The community should hold musicians accountable for glorifying negativity



MSR EditorialBy A.J. Briscoe

Guest Commentator


I have taught myself to always begin with myself in every assessment I make. I shall start with this method in referencing to how the power of music effects me.

Music is a mood altering element in my world. I can listen to it and be inspired, uplifted, nostalgic, infuriated, romantic, or violent. I believe this is how the term of using music to set the mood came about. It is the words of the music that triggers a certain feeling to surface. Rhythms can create this effect as well.

Through my observation of other’s behavior to music, I can determine that it has the same affect on them. For example, when Waka Flocka Flame is played in the club it starts to get a little physical. When R. Kelly or The Isley Brothers are played the women are being pursued. We place high levels of energy into music, thus transferring power to its words when we pour our emotion and attitude into it.

I believe one has to be careful of the transmission of this energy based on the Universe’s law of attraction. These are the circumstances that are created from acting on the thoughts that we have allowed to shape our perception of reality.

When these words are power extractors, it changes our perception and behavior. We unconsciously brainwash ourselves by repeating words and phrases that blend beautifully with the rhythms that make us move. Once we see these acts being glorified it becomes appealing, and we imitate this behavior out of admiration, trends, or gaining attention. This leads to self-destruction.

These behaviors develop into lifestyles that are toxic to our culture. These behaviors are promoting the misrepresentation of our women, money mismanagement, displacing value on lives, counter productiveness, distrust, and betrayal. Our youth believe that this music defines them because they can relate to the things being said. But we must let them know that their purpose on this earth is not to sell dope to fiends, pimp hoes, commit robberies, kill one another or squander money.

Being encouraged to deal with things aggressively instead of intelligently conditions us to act on irrational impulses. We are forming identities based on differences and division through representing cliques, avenues, sides, or styles. We are wasting our potential.

Glorifying negativity is blemishing the image of our culture’s character. There are going to be some that say in defense of this observation that they create a diversification of music. LOL! These individuals have not made a proper assessment of themselves or the material they are putting out so someone must hold them accountable. Why not our community?

We can send a powerful message by disenfranchising ourselves from destructive music. You can speak life into others with selective messages. For 30 days we can listen to different forms of music other than “gangsta’ musik.” Throughout those 30 days we can educate our people on the power of music and engage ourselves with much more positive instruction and messages.

Music stimulates and brings life to people. Today’s studies show that music is reviving seniors in nursing homes. Alive Inside is a documentary that depicts the power of music.

It’s time to employ the music and use it to influence our new generations coming up, ’cause they’re growing up mixed up, sticking needles in veins, putting guns to their brains, trying to ease their pains, every hood everywhere it is the same thang, from Uptown to 22nd and James.

Around the world and back again we’ve all been living in vain, gotta find some ways to break this chain and stop living as slaves to these chemicals and evil ways.

Instead, let’s pick out the strays and then teach them some new and better ways to deal with the struggle of the everyday strains, this ain’t no game, we’ve got only but ourselves to blame, it’s a shame to say that we are the ones that have paved this way. And yet we wonder why our children, brothers, and sisters behave that way. I wasn’t raised this way, I’m ashamed to say today that I’m just beginning to change my ways.

Today let’s come together no matter the weather, our color, race, creed, or beliefs.

Let’s for once have peace in our streets and come together and teach, it would only be but just a small defeat, yet a beginning at the least.

I’ve said my peace!


A.J. Briscoe lives in Minneapolis.