"I never felt any responsibility, being a so-called idol. It's wrong of people to expect it. What they are doing is putting their responsibilities on us, as Paul said to the newspapers when he admitted taking LSD. If they were worried about him being responsible, they should have been responsible enough and not printed it, if they were genuinely worried about people copying."
John Lennon, 1967 Anthology
Almost 50 years later, we are still having the same societal debate as to whether music influences the behavior of society. This morning on Carson Daly's radio show on AMP in Los Angeles, he chatted with Perez Hilton about Zac Efron's rehab stint and the recent deaths due to overdoses on the drug "Molly." Carson said that he thought pop songs were to blame for deaths due to recent drug overdoses. The question is do the lyrics in pop music really influence what the youth is doing?
, If you are going to blame one artist for the populace's bad decisions, you should blame them all. Blame Robin Thicke for every rape due to his song "Blurred Lines." Blame every hip- hop artist for racism because they use the "N" word. Blame boy bands for teen pregnancies. The list could go on. Art is an extension and a distortion of reality Like sports, television, and movies, music is meant to entertain us and help us feel and experience outside of our own realm- a realm we may never touch.
America's youth is using art as a scapegoat as to why they behave badly. Curiosity is one thing and self control is another. Education is priceless. We have a generation of parents raised on The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, complaining that their kids are listening to music that is talking about *gasp* the same subjects as were relevant in the 60's and 70's. Art is an expression of the human condition communicated in different ways. Every piece of our repressed selves and wildness can be released and expressed through art mediums, as it has been for centuries..
Whether or not Jay-Z does "Molly" is irrelevant. He's not meant to be a role model, nor should any other musician or entertainer because they live their own lives and make their own mistakes, but the media has insisted that anyone who is famous must be a "role model." Have we ever thought that maybe it's not the actions of celebrities, but in fact the incessant coverage and blaming by the news media that's actually the problem? Instead of communal blame, maybe everyone should understand that they themselves, not music, Hollywood or video games are responsible for their behaviors.