’s very obvious that’s not the point I’m making.

            • Naw. You have criminal misunderstanding and starry-eyed idea if music. Unless you’re going back all the way to the 50s.

              • Meridian

                I’m not the one saying Migos is comparable to the rappers of the 80’s and 90’s and no one can dispute that and have merit. Again, nothing you’re saying or implying has anything to do with my original point which it seems you have failed to grasp. So…lets go back to my original comment and see if you actually get the idea I’m speaking of.

    • panamajackson

      So you’re saying computer generated music is worse on that one element alone? That’s non-sense. Complete non-sense. There’s been BOATLOADS of trash across the board. And she’s not wrong. Everybody thinks their generation’s music was better.

      You clearly just ain’t here for her arguments. lol

      • Meridian

        “So you’re saying computer generated music is worse on that one element alone?”

        No. I’m saying if you take a song from the 60’s and a song from yesterday there are identifiable elements. A person could compare specific elements and decide if the most recent song is worse. How music is created is one element out of 1,000,000 that people may screen for. Computer generated music doesn’t sound as good as live instruments to a fair amount of people. Is that non-sense or is that factual?

        “Everybody thinks their generation’s music was better.” Clearly. I was speculating on the reasoning for that. I didn’t say she was wrong.

        “You clearly just ain’t here for her arguments. lol”
        Her arguments were flawed. I don’t disagree with the overall point however.

        • panamajackson

          “Computer generated music doesn’t sound as good as live instruments to a fair amount of people. Is that non-sense or is that factual?”

          Any time you qualify something with “a fair amount” of people, then of course its factual. There’s no room for dispute there. But YOU said, “On that one element alone you could absolutely say it’s worse, and there are infinite things you can identify.”

          I was referencing your statement directly, which is much more declarative.

          Thing is, I’m not here to argue whether its worse or better. I understand why people think its worse; the digital age of music (which even the likes of the greatest artists of our time have utilized substantially) has created some distinct dividing lines. I just don’t tend to agree. I think when we say music is worse, most of us use hip-hop as the lynchpin and blame the Soulja Boy’s and Young Thugs, etc. Thing is, there was trash in EVERY decade. Very horrible trash. I have hard-drives full of it. I get why some folks feel this way, I’m just not one of those people.

          • Meridian

            Yeah, but I wasn’t declaring computer generated music is worse. What I was saying was that if people screen their music by something specific like that, than you could absolutely say that it’s worse. Not that it is in fact worse, just that it’s reasonable for people to reach that conclusion.

            Personally, I don’t really compare generations or eras. Each one has garbage, icons, and innovators so I usually just listen to what I feel is quality. Quality is quality to my ears regardless of the time period it comes from so I never feel a need to say one is better or worse. I’d much rather listen to old music though because it’s a pain in the butt to find stuff I like nowadays. In general, the culture is what it is. I can’t say my generation’s music is worse than it was in the 80’s because we have no reason to still sound that way. I appreciate it for what it is and recognize what it isn’t.

    • pls

      i’m gonna have to stop you right here>>> “Artists used to play instruments, the music was live, the pure quality of tone in the voice was distinct. In the present, music is created by computer software and vocalists have a weaker tone which is also enhanced via computer.”

      no all artists did not play instruments. some of those artists were picked based on the look just like they are now. time has changed nothing when it comes to a group of people making music and then just picking someone with “it” to sing that song.

      and as far as vocal ability goes, there are plenty of artists from back in the day with shaky weak voices that made it big. today’s technology has the power to eliminate those imperfections, but to say that everybody back then had original, raw, self made talent, while everyone today doesn’t is just not the truth.

      AND ANOTHER THING. the one thing that has changed for the worse is what I was talking about upthread. you can’t just listen to the radio to find the good artists anymore. you literally have to search and find those people.

      • Meridian

        “no all artists did not play instruments.”

        Which is why the other two parts of that sentence included live bands and vocal quality.

        “today’s technology has the power to eliminate those imperfections, but to say that everybody back then had original, raw, self made talent, while everyone today doesn’t is just not the truth.”

        Don’t put words in my mouth. That’s not what I said and it wasn’t what I was getting at.

        “you can’t just listen to the radio to find the good artists anymore.”
        …..Exactly. Which is another specific element you can identify to make the argument music is worse.

  • kidvideo

    So I guess Little Richard/Chuck Berry was our grandparent’s version of R.Kelly.

    But who is our version of Sam Cooke?

    I finally figured out why I don’t care for Migos…I don’t have a vagina.

    And those 2 Live Crew videos of the 80s introduced me to puberty.

    Tittysprinkles.

    • RnB (hip hop killed it) and Soul music is dead for my generation. There is someone comparable or analogous for pretty much all other genres of music though.

      • kidvideo

        So teens/20 somethings won’t have their version of
        “Tracks of my Tears”.

        At least they got CB’s “Loyal”.

        I won’t even ask who the modern day equivalent of Sade is.

        • LMNOP

          The nice thing about music is it’s not going anywhere. All of Sade’s songs are on youtube.

        • PhlyyPhree

          I’m gonna hazard a guess and go with Jhene…
          Don’t ask me to explain why because I just threw a hail mary guess there, but see if it don’t work for you.

          • BeautifullyHuman

            Jhene can’t even stand next to Sade in a photo.

            • Jacqueline

              amen sista, amen!

          • NotHavingIt

            This is my first comment, and i’ve been a ravenous reader of VSB for a while now. That Sade/Jhene comparison was just too much for me to let go. Forget about it not working for me, how in THE hell does that work for you?

        • “I won’t even ask who the modern day equivalent of Sade is.”

          Maybe it’s just me, but I think Dido is the closest we’ll ever get to having a modern day Sade.

    • miss t-lee

      We have no version of Sam Cooke.

      • John Legend?

        *Muttley snicker*

        • miss t-lee

          Go.

          • Calvin Richardson?
            (Although he clearly is more influenced by Bobby Womack)

            • miss t-lee

              There isn’t one.
              I can’t even listen to more than one Calvin Richardson song at a time. I throw him in the Kem category.

              • tgtaggie

                One of my favorite tweets from Jozen. “People who listen to Kem still buy cds” *snickers*

                • miss t-lee

                  ????????????????

            • Calvin makes music for old ladies now. There’s this cat from Louisiana named Tucka that these older gals love and he can’t sing a lick.

              • Calvin always made music for old ladies, though- well, him and Eric Benet, LOL!

                • Wanderlust

                  Luke James – closet thing to Sam Cooke and Marvin…

        • I like John but ninja stop.

          • I know, I just wanted to throw his name in there for sh*ts and giggles, LOL!

      • Aloe Blacc did a tolerable rendition of a change gon come.

        • miss t-lee

          I’ve heard it. I wasn’t feeling it.
          Every cover of that song I’ve heard can’t hold a candle to the original.
          It’s like bad karaoke.

        • AlwaysCC

          i haven’t heard his version, but i saw him in concert and nhe has a wonderful voice. with the right songs (he writes, too) i could see him being a contender for the next sam cooke…

          • Jacqueline

            People need to leave change is Gonna come alone. Especially if you are not singing it in the true context of the song.

    • I accepted that chicks seem to like Migos because they remind them of the class clowns they had a crush on in high school

      • Hostile Negress

        Imma pipe up here: I like them because they’re utterly ridiculous. That and I am deeply committed to ratchet music. Its been this way since Laffy Taffy. The ratchet won’t loose me!

    • panamajackson

      Titty sprinkles is the greatest statement of all time.

    • panamajackson

      I’m not sure we’ll ever have another version of Sam Cooke. I’d love to see a movie about his short life. Interesting, I think we’ve managed to turn “A Change Gon’ Come” into his entire legacy. I know tons of people who know his name but can’t name a single other Sam Cooke song.

      • “I’d love to see a movie about his short life”

        I’d love to see this happen, but there are going to be some issues they may have to work around. The first of which is Bobby Womack marrying Cooke’s wife a couple of months after his death…and then there’s the hotel incident…

        • panamajackson

          I think the other problem is that…well, Sam Cooke – again short of “A Change Gon’ Come” just isn’t “popular” enough to really bring folks out. Hell, to tell the Frankie Lymon story they had to turn that movie into a court battle over his earnings. I feel like Sam Cooke has an interesting story, but I don’t see it for him…

          • To be fair though, Sam also had “What A Wonderful World”, “Cupid” and “You Send Me”.

            • AlwaysCC

              my parents used to play sam cooke all the time. i was the only 11 year old at school going around singing “everybody loves to cha cha cha” lol

              • Just be happy they didn’t have you singing his other song “Sixteen”, LMAO!!

                • AlwaysCC

                  lol they had a best hits cd – that was on there, too. i was just too young to know what he was talking about! i’m thinking about those lyrics now…smh

            • panamajackson

              He did. But how many people remember that? Im with you. Sam Cooke is one of my favorite singers ever. “Cupid” is one of the greatest love songs ever. And folks be forgetting.

              • Sadly, if you mention the song title “Cupid” these days, someone’s probably going to mention 112 at any given point.

                • OSHH

                  “Cupid” is beautiful but “Nothing Can Change This Love” speaks to me a lil more as far as Sam’s love songs.

                • Rachmo

                  I totally thought it was 112. And I freaking love that song (112).

              • AlwaysCC

                sam cooke and donny hathaway hold a tie for me.

                • panamajackson

                  Ain’t nobody above Donny Hathaway in my world

                  • BeautifullyHuman

                    I agree. My life literally changed at 16 when I truly discovered Donny outside of “This Christmas.” To this day, I’ve never heard an artist sing with so much pain and emotion that resonates.

                    • OSHH

                      Marvin Gaye is King no higher in my book.

                    • BeautifullyHuman

                      Marvin is my other. I love Marvin as well. He, Donny and Stevie are like my Holy Trinity.

      • Jacqueline

        I have long believed that if Sam Cooke had lived, the music industry would be on a whole other level and black artist would be in control of their own music and black music in general

        His musical influence stands on his own, But this was a proud black man, that owned the rights to his music and was encouraging other black artists to do the same. He was a business man and a business, man.

    • Cula J.

      “But who is our version of Sam Cooke?”

      Maybe….Seal? I know, too pop. But “Prayer for the Dying” was pretty powerful.

    • SororSalsa

      Sir, I have a vagina…and I HATE Migos. So there’s that.

  • http://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bp3N9UVCcAAfVsM.jpg:medium

    “…and for the brutality of their bondage, He bestowed upon them an abundance of brilliant black beauty.”
    -Book of Nubia 1:1
    Black does NOT crack… lol

    • But Tia and Tamara are biracial (Black mom and White dad).

      • Meridian

        Right. So…the genes from their black mom is what keeps them looking so well as they age.

        • LMNOP

          That and they can’t actually be that very old yet. By my calculations, if they looked like they were in their early twenties in Sister Sister they should be in their early forties now.

          • panamajackson

            They’re in their mid-30s.

          • Meridian

            Also, their little brother is looking kind of fine at times. Mm!

    • It all went downhill for the Olsen’s after 18, and then wildin out in College like the news used to cover back in the day. You know some of that has to do with drugs too, even white doesn’t crack that bad smh.

      http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m94wsmV0P71r0xgqqo1_250.gif

    • tgtaggie

      That one Mowry twin on the right could get it (Tia). She looks like she’s a freak on the low…lol.

      • Well, she was in Pleasure P’s video for “Under”. I know she’s a devout Christian and all, but she had some explaining to do with that video, LOL!

        • tgtaggie

          I guess she was trying to spread the “gospel” lol.

    • pls

      not a good comparison cuz olsen twins are known drug dealers. if they would get off that stuff they wouldn’t look nearly as dead.

  • LadyIbaka

    1.) Sagging pants is NOT urban FASHION. It is just a very DUMB clothing ‘movement’-for lack of a better term. We do not need to see your crack, because we all got one. It is NOT fashion.
    2.) Black don’t crack is the truest truism that has ever and will forever continue to be THAT truth that has sister Shirley doing the praise dance till her wig falls off. Morgan is just an anomaly.
    3.) Music today sucks donkey kong balls, lyrically speaking, especially hip hop (my opinion is unsupported by verified peer reviews).
    Like, thematically speaking you want to tell me the only topics they can rap on is secks, money and women. Every record out is about a bad bish, a phat booray, street money. *twerking to I love bad bishes by ASAP Rocky only known in the confines of Harlem, not even recognized in the other boroughs. Oi!

    • nillalatte

      LOL @ donkey kong balls… truth.

    • Hood by air is urban fashion

    • PunchDrunkLove

      Here, here…..on 1 and 2 aaaand 3…and I’ll add lyrically and VOCALLY speaking. Folks didn’t have all that extra back in the day. The true test is a live concert and most artists would fail at that attempt.

  • nillalatte

    Excuse me… have you been listening to the radio lately? Lissen, back in the day, tell me when we had a white Australian girl trying to mimic black Southern rappers? WTF is that about?

    There is a lot of good music to come out of every generation, but we are partial to the sounds of a specific period in all our lives, for whatever reason. I loved the slow jams of the 80’s and, no, I don’t think music was as vulgar as what I listen to today. Take for example, Chris Brown Loyal.

    Does anyone who has only heard this on the radio know ANY of the lyrics? Do you sing it with or without the bleeps? Here’s a sample with bleeps…

    When I rich ____ want you
    And your _____ can do nothing for ya
    Oh these ___ ain’t loyal
    Whoa these ____ ain’t loyal
    Yeah, yeah, let me see
    Just got rich
    Took a broke _____ _____
    I can make a _____ _____ rich
    But I don’t ____ with broke ______

    LOL… this looks like a bad cell phone commercial! When you can’t sing a freaking song to a nice beat, YES, the vulgarity has gotten outta control.

    I’m with Will Smith on this one. He once said he made music without all the vulgarity and was well paid in the music industry. He challenged other rappers to make better music. But, somehow I think it has devolved and is worse. But, I’m old, so there’s that. ;)

    Edit: In fact, sometimes today’s music has me craving and switching to Smooth Jazz and Classical just to breathe in a more calming feeling… you know… to help me keep my chill self.. chilled.

    • *shoots nillalatte with HGH and estrogens* Now you don’t need chill music. Stay hype my friends.

      • cues “Turn Down For What” by Lil’ Jon*

        • nillalatte

          Greatest lyrical song eva…. LOL….

          • Friday night- another round of shots? Turn down for what!!!!!

            *Repeat a thousand times*

      • nillalatte

        Would have preferred THC & CBD for therapeutic purposes, my friend. LOL

    • panamajackson

      Doesn’t mean stuff now is that much worse than it was back in the day. I actually agree with her. While i often long for the music i grew upwith, its more for nostalgia purposes than b/c the music is THAT much better. I aint saying that idont love my music from the 60s and 70s, but many of us do associate all things prior with better.

      • nillalatte

        PJ, my response was pretty middle of the road. Read that first sentenence, second paragraph again. :P Anyways, my 22 up votes agrees wit me! *Sings “I believe I can fly….”

    • “Lissen, back in the day, tell me when we had a white Australian girl trying to mimic black Southern rappers?”

      There were White kids from the suburbs pretending to come from a rough neighborhood in the early 90’s (Young Black Teenagers, anyone?)

      • panamajackson

        Man lissen. There were so many terrible rap groups in the 90s. SO MANY.

        • For example: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Sorry, man, but you know…

          • panamajackson

            That’s a debate we could actually have. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony? Great or Terrible Rap Group.

            • No group took more chances in the 90s than bone thugs. NONE!

      • Charlisia Nwachukwu

        You guys white does not = rich. And have you heard Iggy talk about her life.. (As Wendy would say ) that girl was not raised up she was dragged up … who leaves a healthy home at 16 for Miami? Struggle is struggle and that is what rap is about. I think her music is trash but she has a right to be there.

    • Kimwrites

      Backstage, under age, adolescent
      “How ya doin’?” “Fine,” she replied
      I Sighed, I like to do the wild thing
      Action took place
      Kinda wet
      Don’t forget
      The J the I the M the M the Y y’all
      I need a body bag

      20-something Ronnie Devoe talking bout having sex with an underage girl WAAAY before we knew about R.Kelly!!! But hey at least he used protection right? Can you imagine the thinkpieces that would have been written or twitter hashtags if Do Me would have been released today?

      The only difference between music now and back in the day (which for me 80s & 90s) is the content is more direct.

    • Kimwrites

      Backstage, under age, adolescent
      “How ya doin’?” “Fine,” she replied
      I Sighed, I like to do the wild thing
      Action took place
      Kinda wet
      Don’t forget
      The J the I the M the M the Y y’all
      I need a body bag

      20-something Ronnie Devoe talking bout having sex with an underage girl WAAAY before we knew about R.Kelly!!! But hey at least he used protection right? Can you imagine the thinkpieces that would have been written or twitter hashtags if Do Me would have been released today?

      The only difference between music now and back in the day (which for me 80s & 90s) is the content is more direct.

      • Well there are a lot of songs from a lot of genres from like 67-93 that mentioned underage relations. That doesn’t make it right, but it wasn’t that off the wall for its example.

        • cakes_and_pies

          Yep, even Stevie Wonder was a perv. His lyrics to “Sweet Little Girl” are gross.

          “I’ve given you cookies and candy, and the woofer, and you

          still don’t wanna be good.”
          “You know just the other day I was gonna take you to go see a movie,

          Sweet, Sweetback”
          “Don’t make me get mad and act like a n***r.
          Do what now??

          • I googled those lyrics. Wow… It’s amazing what you can say in double entendres.

            • SororSalsa

              Man, Prince is the best at that. A lot of his most popular songs that sound “innocent” are the filthiest. When I got to high school and listened to Little Red Corvette and Delirious again….Good Lawd.

      • AlwaysCC

        bbd won’t even perform the whole song anymore lol every generation had “nasty” music – but content being direct is an understatement. most stuff is so explicit it takes away from the song imo

        • nillalatte

          “most stuff is so explicit it takes away from the song”

          Exactly.

      • nillalatte

        While those lyrics are suspect, I’m talking about the GD’s, h0es, bishes, n*ggas, mofo, puzzy, and so many other vulgar use of language that the song is basically, un-singable. Is that even a word? Anyway, you get the picture, I hope. I like to sing and dance, but someone that is just spitting vulgar language because they didn’t have enough talent to write *real* music, yeah, miss me with those.

        • SororSalsa

          i.e. anything written by Ty Dolla Sign. Which Loyal was.

          • nillalatte

            Nope. Anything written with the use of vulgar language that is overly excessive. Not picking on Ty Dolla Sign unless that’s ALL he writes. I’m not familiar enough with his work except that one song. :)

    • Truth

      You may be young but you’re ready…….
      Ready to learn….
      You’re not a little girl,
      You’re a woman……

      Keith Sweat singing to an under age girl. This was the joint back in the day but in hind site, these lyrics are disturbing.SMH….

  • About your post, I have two things to say. One is that it takes different generations different amounts of time to coalesce around a sound. I think a lot of the difference between eras can be attributed to that factor. I think this email has quietly coalesced around a particular sound for good or ill. Ten years ago, that wasn’t necessarily the case. Once you take into account that issue, everything else you said about music makes sense.

    Two is that there is a real scientific basis to the whole Black don’t crack thing. A good deal of aging comes from sun damage, and ceteris parabis, the more melanin you have, the less visible aging you’ll have. Now there are other factors like skin collagen and how your body distributes fat, but the saying isn’t complete BS.

    Besides, I was just called 25…when I’m 35. LOL

    • “A good deal of aging comes from sun damage, and ceteris parabis, the more melanin you have, the less visible aging you’ll have. Now there are other factors like skin collagen and how your body distributes fat, but the saying isn’t complete BS.”

      Also, another thing that people have to take into account is that the darker the skin, the less the person is likely to age. This is partially due to genetics and mostly scientific- a lot of people seem to forget that part about how much those two factors play into it.

      • LeeLee

        “Also, another thing that people have to take into account is that the darker the skin, the less the person is likely to age.”

        Dark skin for the win!

        • Where aging gracefully isn’t a right, it’s a privilege!

          *checks dark skin, looks in mirror and pops collar*

        • BeautifullyHuman

          Girl, yes! You should see my smug look right now.

  • Seems you only hear this when speaking on R&B, and its perhaps the only genre you can make a case for (although I wish we would accept that 90s R&B was not that great; sorry). Its rooted in the fact we want to feel like we experienced something that can never be touched. Come for us and Young Thug, you let Mark Morrison happen

    • miss t-lee

      I hated Mark Morrison when he dropped, I hate that ninja now.

      • *Throws Montell Jordan onto the burning pile of trash that Morrison is on.*

        • miss t-lee

          #monica ????

        • That Montell unsung was unintentionally hilarious cuz the whole time he wanted to be the next Luther and Def Jam was like….nah u good homie get on this Silk the Shokker

        • PhlyyPhree

          WHAT???
          Nahhhh man. That’s not how we do it

          • *Stokes the burning pile of trash with Montell and Mark onto of it*

            It is today.

        • Shoot, let’s throw Link on there too! I don’t care if he did write hit songs for other people!

          • miss t-lee

            He gave his best songs to other folks.

      • Rachmo

        Ahem “Whoooooooooaaaaaa whooooaaa COME ON, oooh yeeeaaaah”

        • Meridian

          *makes a slightly Kermitty voice* Yew lied tuh meh.

          • Rachmo

            *dies*

          • miss t-lee

            Only slightly? ninja was all the way Kermitty…lol

            • Meridian

              You never go full Kermit. We see what happens.

              • T-Pain happened, LOLOL!!!

                • Meridian

                  T-Pain is harder. I don’t think he’s Kermitty but he is, but he isn’t. If Kermit got speech lessons it would be T-Pain. He’s Squidwardy.

        • miss t-lee

          Keep that. I beg of you.

          • Rachmo

            You know you luh dis.

      • cakes_and_pies

        I never understood how a man who sounds like Doctor Detroit singing had a hit album.

        • miss t-lee

          Girl…

          • Sigma_Since 93

            That was supposed to be the new autotune.

            • miss t-lee

              Dumpster juice.

        • I wanna say it was because he was British, but my love for Loose Ends, Junior Giscombe and Mica Paris won’t let me, LOL!

          • miss t-lee

            Mica Paris…now that’s a name I hadn’t heard in a whole minute.

            • That “Contribution” album though? Flames!

              • miss t-lee

                I don’t remember the album, but I remember the name.

      • panamajackson

        Mark Morrison is the Gawd.

        • miss t-lee

          The gawd of trash one hit wonders?
          Yep.

          • panamajackson

            Hey, you spelled the gawd of the greatest song in the history of everything wrong.

            • miss t-lee

              The gawd of whiny singing out his a** R&B?

            • Success Is Certain

              Does anyone else think Mark Morrison (vocally) sounds like Cee-Lo’s father? Lol

    • Meridian

      Woah woah woah now. 90’s music shall live forever and even when I’m 55 I will be sagging my shiny pant suits. Tuh. *diddy jigs* Can’t you see?

      • It was a lot of who hurt yous and leaky faucet drips

        • Meridian

          When I think of the 90’s I always remember how cool and chillaxed everyone seemed to my widdle eyes, and also how live the house parties were. I think the music was mostly fun or smooth.

      • By the time neo-soul came along, a lot of 90’s music was forgotten- and understandably so…

        • Meridian

          Forgotten? I don’t think anyone forgot 90’s music because a lot of the artists who blew up in that decade carried over into the 2000’s. Not only did they carry over they influenced the cultural landscape enough to make themselves moguls (some of them). A lot of the artists might’ve fallen off into obscurity as a new sound caught on, but I don’t think it was forgotten. It shifted to something new.

          But I see that 90’s shade bruh, and nope. *flips ponytail at you and rolls eyes*

          • You know I’m telling the truth, Meridian!

            *throws a 112 CD at you*

            • Meridian

              No! Who you know dance better in off the shoulder jackets than 90’s R&B artists? Noboooody. *picks CD up and puts it in rotation*

    • miss t-lee

      90s R&B not great?
      Silk-Lose Control
      Early Monica & Brandy
      Pre-P*ssy Kellz
      Gerald Levert
      Missy
      Total
      etc.

      Mayne bye…

      • Rachmo

        Zhane, Jade, Xscape, Brownstone, Dru Hill, Erykah Badu,..

      • Meridian

        TLC, Boys II Men, 112, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, R Kelly, Mary J Blige…

      • Sigma_Since 93

        How y’all leave Jodeci off this list??

        • miss t-lee

          It’s not…I was headed back to add more. You feel free as well …

          • Sigma_Since 93

            Thanks. I’ll continue

            Freddie Jackson (just made it in)
            Jody Watley had us dancing
            Janet took the mantle and ran like Usain Bolt
            Whitney Houston
            Eric Benet
            Intro
            Joe
            EnVougue
            Mint Condition

            I need to catch my breath.

            • miss t-lee

              I still play that Intro album like it’s brand new.
              Christion’s album too, them kats got slept on.

              • Sigma_Since 93

                The true test of an R&B song is when you can take the lyrics and recite them as poetry.

                Myron was slept on too.

                • miss t-lee

                  Whoa. Forgot about Myron!

              • OSHH

                I loved Christion.

                • miss t-lee

                  ????????????

              • BeautifullyHuman

                Christion’s album was super slept on! It’s hard to imagine they were on Rocafella at the time.

                • miss t-lee

                  I think they didn’t know exactly what to do with them, unfortunately.

            • You get an upvote for the list, but you could have exchanged Whitney Houston for Prince, LOL!

            • OSHH

              add Chico Debarge

        • Meridian

          And Immature >.<

          • miss t-lee

            Nah, they can stay off the list…lol

            • Meridian

              lmao. Why?? They were hit makers in their time. Y’all trippin.

        • They only had one good album- which isn’t really saying much…

          • Sigma_Since 93

            Hush yo mouf PA!!!!

            I’ll give you the last album was meh but the slow songs???

            • The same could be said for their first album. Who do you know that actually listened to the second half of “Forever My Lady”? 23 years later, not one person has come forth and admitted it- not even Jodeci themselves!

        • OSHH

          I’m still Waiting (LP edition) is my fav Jodeci track, and one of my fav songs period. Bad bad piece.

      • I didnt say none of it was good, a lot of it blended together, you had standouts and then a bunch of ninjas who sounded alike

        • miss t-lee

          No.

          • tgtaggie

            Ain’t buying it too. Too many great artists from that era. You can’t tell me for a second Jill and Erykah sound alike..compared to August and Chris.

      • Silk? Here’s how I see it:

        Tonight>>>>>>> Lose Control- and it ain’t even close!

        Gerald Levert? He opened the 90’s with Levert’s “Rope A Dope Style”, Rude Boys’ “Rude Awakening” and his solo album “Private Line”- then closed out the 90’s with “Love & Consequences”! What’s messing with that?!

        I’d switch out R. Kelly for Donell Jones and Total for SWV, but that’s just me.

        But Brandy’s second album and Monica’s first? Sheeeeeeeiiiiiittttttt…

        • miss t-lee

          I can dig it.

        • panamajackson

          WAit wait…you must be on that good heroin. Tonight is not a better album than Lose Control.

          • Bull and sh*t, LOL! “Tonight” killed “Lose Control”! The former was a great album from beginning to end with no tracks to skip. The latter? Only half of it is good- and I’m being nice when I say half, LOL!

            • panamajackson

              I feel like you must have a different version of Lose Control than the rest of us.

              • h.h.h.

                P.A. is overexaggerating, but Tonight was better, i dunno if i was in a different age to ‘get’ Lose Control, but yeah, i can rock to Tonight a little bit harder than Lose Control.

              • Nope- I had the same album as everyone. Outside of the hit singles, that album was largely forgettable.

    • While I COMPLETELY disagree about the 90’s music statement, the R&B is the genre where the whole “my music was better” can be debated to me. Heck true R&B takes EFFORT to find now. The ones getting airplay today are 1/2 step away from just being rapppers. And while I will defend my 90’s R&B to the death, it’s VERY hard to argue it was better than old school Motown. IMO.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        True R&B was free from an executive needing to put a hot rapper in the break.

        • Or the need appeal to a mainstream audience…or the need to dress like a rapper…or the need to follow the hot new trend at the moment.

      • tgtaggie

        Agreed. All those r&b wannabe thugs sound just alike. August Alsina, Trey and Chris.

      • 70’s Motown>>>>60’s Motown.

        • Based off of???

          • When Stevie and Marvin wrestled away creative control from Berry Gordy, they ended up making the best music of their career. If you notice, when everyone speaks of their best songs and/or albums, they always refer to their 70’s output.

            Then you had Commodores, Rick James, Diana Ross (during her Chic years), Smokey Robinson’s solo career, The Temptations (during their Norman Whitfield years), Willie Hutch and Leon Ware. Those are some examples I cited off the top of my head at the moment..

            • Solid points. Especially Stevie.

            • Well done. Excellent points all.

            • Sigma_Since 93

              Barry’s formula is why music sucks today. He created the Mowtown sound and it stifled many of his artists because the Mowtown sound sold.

              Copy cat labels wanted the same winning formula ans since suits cut checks they won out.

              Flash forward to today and the same thing is happening.

        • panamajackson

          How can you even make a comparison? The sounds were SOOOOO different.

          • 60’s Motown was R&B that was polished for a pop audience- they were getting served by Stax and Atlantic- both separate and together.

            Yeah the sounds were vastly different, but Motown came out better in the 70’s when they let their artists do what they wanted.

            • panamajackson

              While I tend to favor the 70s sound more than the 60s (at pretty much every label), the 60s era Motown brought us some of THE most timeless songs from the Motown catalog. I do think artistic freedom gave us better albums out of the stable. But those “pop” hits, are the reason we even know Motown now. Hit wise, Motown in the 60s was better. Album and artistically, I’ll agree that the 70s was better.

    • PhlyyPhree

      *golf claps*

      Come for us and Young Thug, you let Mark Morrison happen

      I can’t even dispute this impeccable logic.

    • “(although I wish we would accept that 90s R&B was not that great; sorry). ”

      I’ve been saying that for as long as I have been posting here- and it will be three years in April.

      Outside of a few artists, 90’s R&B is dated and completely unbearable to listen to now. I mean, try listening to H-Town, R. Kelly or Jodeci’s songs at my age with a straight face, LOL.

      • tgtaggie

        How can you take a ninja seriously standing in his drawers at 2:55 in this video. lol

        http://youtu.be/jbn0NM1fMtM

        • And he was in his drawers again for the “Half On A Baby” video!

          Then there’s his song titles:

          S*x Weed
          I Like The Crotch On You
          You Remind Me Of Something (WTF?!)
          Feelin’ On Yo Booty

          And people have the nerve to call him a musical genius???

          • tgtaggie

            As far as his discography is concerned, one could argue he has had a bunch of hits. Whether or not it was good songs is debatable.
            Imma use that “I like the crotch on you” line on a girl wearing my I heart bougie black girl shirt

            I think I saw one video where he had on a vest and when Kellz turned around it had “horny” incrusted in crystals. I was *dead* then. lol.

          • MysteryMeat

            “You Remind Me Of Something (WTF?!)”

            #weak

            • I’m saying though, he made a song about comparing a woman to inanimate objects- and then turned her into a s*x object in the process, LMAO!!

              • MysteryMeat

                The lyrics to that song are the most awkward ever written. Bruh is like “Yo you remind me of something but I cant quite put my finger on it..oh wait…MY JEEP! GIRL YOU LOOK JUST LIKE MY CAR!”

                • I sincerely hope that he’s not still singing that song and he’s pushing 50.

                  • MysteryMeat

                    Prolly is which makes it all the more creepy

                  • miss t-lee

                    Have you seen how he dresses? He’s definitely still singing that ish…lol

      • Cleojonz

        You will not blaspheme my Jodeci!

    • pls

      wayment.

      return of the mack still goes hard, my g!

  • Hostile Negress

    So I swear for gawd I said I wouldn’t come in here to debate music. And I won’t. But I WILL put this comment out there: A lot of people are just verifying exactly why I feel like this statement needed to happen.

    There is nothing inherently “bad” about ANY genre of music. People have personal BIASES then prevent them from seeing anything good or even neutral in music, clothes, alot of things.

    So to say “all current music is bullshit” is not too far from the old grizzled redneck who says “rap music is crap music” – and both of you all are playing a real dangerous game. When you start dismissing logic or even measured judgement in favor of “New music is bad because … new music!” or “saggy pants are terrible because …uh..saggy pants!” you’re a basically advocating the type of thought that says “black people are wack because..uh…black people!”

    These are two sides of the same fucked up coin – blind hatred. People hate what they don’t understand. Then use their logic to justify increasing hostility -be it verbal or otherwise.

    Sorry, I can’t with that and I don’t see how any black person can – not when so many people hung from trees behind that same logic.

    Now, that’s all I’m gonna do here. I’ll chat about the merits of my spectacular foolishness (I think my treatise on ball storage was pretty awesome) but no more “debates” on music – I promised nearly a year ago that I would no longer sell ANYBODY a truth. Life’s too short and I have too few damns to give :)

    • Animate

      I like you and what you stand for.

      • Hostile Negress

        Well see there, I’m winning after all ;) doncha know no good!

    • always right

      I totally agree with you. Somewhere along the way people started thinking that their
      way was the only way. The music, movies, fashion etc. that they liked were the only things acceptable. I don’t know why people can’t just let everyone else live.

    • Wild Cougar

      I would love to talk about the reason and motivation behind these types of truisms. I think people look for any ledge or groove to pull themselves up so they can look down and say “I’m better than those mufuccas”. I think the slimmer the ledge, the closer to the bottom you feel.

      But I do agree with you on music. It’s purely taste and subjective. I really don’t get how people feel they have any leg to stand on calling someone else’s music trash. You are not an authority and you have only your perspective, your experience and your ears to rely on making these judgments. You are not more than one.

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