Just like music: students say moods drive genre selections

For years, people have used music as a source of comfort, expression and celebration. From Alicia Keys on the ivories to Jeezy with his ad-libs, music has its way with the world.

Genres such as crunk, indie rock, neo-soul and emo-punk have infiltrated the mainstream market.

Today music affects an array of issues.

A person’s interests define the type of music to which he or she listens.

Elvin Millan, 20, a junior economics student from New York, listens to R&B and Spanish music. “Being Hispanic, with Spanish music it’s like every song is a life experience.”

Millan said R&B helps him relax on his bad days

Briana Nichols, 18, a freshman biological and agricultural systems engineering student from New Jersey, said she prefers old school, slow jams and neo-soul music.

“I listen for the sound,” Nichols said. “I can relate to the sounds because I play the piano.”

Libeth Sanchez, 20, a second-year nursing student from Fort Lauderdale, said music helps her focus.

With an eclectic taste in music, Sanchez said she has heard her share of music.

Her preference changes according to her mood. “When I’m going to study, I listen to classical music.”

Millan said there should be more uplifting music, as opposed to rap and rock music which “brings society down.”

“I think gospel music is positive because it talks about God, and that’s always good,” Millan said.

Nichols said other genres also uplift listeners.

“I believe neo-soul has had a positive effect on society because singers like Jill Scott sing about their life experiences,” Nichols said. “They move people to try and live each day to the fullest.”

Like Millan and Nichols, Sanchez disagrees with some of today’s rap music, but enjoys urban genres with positive meaning.

“Songs such as T-Pain’s ‘I’m N Luv Wit a Stripper’ and Ms. B’Havin’s ‘Hit Dat ***** Wit a Bottle’ have bad messages,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said Lyfe Jennings and India.Arie are two artists who spread positive messages with their music.

Not only does music influence society’s morals, but also the language.

“Shawty and other words that Lil Jon says are common,” Millan said. “They’re used different depending on where you’re from though,” he said.

Nichols agreed with Millan.

“Music really does impact society’s language,” he said. “I’ve heard so many different definitions for words like caking.” In addition to affecting vocabulary, music also influences the clothes people wear.

“Music definitely impacts style and I listen to everything so my wardrobe is mixed around,” Millan said.

Certain rappers also help set clothing trends.

“I really think that OutKast and Jay-Z influence style a lot,” Nichols said. “OutKast is so individual and as soon as Jay-Z started promoting the button ups, everyone is wearing them.”