When I first heard Run DMC’s “Walk This Way,” featuring Aerosmith, my world exploded. Let’s just say everything clicked—in the best way possible. I’ve always been the oddball, the square peg in a round hole, and that lyrical mashup of hip-hop and rock straight up gave me life, a validation of sorts. It’s awesome to see that today’s musical landscape is continuing to evolve for the better, giving us a wider outlet to experience the beauty and freedom of music without being bound by conventions and societal constructs.
Listen to mainstream radio or tune in to any awards show, and you’ll see that traditional rules no longer apply. What was once considered urban, pop, country, blues or folk (or insert your fave music genre here) is now often fused into an experimental blend appealing to a myriad of musical appetites. All that matters now is making music that speaks to the people (and generates the appropriate number of YouTube views). Nelly’s rhythmic rap flow over Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” remix gave us a little bit of country rock with pop-hop on the side for good measure. Even classical music has joined the trend. Recently, Sir Mix-A-Lot of “Baby Got Back” fame got an unexpected remix by Composer Gabriel Prokofiev when he performed his iconic rump-shaking anthem live with the Seattle Orchestra.
For me, music was not only an escape; it was a way to connect with others on a level playing field. Music has the power to equalize and excite, regardless of socio-economic or, in my case, nerd status. Music is constantly evolving, and that’s what makes it great. As Americans, we experience the joys of freedom on a daily basis—whether it’s the freedom to come and go as we please, do what we love or vape where we want. Music is yet another form of freedom that we enjoy. It may be a cliché, but music does indeed soothe the savage beast. Boxes are boring. Let’s step outside and shake things up a bit.
Jameka S. Whitten is a Senior Digital Editor with Pace Communications who is a self-proclaimed nerd, social-media enthusiast and pop-culture aficionado. Follow her wild, yet grammatically correct, rants via Twitter @JamekaShamae.