Re: Music-- worse as it progresses?
I don't think it gets worst as the people who are making music are getting worst. Let's begin our timeline of hip hop:
We begin with Mystro (a largely unpopular Christian hiphop artist). He has some deep lyrics mixed with the usual rap stuff. When you listen to him, you're thinking and it can have an impact.
Our next guest is quite a skip (like a couple of years): Dr. Dre (Jay Z and others like them). Those guys begin the ganster rap as you know it, but only as a transition.
Now: Eminem and D12. When the songs are "purple pills" and "My Band", you have a problem.
I don't think it's a degeneration of music in itself that it is a degeneration of any category of music. I mean, early classical music beats any modern classical music ANY DAY. I play all of them in piano...
Pop also has degenerated with little left:
We start with Mariah Carey and "Hero". Then the burst of cute blondes signal the degeneration of Pop Music. Again, we can observe this with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera (more so with Aguilera, who holds one of my favourite pop songs of ALL time...known a "Reflection"). Enough said. Of course, pop music is the most broad category, there are still good stuff out there, like Michelle Branch.