Subconsciously modified by music

Illustration by: Jiaqi
Illustration by: Jiaqi
Illustration by: Jiaqi

Monica Houston
Opinion Editor

I’ve always been considered old-school when it comes to my views on life and music has been no exception. Growing up in a home where only melodies of soul and gospel filled the rooms, becoming aware of the lyrics and moods associated with music now has become very important. Music affects the subconscious mind and the lyrics of a song are nothing other than a suggested message.

The Psychological Effects of Songs by M.Farouk Radwan, MSc. says “these suggestions are even more dangerous than normal ones because you usually listen to music while you’re busy doing something else. This allows the suggestions in the song to go directly into your subconscious mind without first being filtered by the conscious mind.”

The function of your subconscious mind is to store and retrieve data. Its job is to ensure that you respond exactly the way you are programmed. Your subconscious mind makes everything you say and do consistent with your master program.

Music genres such as pop, R&B, hip hop and rap have become increasingly popular with the millennial generation. Paired with these genres is the message of consumerism, which lies perfectly hidden within a capitalist society. Every type of input we receive is stored in our minds and is turned into a belief if it is repeated often enough.

Radio and television control a significant portion of mass-media. From the repetition of songs on the radio to the repetition of commercials, all about money, cars and clothes, mass-consumption is promoted in every realm. The songs and shows you watch are all strategically selected to promote an ideology.

Michael Raduga, in his book The Phase: Shattering the Illusion of Reality, says that “during everyday life, the subconscious mind sends information based on calculations determined capabilities. However, humans neither hear or perceive these signals because they retrieve information linguistically.”

I cannot make assumptions about other genres outside of the one’s I’ve named because I do not listen to them enough to criticize. I do, however, listen to a lot of neo-soul, R&B, and hip hop. The generations that made these genres prolific, made music that fed the soul with positive ideals of love, marriage and obtainable, prioritized success.

This generation has adopted many of the same rhythms, beats and even lyrics of these genres, but have changed the messages to promote money, clothes and side chicks — and because our society thrives on consumerism, the artists whose lyrics promote these ideals become repeated consistently, subconsciously affecting our minds. Obtaining material possessions has consumed a majority of this generation.

If I am going to listen to a certain type of music, the messages have to be consistent with the values and priorities of my life. Artists, ranging from celebrities like J.Cole and Logic to indie artists like Block Taylor, promote messages of obtainable success as well as messages of hope and inspiration. J.Cole’s “Love Yours,” Logic’s “Never Been” and Block Taylor’s “9 to 5” are not only relatable but inspire me to be hopeful. As a black student woman living in a patriarchal racist, consumerist society, messages of inspiration are vital to make it to where I want to be.


Opinion Editor, Monica Houston

Monica Houston, photo by Brooke MarshMonica is a senior English literature major planning to eventually earn her master’s in education. Monica strives to combine her background in literature and passion for early education to influence future generations with her writing. “Don’t be offended this is all my opinion, ain’t nothing that I’m saying law. This is a true confession of a life learned lesson I’ve been sent here to share with ya’ll.” // LinkedIn

houstonm@commonwealthtimes.org

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