The acceptance of formerly taboo themes in music serves as a contrast to music of the past.
An argument could be posed that musically, we live in a ‘post-innovative’ period. What does that big, fancy label mean in simple terms? It means that at least a majority of new musical ideas have already occurred and now music is basically in a period of recycling trends. A generalization? To an extent, BUT after centuries of gargantuan innovation in music, it is certainly hard to invent something that somebody else hasn’t already done before. I have a rebuttal to the argument though.
Even if total innovation has ceased in favor of recycling and tweaking certain trends, etc., there is an expansion of formerly taboo topics that has become widespread in music. Among things featured more freely in music spanning multiple genres are references to recreational marijuana usage, an expanded palette of curse words, and the expansion of sexuality. That is not to say that pot has never been mentioned or that the f-bomb was never uttered previously, but the widespread occurrence and acceptance is now a ‘new normal’.
Recreational ‘Mary Jane’ Usage
Marijuana is a trend that seems to only being growing in its references in music and of course society itself. The modern ‘stoner’ movement doesn’t necessarily have to even mention ‘Mary Jane’ to make an impact. The ‘sound’ associated with pot smoking musicians has become particularly notable in establishing a new, eclectic identity in urban music, transcending rap and branching out, notably in R&B. These days, it seems that lighting one up is nada. Wiz Khalifa may have said it best himself on 2012 album O.N.I.F.C., “it’s nothin’, it’s nothin’, it’s nothin’”. With the legalization of marijuana in some places, one can only expect the marijuana culture to continue to grow in frequency in all forms of media.