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Liam Frith
Liam Frith
Entertainment Editor

Music perpetuates constant need for more

Art+by+Lea+Olivares+Raudes+
Art by Lea Olivares Raudes

Music has always been representative of one’s material wealth and status, from classical music written to please monarchs and other wealthy patrons to modern music with multi-million dollar high-production music videos and lyrics boasting about money and a rich lifestyle. 

In today’s climate, it seems funny for musicians to be constantly celebrating their accumulated wealth while trying to remain relatable. Often they use their wealth as an end goal, something for people to strive for, not something to create diversion. 

In Lana Del Rey’s “Money Power Glory,” one lyric posits, “You say that you wanna go to a land that’s far away. How are we supposed to get there with the way that we’re living today?” She goes on to say she wants money, power and glory. 

This makes a direct juxtaposition between her current state and what she wants – a faraway land of money and fame – while her aim is towards musical success and money beyond comprehension. Many can apply this to their own lives, such as moving up in their jobs or pursuing a dream based mostly on money. 

 Other times artists write about something attainable, like buying things as an act of self care. One example can be seen in Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings.”

 “Lashes and diamonds, ATM machines, buy myself all of my favorite things,” she sings. 

Her song is a supposed independence ballad about how she can buy her own things without anyone else. Grande’s perspective, though extremely unattainable, sells this idea of materialistic gratification through diamonds and champagne, while most people’s idea of a small self-care purchase is a sweet snack or a thrifted top. 

This unhealthy obsession with status symbols, of course, leaves a lot of room for critique. 

In Kendrick Lamar’s “N95” he writes, “Take off the new logic, that if I’m rich, I’m rare—[T]ake all that designer bulls– off and what do you have?” He critiques the idea that he is any more special for being financially successful. 

He urges people to look beyond the attractive cloak that designer clothing offers and look within and beyond the shallow exterior. 

He goes on to describe, “the world in a panic” and paints a picture of our messed up world, the contrast between the rich and the poor, to show how horrible it is to strut wealth when there is so much wrong. 

Music tells us a lot about the world we live in and what the economic status is.  In the ‘80s, a surge in growth and expansion for America’s economy gave way to Madonna’s “Material Girl.” The title is a dead giveaway, but this song defines this era of money-oriented people whose lives centered around the brands they wore, just because they could. 



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About the Contributor
Zelda Zamora-Villa
Zelda Zamora-Villa, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Zelda and I'm a sophomore at Tualatin High school. I joined newspaper because I thought it'd be a great way to learn about important topics and bring focus to them through our newspaper.

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