Thursday, March 17, 2011

The song I most associate with the 1980s is MC Hammer's "You can't touch this" but despite the parachute pants, cycling shorts, bad hair and unforgettable dance moves, it wasn't released until 1990!

Instead I've chosen another icon in Blondie. Although Blondie came onto the music scene,in the late 1970s, to me, Blondie's "Rapture" and "Heart of Glass" define the 80s. Rapture was released in 1981 as MTV was created and is reportedly one of the first songs to incorparate hip hop. Debbie Harry is visually an icon of the 80s, as a strong female with white blond hair, she was so dominant as a frontwomam, that the rest of the are amost completey forgotten! This is an example of the changing role of women in the 80s in all areas from music, art, film and business an made her a role model for a generation of women.

My song which I feel defines the noughties is Eminem and Rhianna's "love the way you lie". Released in 2010, it demonstrates the "watered down" style of rap music that Eminem pioneered with his much earlier hit "Stan" (featuring Dido) in 2001. While both songs demonstrate the format of music that seems to be dominating the charts today, I feel the collaboration with Rhianna defines the era more.

The format of rap followed by sung chorus has heavily influenced artists and is now the style of rap that dominates the music charts today. In the last year chart topping hits such as Travy McCoy's "Billiannaire" repeated Eminems's winning formula while this weeks' billboard 100 features three songs in the top 20 alone in this format and none that are just rap.

Like the beastie boys, Eminem has succeeded in making rap more accessible to the white masses and this combined with an easier listening style of rap music has ensured that this style firmly has a place in music charts of today.

Although arguably the first "crossover hit" could be attributed to Run DMC and Aerosmith's "walk this way" in 1986, Eminem succeeded in making crossover music the norm.

When Eminem released his first single in this style in 2001, he collaborated with a little known artist whose fame can be directly traced back to the success of "Stan". Now, a decade later, this music style is so mainstream that heavily established artists are regularly collaborating both with Eminem and with each other to achieve a similar sound. Like Lady Gaga being influenced by Madonna, artists for years to come will be influenced by Eminem.

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