Pay attention to what you sing

By: Megan Graves, Columnist

Few things are more disheartening than listening to the lyrics of a catchy song you jammed out to in your car the other day, and discovering that they’re actually incredibly problematic.

We as people don’t spend too much time analyzing what exactly songs are saying to us, we just want a catchy beat and a melody that makes us think we aren’t tone deaf when we sing along to it. It isn’t until curiosity sparks a flame inside of us and we look up the lyrics or take the time to actually listen to them that we discover what the artist is really saying.

This happened to me when I was seventeen. My friend and I became obsessed with the song “Love Me” by Lil Wayne. We’d play it when we drove somewhere together, we’d sing it to ourselves in class and we just loved it.

I’d sing the lyrics loudly along with Wayne every time it came on the radio. It wasn’t until a full year later though that I actually realized the messed up things I was saying.

Lyrics such as, “baby just make me cum, then don’t make a sound,” implying that women are only useful and important when they’re being sexual. “Can’t treat these hoes like ladies, man,” implying that sexually active women don’t deserve respect. And above all, the entire song is describing this collection of “bitches,” placing women on the same pedestal as decorative stamps.

What a time to be alive.

The point is we all do it. Generally, we don’t take the time to truly analyze a song beyond the questions of if it’s catchy and if I can sing along to it. But when we do take the time to understand what the lyrics we’ve been singing every Friday night mean, it can be disappointing.

This doesn’t just happen with rap music, by the way. Take “Dear Future Husband” by Meghan Trainor for example, which includes a long list of expectations a man must accommodate in order to receive sex from his wife.

Since when did marriage become a bartering system, Meghan?

We can also look at “All About That Bass” also by Meghan Trainor, which admittedly has the right idea, but goes about it all-wrong. The point the song tries to make is that women of all shapes and sizes are equally beautiful.

However, the song makes this point at the expense of shaming skinny women and basing the ideal women’s body off of what men like to hold at night, so, it doesn’t really make that point at all.

To sum everything up, the music industry can be disappointingly problematic. I’m not suggesting we ban these songs or anything like that. Censorship infringes on the right to expression. I’m just suggesting that we as individuals should start paying more attention to the lyrics we sing along to. Chances are, we might not like what we’re saying.

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