COMMENTARY BY LAMAR PENNY, FNN REPORTER, ANACOSTIA BUREAU.
Can music and lyrics control a human's way of thinking? My answer is yes! Music can make a person hyper or change his or her adrenaline level. Melody, lyrics and rhythm can persuade and control a person's intentions. If a music artist is famous and has a song about doing drugs, people will think that since the artist has money and fame that it is okay to participate in doing drugs. A person might do a certain drug and listen to a song that talks about doing the drug to make them feel that it’s the right thing to do when its obviously not okay. For example, Beyonce has a song that states “I might be young, but I'm ready to give you all of my love…” She is encouraging young females to have sex with the opposite sex. Since the song is so great and the lyrics are catchy, young girls of all ages recite this song and actually perform what she is singing. Don't artists realize that kids of all ages sing and recite their songs including vulgar language and cursing? If so, why do they continue to make such negative songs? On the other hand, the same rule applies with positive songs. For example, Rhianna has a song that say “We found love in a hopeless place,” meaning there is hope in finding love no matter the circumstance or place. The song is up tempo and very catchy. I was at the gym one day when I heard a woman's Ipod playing the song as she was lifting weights to the song because it made her feel a certain way...positive. Music affects the 12-18 year old age group the most because this is the time period in which they decide if they want to be a positive leader or a negative follower. If friends are singing songs about sex or guns because the beat sounds nice, then they will participate in repeating the lyrics. I feel that the only way to control this problem is to get parents involved in monitoring what their children listen to. Even though a parent is not with a child every minute of the day, after a while the child will realize that their parent does not approve of the negative influence and will not pay attention to the music if they hear it. Of course they will hear the music, but they will not study and remember the lyrics. Another way is to control how artists get paid. If an artist would not get paid for singing or rapping about negative things, then the artist will change whatever there is to be changed to get the money that they deserve. My mom always told me the best money is honest money, so the same rule should apply to the music industry.
Lamar Penny is a senior at Anacostia High School.