Today’s popular music scene is often one-dimensional. It offers easy access to only the most popular genres. Much of this music is bereft of substance beyond self-centered expression and entertainment. While the range of available music is vast, the urban styles of musical expression like rap, hip-hop, and hard rock dominate the media airwaves. While there are exceptions, this music generally doesn’t require any appreciable degree of conscious intent. Often these genres are full of vile language and project disrespectful attitudes. Typically, these are angrily expressed toward others who are perceived to be less sophisticated or ‘cool.’
John McWhorter, who credits hip-hop for its entertainment value as “feel good, meticulously crafted music,” writes:
“… more than a few people, appalled that [Bill] Cosby is calling on Black people to take responsibility over talking about racism, think of him as a sellout, out of touch. Why? Because he isn’t being an antiauthoritarian. Not because he isn’t trying to help Black people, because he obviously is. Because he is not sticking up his middle finger. That is, hip-hop is an upturned middle finger – which is different from really working on how to help people. …" The overall tendency is clear; using and even selling drugs is a huge part of the hip-hop soundscape.
All About the Beat: Why Hip-Hop Can’t Save Black America, 2008
Many young people have grown up attuned to loud, heavily rhythmic, emotionally charged music often laced with crude, self-serving lyrics that pander to our base instincts rather than humanity’s higher aspirations. Unfortunately, many people (especially children and young adults) haven’t experienced a steady aural diet of heart-felt and richly structured music.
Healthful music is comprised of vocal and instrumental selections with certain characteristics that are potential transformative agents. These features facilitate the healing of the body/mind system. I am not advocating here for censoring any music style. Although nutritious food is essential for the health of our physical bodies, we aren’t required to give up occasional pleasurable treats to sustain our health. Similarly, sounds we take in don’t always have to be desirable for our overall well-being. At times, we all enjoy indulging in pleasurable music even though it may not support our highest aspirations. However, it becomes a significant challenge to our well-being when this listening pattern becomes exclusive.
The musical selections on this site offer visitors opportunities to explore and hopefully garner benefits from their experiences here. Sometimes music of a meaningful nature initiates helpful personal processes that transcend the actual listening experience and proceed into other areas of our lives.
Bon voyage on your journey of discovery!