K-12, Evolving the Music Industry

Jay Marren, Staff Writer

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Unafraid of ever crossing the line, Melanie Martinez returns to music with her new album and movie “K-12.” Martinez has never been afraid to express her concerns with issues like domestic violence, child neglect, abuse and other topics. Martinez’ visual album confronts the issues that come with public schooling. As stated before, Martinez released the album as a movie, but unlike others with a visual album, she released the entire movie for free with no ads on YouTube. Demonetization is when YouTube or the creator of the video on the website chooses if they want the video to gain money through Ad Sense. This could be the most influential thing happening in the music industry now.

This visual album is amazingly diverse in its imagery and song topics, but it still grounds itself in its overlapping topic of the problem with public schooling.

The first song on the album “Wheels On The Bus” is a great Segway for the beginning of the album, discussing the problems that come with some public transportation. The bus driver who is supposed to keep the kids in check is not properly stopping some of the inappropriate behavior like bullying, drug use, and rough-housing.

The next song “Class Fight” talks about the massive problem of girls bullying each other for a boy’s attention. The lyrics also portrayed the common theme of abusive parents greatly featured on her last album. She uses the words “Mommy, why do I feel sad, should I give him away or feel this bad. No no no, don’t you choke. Daddy chimed in go for the throat.” This is showing Martinez’ father as an abusive parent as he tells her daughter to go for the threat of the girl in complete seriousness.

After shedding light on the problems between girls fighting, Martinez confronts the issues of leadership in our country with “The Principal.” The song’s lyrics confront issues with a certain male figure in the office clapping back at his oblivious ways of running the country. She uses the lyrics “Complicated, overrated, you’re fixated, I’m belated. By the separation in this place that you’ve created”, and “Can’t you see that we’re all hurtin’? If you’re not teaching, we’re not learnin’, Excuse me, how much are you earnin’?” These lyrics are some of the things that a mass amount of people think about when it comes to the large figures in the current government, making it feel like some people don’t matter. Explaining some of the issues the artist and other artists are forced to deal with, “Show and Tell” shows how hard it is for Martinez to live her daily life. With her being in the forefront of media, all of her fans feel that they deserve a picture or deserve to meet her because she puts a lot of herself out for everyone to see. She deserves her own rights and own privacy just like any other human being

“Strawberry Shortcake” confronts the issues of boys and men being too sexually threatening. Most commonly in schools everywhere, even here, schools have reinforced their dress code to force girls to cover up more skin and wear less tight clothing, so that the men stop looking at them and sexualizing them. This song talks about this in full detail from Martinez’ personal experiences. This song does not just talk about this topic but also body shaming and how girls think that they are supposed look.

Lastly, the song with the biggest impact in the entire album is “Orange Juice,” showing the horrifying truth about eating disorders. One of the biggest issues in schooling is comparing yourself to others based completely on looks. Those unhealthy comparisons teens make can cause them to hate themselves more and more leading the way to eating disorders. Martinez uses her lyrics to embody that hatred she felt herself.

“K-12” by Melanie Martinez is not only a great album music wise, but also with its amazing lyrics. The album speaks volumes for the problem as a whole in public schooling. Confronting issues like sexual harassment, eating disorders, body image, bullying, drug use, girls fighting for boys, and the problems of disrespectful people in power. This album stands out above the rest.

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