Then vs. Now

Young music artists go into the music industry with a drive to produce songs that make them happy and sell albums to millions of people. Over time, money, publicity, and Billboard chart positioning tie into an initial shift in what used to be for personal pleasure, but now focusses towards trends reflecting life changing events. Certain singers and songwriters in specifically pop, hip-hop, and R&B have shown a shift in style or theme and students of Lake Ridge have noticed.

Dorion Milsap, freshman, listens to music everyday, noticed that over the course of 15 years Chris brown’s music genre has changed. While Milsap believes it is possible for an artist to maintain a consistent style, due to his age Brown’s changed as he progressed through in the industry.

“He drifted away from hip-hop to R&B. When he was young, it was more ‘hippy’-fresh. Now his music is more love songs such as ‘X’ and ‘Loyal’. I think his music started to change around 2012 and I like his music more now that it’s become R&B,” Milsap said.

Brown’s recently spent 13 weeks on the Billboard chart with songs like “Whatever you need” being an R&B remix. Milsap believes Brown’s music is definitely not making a recursive appearance.

“It positively affected Chris Brown because he has produced a lot over the years and never decreased. He’s always up there on the charts. I don’t feel his music will ever go back to what it used to be,” said Milsap.

Freshman, Abdul Kamara, believes recently, 21 Savage’s music has changed as he began dating a well known American model Amber Rose. Kamara thinks it was a beneficial shift for 21 Savage being that many pro-Rap fans listen to his music. These songs can bring forth awareness and prompt others to make a change.

“A big part of what changed his music was him dating Amber Rose. She changed him from a savage to making music about things that are going on today, like racism. It’s positive because some people don’t know what’s going on in this world and he’s making music so they can make a change,” said Kamara. “I think the reason he changed his music is solely because of Amber Rose. Before he had a girlfriend it was about money and publicity.”

Natalie Brewster, senior, listens to music to get through the day. She favors artists that inspire her like Beyoncé. Brewster says being in the public eye led to her lyrically addressing  the opinions of her millions of fans.

“She was young when she first started with Destiny’s child. It was more like love songs and people tried to come for her as in like rudeness. Now she’s addressing those rumors. Publicity affected Beyoncé because reporters and TMZ can get a little messy, kinda like school, a lot of things are said that are not true,” said Brewster.

Singer Taylor Swift, recently released singles throughout September and October differing from her previous albums “Red” and “Speak Now” in a way that reveals a vivid image of what she wants to portray now. Brewster feels these changes were caused by old relationships.

“Taylor Swift’s music changed with her maturity level. Back then she made a lot of love songs and now it’s like you know what, I don’t need love, I’m an independent woman. She’s focusing on herself now. I think what made her change was her relationships in the past. Girls are like, if it doesn’t work, maybe I should try being by myself and see how I cope with that,” said Brewster.

Taylor Swift’s life in the limelight led to her musical shift in the industry.

“I think publicity is some of the main reason why. Her music is great so I don’t think that had anything to do with it changing,” Brewster said.

Brewster recognizes that with age comes maturity in the public eye and in the music artists create. It is inevitable for everyone to stay the same.

“Everybody’s music eventually changes because when younger you have a certain appearance you have to maintain in your music, then when you get older they start making more mature songs,” says Brewster.