CedricCed | June 28, 2015
Music is eternally a form of expression through history connecting the world together while healing wombs of the world. Music is medicine for the soul; regardless of the social class. Music is a replica of society. In society, many issues that deal with poverty, insecurities, social class, war, substance and violence is what’s going on in society no matter what your social class maybe.
A song that addresses spousal abuse, substance abuse, and gang violence is Mary J.Blige’s, “No More Drama.” When it comes to songs about empowerment, no one comes close to Mary J. Blige. “No More Drama,” is about not allowing anyone to have control over you emotionally, instantly relatable to millions of people around the world. In she song she says, “Broken heart gain another lesson learned / Better know your friends / or else you will get burned / Gotta Count on Me/ Cause I can guarantee/ That I’ll be fine.” The song is ultimately saying; we have the power to decide whether we will have a stable or unsatisfying life.
“What’s Going On,” is a timeless song originally composed and sung by the great and late Marvin Gaye. The song later remade in 2001 featuring various artists such as; Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Bono, Gwen Stefani, Monica, Nas, Usher, and many more. The song was in essence about loving one other in the society. The blindfolds in the video symbolize how people are blind to dealing with issues of racism, sexism, homophobia and religion and broaden to the new horizons of today. The statement bonds in with lyrics from Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” a #2 hit in 1971. Further, it touches on social class, war, hate, anger, prejudice, and many other issues that holds society back from progressing. The reason the song is timeless is because the issues addressed in the song are still very present today.
“Runaway Love,” is a star-studded collaboration between Ludacris and the mother of all social causes, Mary J Blige. One of the last few music videos that is a modern classic addressing the abuse of young women in society. In the first verse, it is about a nine yr old girl who feels neglected by her family. Her mother is constantly on drugs and bringing home men at different hours of the night and when the mother is not home the men rape the little girl. The young woman runs away from a place she feels no love. The primary goal of the song is to discuss violence against women. It is a powerful song about women in bad situations who cannot take any more.
“Waterfalls,” is a record produced by the Organized Noize team and written by Marqueze Etheridge, TLC member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Organized Noize. It would stay at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks. The song asks the listener not to overstep what they are capable of or he/she might be in for a disaster: “Don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to / I know that you’re gonna have it your way or nothing at all, but I think you’re moving too fast.” The song and video take issues that are still holding society back today such as; drug dealing, homosexuality, and AIDS. The message to the masses now and forever is waterfalls maybe be beautiful but are still deadly.
“Keep Ya Head Up,” a classic song by the late great, Tupac dealt with many issues that affect the society overall. The song has a profound meaning addressing many political and social subjects including violence, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and broken families. Tupac is talking to mainly lower-income families who live in poverty. Tupac’s “Keep Your Head Up,” is a song reaching out to young black women, telling them that everything in time will turn out ok in spite of their current surroundings. It also teaches young black Americans to grow proud of their skin color regardless of the situation. “We ain’t meant ta survive, cause it’s a setup/And even though ya fed up/Ya got ta keep ya head up.”
“Express Yourself,” from the prominent rap group the N.W.A. from the early 1990’s. The group was controversial because introduced gangster rap into America. Sampling “Express Yourself” by Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band) surely shows the inspiration. The record keeps the same theme from the original in focused musicality message, urging people to think for one’s self. The song is speaking to black African-Americans, but any social class can relate.