How American music industry has changed over years?

The evolution of music in the last 20 years

If you are 30 or above, can you tell how many explicit songs you got to hear in your childhood or teenage years? You would hardly remember receiving those nasty looks from your parents for hearing such music because it wasn’t the same 30 years ago. The platforms weren’t even close to similar. Ask your granny how many times she wanted to keep an eye on what her kids were listening to. But now, we are living in an age where most of the chart-toppers are highly explicit and hold parental advisory labels. What has changed in these 2 decades that transformed the music so drastically? Let's have a look at all the possible reasons for this evolution.  

  • As of a report released by Spotify API data, it was observed that there has been a crazy increase of 833 percent in the popularity of explicit songs since 2001.
  • Prior to that, there were only 5 songs with bold lyrics that made it to the top of Billboard hot 100.
  • Excluding 2012, there hasn’t been a year without a chart-topper that didn’t include a parental advisory label. 
  • The record labels as well as artists took admiration and began making songs where they express their true feeling without any hesitation. 
The music has greatly changed in the past 2 decades. Source: gettyimages

The first and foremost reason behind this change is the increase in platforms where artists could display their art. Earlier, it was only radio or televisions where the songs could be broadcasted but now we have countless options like Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, Apple Music to name a few, where the artists have the freedom to put forward their originals without any editing, and censorship.

It wasn’t allowed to release songs with bold lyrics, let alone being streamed on the radio before 2001. Then came the desktops and android phones were a cherry on the top. There has been a revolutionary change since. 

Lady Gaga performing at the American Music Awards

On the other hand majority of the population around the world have access to nearly all of these platforms. Children to adults of every age have access to the internet and they are often not supervised as to what they are listening to. Moreover, the websites also don’t have any such policy that forbids singers from doing so. In fact, they support the artists and encourage them to come up with their originals.

American Music Awards

Another reason, I assume, is awareness and acceptance. 2 decades ago, intimate topics were too taboo to talk about but the time has changed. People feel comfortable talking about topics that were never openly discussed before. Women empowerment, feminism, and even openly talking about bodies has become normal and  people don’t hesitate anymore. Swearing, using terms that describe intimacy, and using racist words in the lyrics have also become common.

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion are the queen of explicit songs

To conclude, I would say explicit songs are not bad unless the songwriters don’t go below the belt to target race or gender. Otherwise, we have singers who are specifically known for their lyrics that leave nothing for the imagination, however their music is empowering. Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B are a living example. Though their music might not be something you’d hear when you and your parents are in the same car but when you are to yourself, they can be a great therapy in restoring your self-esteem and might be helpful in getting over a crap boy too lol.

Vaneeza Muddasir

Business student and marketing freak. Loves to work from home.+ info

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