Music keeps evolving

The musical world is changing rapidly

Michael Jackson was one of the biggest music icons in the 1980s.

The world of music is a beautiful thing. There are so many different genres, styles and tones. You aren’t required to listen to specific types, yet you can like as many types as you want. Many people rely on music to get them through the day, including me.

I’m fascinated at how much music has evolved over time.

You have to go back to when music really took off, which was around the time our grandparents were really young. Back in the ’50s and ’60s, people like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash dominated the musical kingdom. The genres associated with these artists were mostly soft rock and blues.

The ’70s and ’80s marked a new trend with heavy rock and roll, or metal. You had bands like KISS, Aerosmith and Black Sabbath that the younger generation at the time took interest in.

There was also an increase in the pop genre, and you can, for the most part, thank Michael Jackson and Prince for that. Michael Jackson’s album “Thriller” was an ’80s icon, along with Prince’s song “Purple Rain.”

If you go to the very late ’80s, you’ll start to see the beginning of rap. Yes, I mean NWA. They released their album “Straight Outta Compton” in 1988. However, I would guess it didn’t get as much attention as a rap album now due to the prominence of rock and roll at the time.

The ’90s, along with the ’80s, would have been the music our parents listened to. This is why they like rock so much, and a little bit of rap. New bands like Pearl Jam and Metallica burst onto the scene. Their music was a little better in terms of quality than ’80s rock in my opinion. They had better recording equipment, and their music just sounded “cleaner” if you will. I would consider this the “newer” rock.

Rap became more prominent as well. You usually would only have rap groups, such as NWA. However, once they split in 1991, individual rappers became a thing. Dr. Dre released “The Chronic” in 1992, and it became a cultural phenomenon.

Other rappers emerged like Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Vanilla Ice and Jay-Z. Dr. Dre featured some of these artists as well, thus introducing them to the industry himself. I kind of wish I was alive during this time so I could witness such a transformation in music.

The beginning of the 21st century was the change that everyone anticipated. It was essentially a shift from rock to hip-hop and rap. Female pop artists like Beyonce, Avril Lavigne and Britney Spears became a trend.

Rap continued to do its thing, although it changed a little around 2007 when rappers discovered “Auto-Tune.” Auto-Tune allowed artists to “correct” an out-of-tune performance. Some would consider this style cheating, but it does make the song sound a lot better, and we all want that, right? If it gets listeners, why stop it? Kanye West and T-Pain were some of the first rappers to use it. From 2010 until now, you see more reliance on this Auto-Tune thing.

By now, rock is a little off in the distance and hip-hop and rap dominate. It seems like anyone can make it big time now. Everyone raps on SoundCloud just waiting for their song to “blow up.” It used to be that a hit single would be written by a well-known artist like Drake or Kanye. Now, anyone can write a hit single, and prime examples are YNW Melly (who recently had murder on his mind) and Lil Nas X. Whatever sounds good, people will listen to.

It’s crazy how much music has changed over the years. It essentially went from listening to rock and roll at a bar or on your stereo to now bumping rap music on your AirPods.

From 1950 to now, the evolution of music is jaw-dropping. It makes me wonder what our kids will be listening to in 20-30 years. It seems like we’ve already hit the peak of new types of music, doesn’t it? What new type of music, sounds or really anything is yet to be discovered? Hopefully, someone surprises us all.

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