Music lyrics are damaging our lives

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CHARLOTTE YOUNG NEWS EDITOR

With potential global military intervention in Syria and the National Security Agency accused of gathering information from our phones, it is absurd to think that what is being talked about in the hallways or on our social media accounts is Miley Cyrus’ twerk-ridden performance at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs).

Somehow, songs that the music industry is producing seem to be the only thing relevant to us. This year, the famed Electric Zoo Music Festival (E-Zoo) held over Labor Day weekend in New York was shut down early. Why? A woman who attended the festival died after taking six tablets of MDMA, a hallucinogenic drug otherwise known as “Molly.” There is actually much irony in this woman dying at E-Zoo as Molly is so highly referenced in music that it seems that when the word is slipped into a song, it becomes an instant hit.

This death left me thinking about what messages the music we are listening to send. References to the drug Molly first reached my ears when I heard the song “All Gold Everything” by Trinidad James. This song was, without a doubt, an ASL anthem for the 2012-2013 school year. In the song, James sings, “Popped a Molly/ I’m sweating.” Somehow, this lyric caught on in the school and students were using it everywhere. However, James is not the only one singing about this drug.

Tyga, famed for his hit song “Rack City,” released a song earlier this year appropriately titled “Molly.” In the song, Tyga raps about trying to find Molly. Other famous artists seem to have jumped on the bandwagon with Molly references in their songs. For example, Kanye West in his song “Blood on the Leaves,” Miley Cyrus in “We Can’t Stop” (which was number one on the iTunes top songs chart), and “U.O.E.N.O.” by Rocko. These drugs are not just being pitched as “cool” by high-profile singers; they’re giving off an aura of luxury and partying.

Rocko’s song “U.O.E.N.O.” featuring Rick Ross and Future also touches upon another large issue within the music industry: The open degradation of women. Ross raps, “Put Molly all in her champagne / She ain’t even know it / I took her home and I enjoyed that / she ain’t even know it.”

Ross is joined in referencing rape by Robin Thicke’s Billboard 100 hit “Blurred Lines”. Thicke came under fire when this song was released due to the fact that he touched upon a sensitive issue: The “blurred line” between rape and consensual sex where a man believes that when a woman is saying “no” to sexual intercourse she really means “yes” (Thicke sings, “I know you want it / I hate these blurred lines.”)

The worst part about this song is that it is frequently played on radio stations. It is uncomfortable for a young woman like myself to have to keep listening to these lyrics and wonder what must be happening to other females. These women could be struggling with aggressive men due to the fact that these men deemed it to be “okay” to continue to advance on women although they simply said “no.” There is no blurred line when it comes to a woman saying “no,” nor should there be a hint of speculation of the word coming from such a famous musician. Thicke is opening up a dangerous thought for men who listen to the radio or own the song that could cause serious harm to women who aren’t trying to play games with men: They are just simply not interested.

These lyrics could even have an affect on a female student at an ASL party. As Head of School Coreen Hester said last year during a freshmen and sophomore assembly, sexual consent cannot be given by either party while in the presence of alcohol. In this instance, at an ASL party where there is alcohol, a female could be saying no to a male’s sexual advances but he wouldn’t be listening to her because he would be trying to follow the notion that “no means yes” in “girl world” (or at least according to Thicke’s song.) This in turn could lead to a series of events that could end up violating the female after consent was plainly not given.

Is anyone else listening to the cross messages that are being sent in any of these lyrics? The biggest problem with these lyrics in songs is that in real life, nobody would ever tolerate slipping drugs into a woman’s drink and raping them, and most people would never question a girl’s refusal to sexual advances.

Philosopher Francois Voltaire once said, “Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.” It seems that for this century’s music, all you have to do is reference a drug and degrade females in order to produce a hit.

 charlotte_young@asl.org