Music continues to circulate in a world of conflict, which, like music, also comes and goes in waves.
American rapper and songwriter Kendrick Lamar recently became the new winner of a Pulitzer Prize. The winner of the 2017 prize was Du Yun’s “Angel’s Bone.” Lamar’s popular track, “DNA.” undoubtedly took this award for its simply intricate unraveling of the inner workings of his mind and body. Lamar uses his talents to weave simple words into meaningful and deep phrases about the makeup of himself that millions have grown to resonate with. While he’s proud of these things, it isn’t all “ambition and flow.” Even the “dark, evil, and rot” inside of him makes him who he is and that is something he is proud of. This is something that more people today should take away in today’s world. He has shown that it is okay to have negative things that form you, but they do not define you any more or less than the positive things do.
Another track from “DAMN.” By Kendrick Lamar that deserves attention is “LOYALTY.” This track, featuring Rihanna, preaches the values of hard work and sacrifice of time. Song-enhancing Rhianna uses her similarly demanding voice and tone to grab the listener and ask, “Where does your loyalty lie?” Rap is difficult for some to enjoy, but Lamar entices the listener of his music with a story that cannot go unfinished.
Every year thousands of people from near and far come together in interesting, artistic, slightly questionable garb to enjoy another year of music and art at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The festival lasted, this year, from April 13 to the 22, and featured many artists varying in style and genre. One of these artists was the ever popular, ever powerful Beyoncé. She blew away the crowd of admirers with not only a change in wardrobe but also with musical changes and a show that proves the title “Beychella” an accurate alternate naming of the festival. Beyoncé’s other shows have put up a good fight, but her performance at Coachella was the one to beat– and who is a better competitor than Beyoncé herself? Including a reunion of Destiny’s Child, she was joined on stage by her husband Jay Z, and she sang many other hits which fans reacted strongly to.
Another rap artist, Eminem, returned to the scene after a long time of being gone under the radar. His performance at the 2018 Coachella Festival drew back the curtains that many have unknowingly shut on him and demanded the attention of the audience with an exciting comeback. Many say that Eminem was the wrong choice of a closer of the last weekend of the festival, but it is all about variance and different styles of art and music, so the decision can be justified with a different perspective.
Noticing the differing styles in music today and appreciating them in comparison to the equally-appreciated music of the past is important in understanding all styles. Every song, every artist, every concert or festival has something to take away from it, and looking for that thing is the part that is the most exciting about the entire experience.