I'm sure you've seen them. The "Music is Life" shirts, hoodies, bags,and other paraphernalia that seem to be sweeping the youth like a California wildfire. Kids talk about music. They listen to it. They watch it. They appear to be truly dedicated to the cause of music, doing everything they can to support their favorite musicians and artists.
If you are one of the people who wears this apparel or makes these claims, what you need to ask yourself is this: Am I truly dedicated to music as much as I think and say I am?
Let's administer a test. I'll ask you a series of music-based questions. Tally up the amount of "yes"'s and "no"'s you gave. I don't need to know how you answered. Only you do.
Do you spend (literally) hours a day listening to music? Can you name off your top 10 favorite albums of all time in under a minute? Do you search for new artists on a daily basis? Do you go to record stores? Do you buy albums? Do you go to shows? Do you know what a show is? Do you know what "getting signed" means? Do you hate any bands? Do you know what kbps stands for? Do you know what vinyl is? Do you know what an EP is? A split? A 7 inch? A demo? A full-length? Do you actively play a musical instrument? So you support artists through purchase of merch? Has a band or song or album ever changed your life? Has it really? Do you avoid listening to the radio? Do you have a record player? Do you read zines? Do you know what a zine is? And most importantly: Does music make you feel like nothing else in the world, like there is no word or phrase or movement that could ever describe the euphoria you get from listening to your favorite song?
Because if you answered "no" to most of these questions, chances are that music is not your life. Chances are that music is just another minor form of entertainment to you. No more important than TV, or movies, or sports. You aren't dedicated to music. You just think you are.
So do yourself a favor and get rid of that T-shirt you got from Hot Topic. It makes the people who actually are dedicated to music look bad.