Music is an ever-changing art; always adapting to reflect the thoughts and feelings of the creator. More recently, we’ve seen musicians be more open with themselves and their true feelings on the record and off. Having a musician open up about their lives and hardships makes them more relatable and gives their fans a physical-being to resonate with instead of an abstract piece of art.
The means of expression through music is across every genre because it is needed to connect with those who listen to the art. Chester Bennington was one of the musicians who were always more open about his life than others, which lead to his music becoming more of a representation of feelings rather than pure thought. With his recent passing, it is plausible to see how his music could serve as his vessel for expression of feelings and possible cry for help. This unfortunate loss is another reminder that just because someone is rich and famous, it doesn’t equate to happiness.
More recently, rappers have come forward and have used their talent to express how they really feel about their private life and public life. XXXTentacion has become one of the newest artists to be expressive, sincere, and open with his fans through music. Even if these larger-than-life musicians may live far from ordinary lives, they still face common problems. These problems could range anywhere from depression, heartbreak or simply not knowing what their purpose in life is. These topics are just a few of the many that these musicians share with their fans and the rest of the world.
This month saw the release of XXXTentacion’s debut album 17, this 22-minute project is the pinnacle of expression for an artist of his stature. The album whilst short provides hours upon hours of content to dwell on after the first listen. This album directly aims for the heart and mind when it comes to lyricism; each song sets out to tell a story and seek a resolution within their two or three-minute duration. The biggest strength of this album is the telling of pure emotion and heartfelt pain that is evidently presented through this medium to help educate and inform his fans of not only his own pain but to show that it is acceptable to speak openly about personal issues.
Musicians with this talent to create art reflective of their thoughts is what makes the genre worth listening to. Artists like XXXTentacion are leading the way for a new generation of rapper’s, this new generation is paving for a new style by simply telling the cold-hearted truth about their problems. With every music release seeming more like a therapy appointment between the artist and listener, it is easy to see why this format works as much as it does. Anyone can write lines about their day and how they feel but it takes a certain degree of devotion to transform the bars to emotion-provoking songs.
The genre of rap has seen many bright and talented members over the years and continues to grow in size, impact, and talent every day; but this decade has seen the rise of some of the brightest and most promising individuals of all time. The key to their success is their dedication to the expression of their thoughts and feelings especially those thoughts that reflect the current state of social issues in the world. The expression of emotion is the most important factor when making music and needs to be exploited for the sake of creating beautiful works of art.