MTV Should Drop "Music" From It's Name

"I want my MTV" is something nobody says anymore. Back when Micheal Jackson was the King of Pop, Madonna was shocking audiences and Hair Metal was the new style-trend, MTV was the quintessential authority on music.

You weren't a famous musician until you got on MTV. Now, MTV is a joke, a haven for pop-culture misandry, Teen Moms and Jersey Blockheads.

MTV should drop the M and just call itself TV, because right now...that's all they are.

When MTV debuted on August 1st of 1981 people were extremely excited. A channel just for music? Unprecidented. Kids who played guitar alone in their bedrooms, and headphone junkies who couldn't get through their school days without their walkmen gathered in front of the Television like a church congregation and viewed the new gospel of "music videos." A new medium for artists to communicate with unlike any other.

There would be an entire new culture dedicated to visual artistry to go along with the audio everyone loved. The first words uttered on Music Televison?

"Ladies and Gentlemen, rock and roll."

How badass is that? I wasn't alive, but just thinking about it gives me chills. Music, coming out of the dead airwaves of TV news and Soap Operas, connecting with a generation lost? Incredible.

MTV became the hub for music fans all over the U.S., showcasing cultural and popular phenomina from artists who never would have been heard of otherwise. Michael Jackson, Madonna, Blondie, The Who...pretty much everyone on the planet catered to the MTV audience by engaging with Music Videos.

Fans had more to watch, artists had more creative license. It changed the face of everything.

Video killed the radio stars, and ushered in a completely different form of music interpretation: multi-media.

MTV made these people stars.


There was music news, music fashion and shows dedicated to different genres.

Rap was represented, and so was rock and roll. Pop was king, but wasn't overwhelming and artists were able to break through barriers previously unavailable to them. Kids all over were being exposed to new music. And it made the world more beautiful.

Musicians work hard, and MTV rewarded them.

MTV made music.

I remember coming home after school every day in the early 2000's and watching Total Request Live hosted by the wonderfully deadpan Carson Daily. I longed to be one of the screaming fans outside the New York City studio.

The show showcased the top music videos in the nation. I remember getting excited to see my favorite bands like Green Day and Fall Out Boy get ranked on the show. Sometimes they'd be live in studio and get interviewed.

I looked forward to MTV every single day.

Around 2008 I started to notice a change. Slowly but surely the music was dying. I didn't see my favorite artists as much...things got weird.

Tanned people dancing and drinking became more frequent than rock and roll. Screaming twenty-somethings shoved into a singular house clouded the screen over pop-artistry.

I stopped watching MTV all together.The only reason I started in the first place, was because music was and is my life. I love it. I want the people who create the music I love to be readily available...on my TV, in my headphones...everywhere, because they make my world go round. MTV once gave them the recognition they deserved. Now they just parade artists around once a year at their ridiculous award show, and spend the rest of the time pretending like Music doesn't exist.

Today, the music is gone, and we watch for artists videos to reach a million views online. I guess it's the new way of doing things. MTV is now a vehicle for reality TV, as is much of media. Teen moms and internet dating are popular programming choices, as well as internet clip shows coupled with scripted shows about wolves and awkward teenagers.

Famed music reporter Kurt Loder, who broke stories like Kurt Cobain's suicide, has long since retired. These big moments in music aren't even talked about on MTV. Video DJ's like TRL's Carson Daily are a thing of the past. Hell, they didn't even air the Best Rock Video category at this year's VMA's. This isn't rock and roll...this isn't anything.

There is little to no music anywhere near MTV right now, save for the commercially absurd Video Music Awards, which basically laugh in the face of every artist and pit them against each other in categories that don't even mean anything anymore.

If you wake up early enough, you might be able to catch a music video or two on AMTV, the only music programming still available. Even then, they're cut short at the ends, not aired in any sort of rotation and only cater to the pop audience.

MTV should just drop the M, because they've got no business calling themselves music television. Either bring back the ideals of that renegade channel that debuted long ago...or change your name, because MTV doesn't make music.

MTV doesn't help artists.

MTV doesn't do anything.

MTV is just another reality TV vehicle set on a collision course to nowhere, and music deserves better.

The good ship sails on: Musician, Artist, Writer, Poet, Actress Follow me on Twitter: @TessStevens My Music:
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