Going Viral: Corruption veiled by the beat

Samantha Apanasewicz
Pop Trends Columnist

“Why Satan is all the pop-culture rage in 2021.” That is the title of an actual article. You can find that on the internet. Published exactly a year ago this week, Datebook’s Tony Bravo elaborates on the artist Lil Nas X’s music video and subsequent sneaker release. Bravo describes what I would classify as a full-blown nightmare.

“The shoes, a collaboration between Brooklyn label MSCHF and rapper Lil Nas X, are a tie-in to the enthusiastically gay artist’s music video for “Montereo (Call Me by Your Name)” and contain a drop of human blood mixed with dye inside the midsole. In case the red-and-black color scheme is too subtle, they also have a pentagram medallion on the laces and Luke 10:18 emblazoned on the heel, a reference to the biblical verse describing Lucifer’s fall from grace.”

What blew my mind was when Bravo went on to describe how Nike sued brand MSCHF to halt shipment of these shoes yet concludes his paragraph with “Nas hit on something: Satan is absolutely having another moment in the zeitgeist.” Bravo is inferring that Satan now represents the defining mood or spirit of today’s particular time in history.

I think I can speak for everyone when I say I am aghast and speechless.

One playing devil’s advocate, pun intended, might now argue that since that article was published a year ago, and we no longer hear about the shoes on Twitter, Bravo’s ending statement has not aged well, and his prediction for the music industry is no longer valid. But, while that blatant flaunting of devilish paraphernalia has been pushed off the market, the rapper’s music video and song still rage amongst the waves of the internet.

Fans of rap and/or trap music still listen to Nas’ music in addition to other artists who dabble in the rap industry not necessarily because they actively want to support Nas’ demonic ideas, but because that underlying beat goes hard. And it is a difficult and admired skill to be able to quickly articulate a verse on a track.

People are intrigued, so they’re drawn into the art of it, not necessarily paying attention to the lyrics or theme of the song itself, which is where the danger lies.

For a more recent and precise example of this idea, take the song “Rumors” by Lizzo ft. Cardi B that came out at the beginning of this school year. I initially heard an audio byte of this song’s chorus and proceeded to check out the entirety of the song.

Suffice it to say, the chorus and catchy instrumental part was what hooked me into further researching the song. Some might call it the only redeemable quality of the piece, but that is a stretch of the phrase.

I was attracted to the heavy brass chorus, which aligns with my trumpet-playing background. And you might pull out your headphones now and look up the song just to hear what I’m talking about.

But, although they try to use the catchiness of the tune to excuse the message, tone and language of the song, I can assure you they have failed. And we keep listening to it because of its catchiness. Swearing suddenly becomes excusable as long as there’s a beat under it.

When you think about it, what seems like a small dip into the puddle of secular culture away from God has dragged us into so much more than we ever bargained for. Remember the circumstances surrounding Lucifer’s banishment in the Bible.

Revelation 12:7-9 states: “And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels and prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world, he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

Lucifer, or temptation, often looks like and seems like an angel, representing the “good.” This idea of Lucifer’s shape-shifting and deceit is the root of all of our temptations. And that’s because Lucifer is an angel.

The same tricks that were attempted on Jesus work against us too. Lucifer doesn’t prescribe to new tricks; they only alter with time, just like humans do.

So maybe glance twice at your Spotify playlist next time before you hit “shuffle.” Easter is in two days, mind you.

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