Now here’s a funny story for ya. Took place back in July.
A Hip-Hop fan by the name of Andrew Vactor was fined $150 for repeatedly listening to his music too loudly on his car-stereo. The Municipal Court Judge Susan Fornof-Lippencott from the Champaign County proposed to reduce the fine to $35 if the young-man were to listen to 20 hours of classical music. Andrew preferred to pay the whole amount stating he “didn’t have the time to deal with that” as he had some basket-ball training to attend to.
Now I have yet to figure out how the 20 hours were to be parceled-out because I sincerely hope they weren’t meant to have the dude spend two to three full time days listening to Beethoven and Chopin. If that were the case then what could’ve been a nicely thought-out creative sentence was soiled by the audacity of its own terms. I would’ve dropped the fine completely in exchange for an hour a day for two weeks. Disguise it as community service. Just a little annoying pinch everyday that could eventually make up for some new musical calling.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Hip-Hop in general. I’ll even go on to say I love certain artists: put on some Public Enemy, NTM, Outcast, NWA, Jurassic 5, The Roots etc and I’ll have my head boppin’ up and down in no time. But (and i’m not too sure how to phrase this properly): a certain proportion of Hip-Hop fans aren’t the most musically curious people out there.
The Judge declared that she thought a lot of people didn’t like to be forced to listen to music, so to expose the defendant to the same kind of experience he inflicts to others is, in this case, a pretty good call. But I’m guessing that beyond that, she intended to educate the rapper on what real music meant to her seeing that, due to his social and musical background, he would probably never give great composers like Beethoven or Bach a chance.
Pure speculation, but I’m ready to bet that the sentence had more to do with preachin’ than teachin’. Who has never tried to convince his friends, family, related and unrelated acquaintances that, what we love to listen to, they could (and should?) learn to love as well? I doubt I’m the only one. And when it comes to the narrow mindedness of some niches like Hip-Hop, Metal and Britney Spears fans, we musically inclined lot can’t help but advocate all the beauty and diversity that different music genres have to offer.