It is strange to think that the music of today well be what the next generation will call old school music.
Imagine, receiving a phone call home sometime in the future stating that when your kindergartener was asked to sing their favorite old school song, their song of choice was “Pop that Pussy” by Little Wayne. True, it may have its comical aspects, but that is not the legacy of music that the next generation should be idolizing, especially at such a young age.
The music of our current generation is good quality music and there are dozens of talented artist scattered throughout the various genres of music. Yet many songs and many artist that perform now a day are not the real pioneers and are not what the next generation should view as the original. Many of the rhythms, beats and styles that we have today, generated from past accomplishments. An example would be the song Tutti Frutti originally performed by Little Richard in 1955; but has recently been transformed into the song, Da Wop by Lil Chuckee. The 2012 remake of Little Richard song utilizes the bridge of the song which reads, “A wop bop-a-lu a whop bam boo” while the rest of the song displays modern rap. Lil Chuckee’s version of the song, though wildly popular today, should not replace Little Richard’s original performance of the song in the eyes of the next generation. Replacing the original song would be the equivalence of kidnapping someone else’s child. You are taking something that someone else dedicated so much time and energy into, and then you manipulating it into something that profits you. It is not the intentions of the one remaking the song to take credit away from the true artist, though that is exactly what occurs because younger individuals do not know who the real artist is. Can you imagine people giving credit to Chris Brown for Michael Jackson’s famous dance moves?
Another powerful example would be The Beatles, an English four man rock and roll group from the 1960’s. They made history and their musically talents carried them to numerous heights. According to the Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll “The impact of the Beatles – not only on rock & roll but on Western culture – is simply incalculable. As musicians, they proved that rock & roll could embrace a limitless variety of harmonies, structures and sounds; virtually every rock experiment has some precedent on Beatle records.”“Although many of their sales and attendance records have since been surpassed, no group has so radically transformed the sound and meaning of rock & roll.”
Artist from past generations were the way makers for our current generation and we have an obligation to keep the real old school music alive and to make sure the way makers are not forgotten and continue to be known for their grand accomplishments.
So when the opportunity presents itself to ask a child of the next generation whom their favorite old school singer is, more than likely many people would not want the answer to be Lil Wayne or Gucci Mane. Be there for the next generation so that their answers will be more along the lines of Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, Smokey Robinson, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Tina Turner, or Ray Charles. Save future generations, be a leader and just be cautious of what your children define as original. Teach the children of tomorrow so that they may prosper.
Article and Photography by Tabia Wade
Originally published August 12, 2012