The music industry is in a massive decline, not in popularity or gross-sales, but in the depth of lyrical content and the use of actual instruments. Our collective musical taste has withered; we began with the epic loveliness of Classical music and have ended up in this decrepit wasteland we call the “Billboard Hot 100”. One of the most popular individuals known as a musician nowadays is the one and only, Justin Bieber, a young Canadian pop-star whom has caught the attention of millions in the United States and worldwide. Justin’s success is somewhat reminiscent of the great musician Bob Dylan. Both Dylan and Bieber were quite influential, but both were influential to different age groups and to completely different degrees. Dylan wrote songs like “The Times They Are a-Changin’” and “Blowin’ in the Wind”, both of which were anthems for the generations anti-war and civil rights activists, whom derived a deeper message from Dylan’s works. Justin Bieber, on the other hand may have influenced several millions of teenage admirers, but his audience is nowhere near as deep-thinking and influential as the young rebels of the 1960’s. Dylan’s songs were so beloved and inspiring, that he is acclaimed by several music aficionados, such as members of both the band and the publication, “The Rolling Stones”, as one of the greatest singer/songwriters of all time. If you were to look up Justin Bieber on Wikipedia, it categorizes him as a “Canadian pop-musician, actor, and singer-songwriter.” He is most definitely an actor, but how is the young man a musician? Bieber’s claim to fame, the multi-platinum single “Baby” was not only written by Justin Bieber, but also by four other songwriters. That is pretty sad considering most of the song consists of Justin belting “Baby, baby, baby oh, baby, baby, baby, no!” The worst part though, is when it comes time to sing to the song he had no part in writing or creating, for he is known to simply prerecord his voice and adlib to the songs! Sadly though, this is how our music industry is today: It’s like these huge record labels are sneering lion tamers, using contracts and material wealth as whips and chairs. They absorb any shiny new face with musical potential, forcing the poor fool to jump through a never ending array of burning hoops we call “music trends” until they find the one the crowd “oohs” and “aahs” the most over.
Now more than ever, the key to success in today’s music industry is publicity, no matter how bad it may be. Just today, while I was typing this essay, I read a news article on the CNN website about how Bieber, whom has no medical marijuana card, was “allegedly” found smoking cannabis on a private