Sunday, September 26, 2010

Culture war exists, but not "Genre war"

Culture war exists, but not "Genre war"

Back then, I hear much about conflicting genres in the world of music. Metal vs. Rap, Goth vs. Emo, anything that seemingly sort of a crass conflict orchestrated by vested interests in order to gain profits upon controlling the music industry.

I also think that despite criticism, of assailing cultures by another, is there any musician who felt getting tired of the conflict between different genres and instead unite and create a new culture of coexistence? To the fact that they create music for the people in general and not for a particular clique or person what the system wanted or rather say forced upon to them in the name of competition?

As a writer, and a social critic, I simply think that having a "genre war" is somewhat a battleground more of a music company than of a musician itself. Every genre in music, whether it is Rock, Rap, Pop, or Classical carries its own uniqueness, but it carries enough similarities to the fact that they are creating music for the people! For sure most people spoke of assailing a particular genre but they simply don't understand, or playing deaf why there is a need for competing? Are they competing for what? Fame or profit?

After all, as Marx said in his Communist Manifesto:
"The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles."

And class struggles includes culture, like music for example. And it involves its closeness, relevance to the people, especially the workers and making it understandable to them-as music back then emphasized the bourgeois style that was, and is-too difficult to understand yet easy to ape by the majority. Rap music for instance is one of the examples-people, especially the youth simply listen and sung the words yet they don't understand its essence, its reason behind the words given. The song "Momay" by Juan thugs can be considered good for an everyday rap listener, but they didn't notice that the message involves Marijuana, so are the others whose music can be good but what about the message? Is it understandable? And for whom?

Most musicians nowadays somehow felt getting dictated for the sake of popularity and profit. Love songs are greatly affected most of the time, that they stress most of sex instead of the essence of love in every lover. The song "Rosas ng Digma" by Musikangbayan is no match for the ones in the mainstream scene although the message of the former is better. But still, the industry prefers the popular than the right, the fan-centric than the essence of the music being sung.

And somehow that kind of problem the music industry possess today continues to prevail. The songs of the past have been trashed out in favour of the senseless ones the industry, instead of the musicians wanted for the people. Are the musicians, again felt getting tired of their songs pressing for long-term competition? Does it really give comfort and encouragement? Or putting them to an endless illusion, an escape from the reality as the industry, controlled by vested interests encouraged?

To me, having a "Genre war" is an illusion created by the vested interests in order to gain more profits, but for a songwriter, a musician it is far from their message of making their music accessible to the people. Putting too much into the competition is far from expressing the message, it rather instead making the music purely plain and devoid of an idea. God forbid, are the listeners listening or simply deaf despite listening to a song? "Genre war" will always be a minor part of a "Kulturkampf", and anything regarding this hell of a kind Kulturkampf, including Genre wars would be end up, simply by emancipating culture from "culture" itself, and making it purely in the service of the people as it genuinely expresses the idea clearly and realistically, without any hindrances and with harmony.

Anyway, how wonder sometimes I, who usually listen to punk, ska, anything more of a band admires a maiden with a different genre of music? After all the idea that makes genres take away differences is, and must be coexistence and the will to struggle in breaking the flow- alongside the struggle for social liberation. Or, in a classical radical sense, as Marx said: we have nothing to lose except our chains, we have a world to win.