Reality shows, thugs and clones ... who took the music out of MTV?
I'm 54 and I remember when MTV first came on the air in 1981. It was new, cool, hip and it used to have a lot of live concerts of real rock and hard rock bands. Unfortunately, MTV has morphed into a promotional slave of the corrupt "payola" music promotional industry.
Ask yourself this: Why does MTV keep playing the same genres and artists over and over? Why do so many musical acts seem like clones of each other? Why are we so preoccupied now with music that promotes the "thug lifestyle" and tries to somehow legitimize it? Why has MTV's music void been filled with mindless reality shows recently? The reality is that MTV stopped being real "music television" along time ago.
There are so many undiscovered, talented artists and bands in every city in the United States, why are we bombarded and the youth brainwashed by so much musical mediocrity? Believe you me, there is not a lack of fresh new artists and bands out there. Part of the problem is the music industry and the record producers themselves. They only want a group that sounds like "X." They tend to "create" artists these days, not discover them.
What also is evident is the intellectual weakness of the average music consumer who will run out and buy anything that is repeatedly played on the radio or seen on MTV. The homogenous nature of the music heard today always means "more of the same." This is a surefire formula invented by record producers and promoters to do only one thing: make money. The recording industry tends to over-hype quite a few new artists, and then dumps and mocks them as "one-hit wonders" if they fail to meet their expectations.
The only way to wake up the music industry and MTV is to stop buying into their marketing hype and realize that the industry has become just one more money game. Their philosophy seems to be quantity instead of variety or quality, and that seems to reinforce the buying mentality of the Wal-Mart generation. Music listeners and consumers need to get back to experiencing and discovering great music the good old way. Visit your local (record) CD store and browse the racks and educate yourself. Why trust MTV or your local radio DJ to tell you what is good?
Greg Darr lives in Kailua.