Today, people often dance to tunes and not lyrics.
And when you ask them: “Have you taken time to listen to the content of the song you are dancing to?”
They respond: “I don’t care; all I know is that I like the sound and I’m having a good time.
This is dangerous to this generation because the essence of music goes beyond making us feel good. In most cases, a song with meaningful content is either teaching, narrating or correcting us from doing what is wrong.
But nowadays the case is different.
It’s because the lyrical content of most artistes is centred on money, women or sex.
Hey! What happened to the sanity of music?
A question I believe we should all ponder on.
This is one of the reasons morality in the world today is declining at a fast pace. You can tie it to narratives in the music content of today’s artists, centred on, sex, women and money.
When you interview most upcoming artists, you will realise they also want to align in that direction because they believe it’s the only way their songs can sell.
This group was one of the major success stories of 1992.
They are a progressive rap group who focused on changing the political and social scene through music.
The group was founded in the late 80s in Atlanta by rapper Todd Thomas also known as Speech and Timothy Barnwell (DJ Headliner) who transitioned to a more positive, Afro-centric viewpoint after listening to a group called Public Enemy.
Listen to one of their hit singles – People Everyday
We studied the biography of this successful group to convince upcoming artists’ that they can sing songs with meaningful content and still become successful.
After a close study of the biography of this Grammy Award-winning group, here are simple steps they took to become successful:
1. They Wanted to Make a Change
Most of the youngsters going into music today, don’t understand the purpose. They only have one aim; you can guess what it is: “just to make money”
Driven by this desire, they are ready to undermine the moral values of society. They don’t care as long as they make money.
This should not be the case. Arrested development knew better, they wanted to make a change. And it was not a general change; they were explicitly focused on influencing both the social and the political landscape.
Today, you can’t write about them without making a mention of how they worked so hard to influence the political and social landscape during their time.
Arrested Development won two Grammy Awards in 1993 for Best Rap Album and Best New Artist and was named Rolling Stone’s Band of the Year. And their debut album sold over 6million copies worldwide.
2. They Used the Power of Narration
In as much people are swept off by the tune of your music, you need to understand that it is the easiest way to wheel your influence.
And one way to do that is to use the power of narration. When you have decided on the area of life you want to influence, you need to connect to your audience using the power of narration.
From the title of your Album to the song itself you need to tell a story. Arrested Development used this principle in almost all their songs. The group debut album took its title from the time it took the group to secure a record contract: 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of…
The album had the hit single “Tennessee,” a strongly spiritual track that hit the Top Ten and sparked the album to sell millions of copies.
3. The Group was Unique
Being unique is one sure way to announce your brand in your industry. Arrested Development kept to their style of music. All you need is to hear the sound and you know who was singing.
“Arrested Development took the light, funky sound of the Native Tongues school of hip-hop (De La Soul, Queen Latifah), blended in the folk-blues instrumentation of their native South (harmonica, acoustic guitars), added uplifting, gospel-tinged lyrics and became one of the most successful crossover acts in rap.” — from The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001)
The group has influenced acts such as The Black-Eyed Peas and The Fugees opening doors for them.
Beyond all rational uncertainty, the success of this group has shown that upcoming musicians can have good success singing songs that would make a positive impact on lives, customs and the world.
If we continue to mention people that have walked this part, these pages won’t be sufficient. You can make a difference; impact lives with your songs today.