I was at the BYU vs. UofU football game a week ago. I don’t intend to talk about any football aspect of the game here. “Dead horses” should only be beat so much, and BYU has been a “dead horse” in this rivalry for a long time.
Anyway, aside from the actual game on the field, there was something really weird to me that was part of the game night experience. It was the music that was played over the sound system at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
For many years at home games, short segments of music have been blasted out in between some plays and during some breaks, when the marching band isn’t playing. It’s intended, I believe, to pump up the players and the crowd. It’s meant to be a motivational “get everyone excited” kind of strategy.
Last week, the music played was a dramatic departure from what I have heard there over the past many years in Provo. A high percentage of the music played… was… RAP!
I’ll admit that the rap music that BYU played and the rap music that accompanied the Cougarette’s dance routine was actually “calmer” than a lot of the rap music that is out there. Much of the rap genre of music has language that BYU wouldn’t be playing to 60,000+ fans who are expecting “wholesome entertainment” at a sporting event.
So, I can’t say that all rap is all bad. But, I can’t say that I’m going to be humming any of the “melodies” anytime soon. People tell me that “this music kinda grows on ya.” That means that rap is kind of like smoked oysters or sushi. It’s an acquired taste.
I guess one just has to decide whether to “hold one’s nose” and experience enough of it to make the “acquisition.” (I do eat some sushi; but it’s not in the same league as ribeye steak and a baked potato on my food preference list.)
Music has always been a generational point of discussion. Actually, it’s often a point of argument between the generations. In actual fact, I’ve seen out and out fights between parents and children over music.
Most memorable was the time I witnessed the mother of a friend physically wrestle with him over a Beatles album. (Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, if I remember right)
She ended up getting the vinyl LP record into her hands and attempted to break it across her knee. The record launched into the air and boinked against the ceiling and came down without breaking.
I couldn’t help but laugh just a little, even though the fight was real with hot tempers flaring. As a result of that incident, and a semi-related “war” over length of sideburns, my friend came and lived at my house for two or three days until he and his parents negotiated a treaty.
In the mind of my friend’s mom, The Beatles were escorting her son straight to hell. (Not to mention me and the rest of our circle of friends). She knew that the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was subliminally going to make us all take LSD and fry our brains.
As it turned out, my friend got “entangled” in LDS, not LSD and went on a church mission to Mexico. He baptized about a zillion people. He was a nice, productive guy who sadly had a medical condition that caused a premature death. He was a family man and a father of four kids. I’m confident that he is now somewhere other than hell.
My parents were very tolerant of my music when I was attempting to grow up in the ‘60s. A few of us teenagers were in a rock’n’roll band together while we were in high school. My parents advanced a substantial sum of money so that I could get the required Vox brand organ and amplifier.
When we were starting out, they even let us practice at our house in the large room up above the garage. My parents didn’t complain about how loud we practiced renditions of “Louie, Louie” and “Light My Fire.” But the neighbors a block away did.
I remember making a mental note that when the time came that I had kids, I would try to be as understanding and tolerant of their music as my folks had been. I also recall thinking that there’s really nowhere else for music “to go.” I mean what could they come up with that would challenge my tolerance?
I had experienced the likes of Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, and Iron Butterfly. I had experienced Jimi Hendrix live and in person when I was 15. My aforementioned friend’s dad chauffeured us to Patio Gardens at Lagoon for the concert. He dropped us off and picked us up having no clue, I’m sure, of what kind of event we were attending.
I think my question of many years ago as to “where can music go?”- That would be a type of music that I would have difficulty tolerating has been answered. Three letters: R A P.