Hero to the Music Industry Thesis

Pages: 5 (1408 words)  |  Bibliography Sources: 4

Musical Hero Mark Hoppus

How I Chose My Subject

When asked to choose a musical hero my answer was immediate. I chose Mark Hoppus, ultimately because I admire his musical skill, humor, humility and most of all his relatable lyrics. Though some would have chosen an activist, I chose Hoppus because he cares about issues but on a more human level, a level that is relatable, especially to my generation and younger. When Hoppus discusses why he writes about the universal themes of love, rejection and youth rather than writing about things he does not know like politics he is very frank; "If we tried to write about politics, you'd realize that we're all a bunch of idiots." ("Biography for Mark Hoppus" (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0394457/bio) Thoughthis is likely another expression of his humility, as he often strikes one as an old soul, he nonetheless makes clear that for the most part the world is made up of people who are simply going about their lives trying to be the best they can be with what they have. As far as other heroes of music go, Hoppus strikes me as a modern Tom Waits, a man I also consider a hero because of his candor and public self acceptance, not to mention his phenomenal musical skill.

II What I Knew

When beginning this investigation I new very little about Hoppus, other than the fact that he was a phenomenal musician with fundamental skill and an uncanny ability to be the butt of his own jokes. He challenged the norms of society by posing naked in music videos and on album covers and despite his success and the success of his band refuses to allow the culture of success to define his music and his ideals.

In fact he is well-known for his witty hoppusisms regarding the way things are, one of which, at least reflects this particular sentiment. When asked about how he felt about being called a sell-out as a result of the success of Blink 182 he says;

We've done the same things that we were doing in the beginning, and we never wanted our band to stay small. I mean, we want our band to be as big as it can, and I'm not going to die wondering about some kid that calls us a sell-out at a show. I don't have a problem being on MTV, and I don't have a problem being on the radio. I actually like it. So there. And anyone that calls me a sell out is just jealous." ("Biography for Mark Hoppus" (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0394457/bio)

Again Hoppus demonstrates that he is a very real person, willing to be honest about his ambition and his success.

Though I did not have this exact quote memorized I was aware that Hoppus had expressed the hypocrisy of the punk culture, when they express the idea that musicians should accept failure or mediocrity rather than accept success, which in reality is likely a good part of why they begin and continue to be musicians. In other words the punk culture demands that musicians live contrary to human nature, i.e. seeking to create a name for ones; self to such a degree that more and more people hear the music and listen to the message.

Lastly I knew that Hoppus' musical talent and expression speaks to me as a listener and a musician. He flies in the face of stereotypes and challenges the status quo, i.e. The acceptance of failure as a universal generational standard. This sentiment is reflected in the literature we have read this year as well as the idea that heroes are militant about what they believe is right and are honest about the world they live in, while still striving to do the right thing. Hoppus in particular expresses this most when he discusses the knowledge he wishes to impart on those who come after him, a very relatable sentiment that is often lacking in those who are experiencing it;

Everything in high school seems like the most important thing that's ever happened in your life. it's not. You'll get out of high school and you never see those people again. All the people who torment and press you won't make… [END OF PREVIEW]

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