Sinatra v Minaj: how music went from tip-top to slut-drop

I’ve got you under my skin
I get it crackin like a bad back

I’ve got you deep in the heart of me
Bitch talkin she the queen, when she looking like a lab rat

So deep in my heart that you’re really a part of me
I’m Angelina, you Jennifer

I’ve got you under my skin
Ice my wrist’s and I piss on bitches
____________________________________________

My brother came home this Easter for a few days and whilst he was down he asked me what good songs are in the charts at the moment. He and his girlfriend have no TV in their flat (and maybe not even a radio?) and don’t keep up with the latest music or television trends.

I said sure and was about to give him the name of some songs before I realised I couldn’t think of any. I could only come up with the new Shins album.

I used to know exactly what was in the charts and how long it’d been there for when I worked in ASDA and changed the CD album chart every Sunday evening. However since then my knowledge of what’s hip and happening has decreased somewhat and I tend to rely solely on music I have on my iPod rather than the radio. I’ve spent the past few months trawling through old music (and pinching stuff off my dad each time I’ve been home) or listening to mostly unknown bands I’ve found through various means.

I told my brother to go onto BBC Radio 1’s Top 40 singles chart to refresh my musical memory and this is what I discovered:

2 songs by Guetta in the top 20
2 songs by Labrinth
2 songs by Chris Brown
2 songs by LMFAO
2 songs by Coldplay
2 songs by Olly Murs

Duplicate songs by the same artists.. since when did that become such a regular thing? 2 songs by 6 artists in the Top 40 chart?
And as for the Top 40 itself, well… this is how the Top 20 looks at the moment:

  1. Chris Brown
  2. Sean Paul
  3. Nicki Minaj
  4. Katy Perry
  5. Gotye
  6. Plan B
  7. Flo Rida
  8. David Guetta
  9. Labrinth
  10. Emile Sande
  11. Jay Z & Kanye West
  12. David Guetta
  13. Jessie J
  14. Azealia Banks
  15. Jason Mraz
  16. DJ Fresh
  17. Swedish HouseMafia
  18. Alexandra Burke
  19. LMFAO
  20. JLS

Guetta, Flo Rida, Labrinth, Nicki Minaj; it’s all club music. So this is what the majority of people listen to nowadays??

What ever happened to instruments? Sure, when I was a kid it was all pop music; Boyzone, Steps, The Corrs, Emilia – remember her? I’m a big, big girl in a big, big world, I remember her Top of the Pops performances well. But is the latest preferred genre of music just another passing trend or the state of things to come? Boy bands died out and came back right?

Back in 1964 the Top 20 looked something like this.

Looking at that you realise The Beatles really were prolific. Check out Do You Want To Know A Secret and Marvin Gaye’s You’re a Wonderful One.

Not that I have anything against Nicki Minaj or Chris Brown, but have you heard his number one single Turn Up the Music? It’s like JLo’s On the Floor; ridiculously repetitive, unoriginal and BORING. The lyrics mean nothing – its monotony is purely intended for the club scene..

Occasionally something like Gotye’s Somebody I used to Know captures the public’s interest but these days club music seems to be the easy route for many artists. JLS have gotten more generic sounding as their career’s progressed and artists wanting to remain in the charts have clearly realised what’s guaranteed to keep them there. X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke started out with soulful, vocally show-casing songs but her latest offering Elephant is a far cry from her Hallelujah days and debut album Overcome. The Saturdays were convinced Flo Rida’s contribution to their original single release Higher would help elevate them to the number one spot and Pixie Lott wacked a couple of rappers onto her latest album Young Foolish Happy.

Nowadays it’s all about who’s featuring

Elephant feat. Erick Morillo
Nicki Minaj feat. Chainz
Bright Lights (Good Life) Part II feat. Tinchy Stryder
Talk That Talk feat. Jay Z

Why has commercial music become so reliant upon rap? And unless you like that sort of thing does it pay to be on top of what the music industry has to offer? There are some hidden gems and artists that break the mould; look at Adele, but I’ve noticed that I’m buying and familiarising myself with older music more than ever, whether it’s bands I’ve grown up with or music in my dad’s CD rack. It’s not that I dislike all of it – Minaj’s top 5 hit Starships is catchy and great to sing a long to and perhaps that’s my problem. I love dancing but unless I can sing a long to a club track or bust some street dance moves to it (contact Raissa Ioussouf for a street dance master class) I find it hard to listen to it at any time except for when I’m getting ready to go out.

Maybe I’m just getting old before my time, but it seems like in order to be a musical success these days a certain amount of conformity is required; conformity in the form of electro synth beats. There’s always a reprieve though – you’ve just got to search beyond what’s on the shop’s shelves and fortunately there’s a wealth of music to discover in the past decades where I wasn’t in existence.

Want to know what song was number 1 on your birthday? Click here to find out and post me your result 😉

The number 1 song on my birthday was covered by a little band called Sunblock in 1996 eight years after its original release by Robin Beck. You may remember this…

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2 thoughts on “Sinatra v Minaj: how music went from tip-top to slut-drop

  1. That’s funny, I also have no idea what music is trendy and keep relying on old music and what’s on my Ipod. I thought it was because I was getting old… By the way, it’s Ioussouf 🙂

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