Thursday, September 17, 2009

You are what you listen to

A terrible story unfolded over the weekend in the sleepy college town of Farmville, Virginia (see this article which was also printed in today's Daily Progress). Samuel McCroskey, a 20 year self-styled "horrorcore music" rapper from California, apparently murdered four people, including a Presbyterian Pastor, his estranged wife (a professor at Longwood), their daughter (an apparent fan of the "horrorcore" genre who befriended the man, communicated with him online, and invited him to visit), and one of her friends.

Before reading this story, I had never heard of the "horrorcore" genre, but it apparently "sets violent lyrics to hip-hop beats." Andres Shrim, a producer of this genre on the label Seriel Killin Records and friend of McCroskey is quoted as expressing surprise at what happened: "This is not something from the Sam I know…. This is not something that I would ever, ever in a million years envision him doing." This comment comes after quotes from the lyrics of one of McCroskey’s songs that speak of his glee in stabbing people to death.

Aside from the obvious illustration of depravity and self-deception (see Shrim’s comments), this story illustrates the importance of what we allow to enter our own and our children’s minds. Music is not value neutral. You are what you listen to.

No comments: