Music and Teens | Teen Ink

Music and Teens

February 2, 2010
By sleeplessdreamer PLATINUM, Raleigh, North Carolina
sleeplessdreamer PLATINUM, Raleigh, North Carolina
30 articles 0 photos 332 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I have always wanted to write in such a way that people say, 'I have always thought that but never found the words for it.'" -anonymous

Picture a world without music. Isn’t it dark? Doesn’t everything feel out of place? Music can lets us practice our singing skills whether in the shower or riding down the highway or excite and inspire us. Music defines generations, like disco, rock and roll, and Motown. It brings images into your mind of a time in the past and fills the gap over the years.

You will be hard pressed to find a teenager that does not own an iPod or MP3 player and does not regularly have the music playing in their ears. This is largely due to the dominant role music plays in teen life. Music says something about what things you are in to and about the kind of person you are. Whether it be hip hop, R&B, heavy metal, or classic jazz, it all points to your personality. It influences us also, but these influences can be both positive and negative.

Because music has such a profound impact on teen society, the certain things these songs are getting across are not something young adults should be listening to on a regular basis. At least half the songs that have come out recently have involved either a young woman dancing provocatively with a group of men ogling at her or a girl going to a club to be “naughty”. If music is going to be a focal point of young adult life, should it be this?

Materialism and violence in this music is troublesome also. Songs talking about how much money they have, how much money they wish they had, (“I got my mind on my money, and my money on my mind.”- Snoop Dogg) put ideas in teens’ heads that they have to have all the money they can. Themes of violence and brutality, of glorified physical victory over another, is also prevalent in many songs and perhaps the most common in this generation than in any other. This kind of mentality and ultimate peer pressure could lead to drastic measures.

Feeding young adults this view of women as objects made to dance and “get low”, violence, and ideal wealth is dangerous. In a world where this is already a problem, this kind of music seems to give it the green light. These songs hide the true consequences of the situations they display by making it look fun, glamorous, and the “it” thing to do.

Of course, this generation is not the first to have this problem. It seems no matter what decade you are in, music has always had this kind of premise, just displayed (sometimes) in subtler ways.

Music has not only been a sexual or material form of expression, but a societal and political. It’s a way to freely say what you think of the world today with a good beat and tune to make people around the world want to listen. Music today points to things like the tension between countries, terrorism, economies, politics, etc. Songs can be a plea for peace, a dream of a world opposite to the one we live in, or a wish for a change.

Though music has its good sides and its bad, it is a way to share with the world, a way to say what you feel in a unique way. Music is a form of art that we can all enjoy. And, as for me, I can’t picture a world without it.

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This article has 5 comments.

_kylenciaaa_ said...
on Sep. 19 2013 at 10:21 am
yall some lame people who cares wat we listen to were teens  we should be able to do wat ever we want !!!

on Jul. 22 2010 at 10:08 am
yeah i hear you and idk how girls can listen to and enjoy some rap songs either. Most people tell me lyrics don't matter and it's all about the beat... but most beats these days are really bad. But I'd say they're getting better lol.

on Jul. 18 2010 at 6:06 pm
sleeplessdreamer PLATINUM, Raleigh, North Carolina
30 articles 0 photos 332 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I have always wanted to write in such a way that people say, 'I have always thought that but never found the words for it.'" -anonymous

I get what you're saying about this piece, and I'll get to that later.

But one comment: while I see the argument on rap music, I don't know that just because some artists are portraying more of a positive influence in the genre overrules the fact that people are influenced by the things they hear. As a female, hearing songs that obliterate your self-worth (which-admit it- are heavy in MANY rap songs), and making you to be nothing more than something to fantasize about or use for one moment's pleasure is very disconcerting. And- SHOCKER- that's how many young women feel treated every day. NOW is there perfect proof to prove that this music is the cause of that? No. But it certainly doesn't help the fact. (Sorry, I'm kind of argumentative.)

So now that I've gotten that off my chest, I would like to say that I very much respect your commentary and honesty and that I will take it to heart. Even though I hate people who make excuses for the flaws in their writing, I must say that I wrote this for a paper I write for as an internship. My editor LOVES to tamper with my wording and is very strict on how I formulate argumentative columns such as this. Regardless, I do agree that this needs work and am not tryiing to say that my writing is in any way perfect.

Thanks for checking out my work, and if you made it this far, my small rant.


on Jul. 18 2010 at 2:39 pm

simon cowell feedback--you asked for it... well sorta.

So here's some honest feedback that you might be looking for.

This needs a lot of work too lol. If you ever get the chance to take AP English language &comp in 11th grade if you haven't already, DO IT because then you will learn how to write an essay without the novice mistakes that this one has.

Overall this just looks like your standard school-formulaic-way-of-presenting-an argument with some sophistication and good flow. But there's some words that don't belong here because you tried too hard to sound sophisticated for instance "you will be hard pressed to find a teenager..." 

like... that's just an unnatural sentance. I don't know of anyone who says "hard pressed" especially when they're talking to "you"

Some say never to use "you" or "I" in a nonpersonal essay like this and instead always use third-person pronouns. I'm not sure if that's a golden rule that everyone should follow, but I think for writers like us who are still young and inexperienced it's not a bad idea to seriously consider that "rule" and it seems it would certainly help this essay


And as far as opinions go, do you really think rap music like "get low" is poisoning the minds of teens and telling them that its the "it thing to do?"

I don't really like rap music either, and I think it only belongs in clubs/dances/parties/etc. but I don't think it's necessarily encouraging teens to do bad things because most rap has no message and is just something to grind to.

and for the rap that does have a message, I find that most of the messages are actually good nowadays. My best friend writes rap songs, one is called something like "Chester Stop the Violence" which is a remix to Eminem's "Not Afraid." both songs, I think, although may not convey messages in ways that "white society" can understand, do convey good messages.

on Feb. 14 2010 at 8:38 pm
Hollywog. PLATINUM, Mole Creek, Other
21 articles 23 photos 65 comments

Favorite Quote:
It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all..

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind - Ghandi

I agree totally with this piece of writing.

Music is basically my lifeline, and I listen to it whenever I can. But I do realise that the impact of some songs and artists on society is not exactly a pleasant one - and it's pretty sad really - when music was once a focal point for inspiration and political messages of hope and injustice, it is now all violence and drugs.

I suppose this is all signifying changing times.

Anyway, thanks for writing such an insipring piece of work :)

Love and Sunshine,