The internet killed the video star: one student’s thoughts on modern music

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Matt Firpo

Contributor

“The times they are a changin’” – though he may not have known it then, Bob Dylan predicted the future of music with these lyrics. 

The internet has greatly changed music as a culture and redefined artists again and again in the past 20 years. 

A pop star is now just a tweet away from success as online audiences become more prominent.

The internet has spawned many stars before, like Justin Bieber and Chance the Rapper, but today, stars have created massive fanbases in short periods of time.

With more platforms available to better reach their fans, artists are able to communicate more intimately than before – however, it has also created new discussions in music that rise from the turmoil caused by the tornado which is the internet.

Artists like Drake, XXXTenacion and Tekashi 6ix9ine are a few examples of artists who have become problematic in music due to their treatment of women, as well as their public actions. 

In the era of #MeToo, it seems disrespectful to give credit to them at any victims’ expense. 

Despite its flaws, the internet has changed how music is presented. Albums have become conceptual works which have grown increasingly complex in nature and themes. 

Examples of this complexity are works like Beyonce’s visual albums “Lemonade” and her self-titled work, Frank Ocean’s “Blonde” and many others.

Artists like Halsey and Billie Eilish are artists who have grown fan bases which understand conceptual works.

Eilish is a particularly interesting because of her mature sound as a young artist which reflects a wider trend in the emerging generation; children are emerging into adulthood much more rapidly due to influence from the internet. 

Mental health has become a prominent topic in art, and Eilish portrays this anxiety in songs like “idontwannbeyouanymore” and “COPYCAT.” 

Art reflects the state of culture, and it’s exciting to see young artists emerging with mature themes in their work which should be commended as a whole. 

As a culture, I believe music continues to innovate new ways to represent the changing world in which we live in. Music which reflects life and its experiences as authentic art should be commended in itself.

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