Science

Here's How Popular Song Lyrics Perpetuate Stupidity

Recently, a study was released that didn't tell us anything particularly surprising: that the average reading level of No. 1 singles in the United States was third grade. It's no surprise but is an unnerving sign of what's happening in pop culture.

SeatSmart's Andrew Powell-Morse wanted to study the lyrical intelligence of 225 Billboard songs spanning each genre. For three weeks, he analyzed all the changes to lyrical intelligence over ten years, and boy did he find those changes.

If you went back to 2004, the reading level for the average song was third to fourth grade. When the study ended in 2014, after a rapid tumble over 5 years, the levels measured just 2.6 for Hip-hop/R&B, a tie of 2.9 for Rock and Pop, and Country at 3.3. Blake Shelton's hit "All About Tonight" measured a nearly sixth grade reading level, coming in at 5.8. The worst was Three Days Grace's song, "The Good Life," which came in at a sad 0.8, basically meaning that someone in kindergarten would be able to read it.

Some argue that it's all fun and games and that there's no real harm being done here, but it becomes unnerving that six corporations control about 90% of the media and 80% of musical radio stations play the exact same playlists. Corporations are dictating content, and the content is, well, pretty dumbed down. What do you think it's doing to us?

It has been scientifically proven that when you flex your mind, you maintain overall mental sharpness and slow cognitive decline. Empty songs on the radio are just a piece of a cultural shift away from stimulating thought. It seems to invade every facet of life. Go on to OkCupid and take note of all the people who are apathetic of current events and will gladly say so. See how many people can't list a single favorite book.

Instead, we're now focused on materialism, idiotic entertainment, and instant gratification, which is exactly what those six corporations that own 90% of media want. They want good little soldiers. They want open wallets. If you can liberate yourself from this absurd system, kudos to you. America's dumbing down is a failure by design, there's no doubt about it.

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