by Christopher Marinelli
Members of C.H.A.N.G.E. (Carrying Humanity As New Generations Emerge) participated in a panel on contemporary music and hosted a screening of “Straight Outta Compton” in Semesters.
Panelist and C.H.A.N.G.E. member Jon Hurd spoke about what their club stood for saying, “First and foremost we are the community – community is literally just a group of people, so any change we want to see in the community has to come from us.”
Panelist Mercedes McKelvie added, “I’m a firm believer you have to be the change you want to see in the world.”
The event brought about 30 people together to hear the panelists discuss controversial issues regarding the modern music scene. Debatable topics were presented to start the panel as each participant shared their views towards the language, content and social impact of music.
Members of C.H.A.N.G.E. spoke about the perception of hip hop, what it’s like growing up as a minority and the differences in culture often misrepresented and misunderstood.
President of the club, Anthony Valentine, spoke about what music he listens to and what impact the language has.
“I myself listen to a lot of different types of music, I’m opened minded, I like to hear new sounds, sounds that can be inspiring,” said Valentine. “I feel like when you listen to today’s music, it’s situational, it’s all how you see it. When I see a musician riding in a lambo, and I say ‘Hey- maybe I want to be a rapper so I can work to that.’ But then you see a girl shaking her ass, and you know a lot of kids see that. Music can be negative, but it all depends how you look at it.”
McKelvie added to the way women are expressed through social issues in music.
“I can go on forever how women are sexualized, we’re treated like objects, we can be bought with credit cards, red bottom shoes,” said Mckelvie. “All of that is that women don’t have feelings, that we’re just supposed to be there to pleasure men, that men are supposed to be happy. Where are songs that glorify women, that go to school, that can split the bill and take care of themselves?”
An audience member spoke up regarding women and the term “bitch.”
“I went to a dog show once, and a guy was bragging about how all his bitches were in heat at the same time. I’m an instructor, and when I hear students using this in the hallway, and they use it as a term of endearment, and there is a meaning of that word. It is a female dog in heat,” said the audience member.
Hurd added to the music scene portrayed by the media saying, “What people don’t realize, these are musicians are entertainers, they don’t usually live these lives. I don’t think Future pops pills, but it’s so glorified now.”
C.H.A.N.G.E. aims to make a difference and be the change in an ever changing society through the work of our generation. This panel discussion and movie exposed CCSU students to concepts and ideas that previously may not have been on their radar.