Los Angeles is a place of dreams. Thousands flock here every year with stars in their eyes to pursue their dreams, and one of those dreamers was me in 2004. I still adore this place, and I’ve had many dreams come true here, including speaking roles in film and television as well as working as a professional writer full-time. Yes, I also did the stereotypical actor’s waitress job for four years as well, and I overcame a brief period of homelessness there. Los Angeles has its dark side.
Many things can happen in Los Angeles, and songwriters have long realized the appeal and darkness of this unique city. Here are some songs that signal a warning to those who dare to venture here without awareness for all its dangers and stumbling blocks. They're fun but also thought-provoking.
”L.A. Song” by Beth Hart speaks on how lonely and desperate one can become in the bright, big city. “Hollywood” by Madonna is upbeat in sound, but its lyrics hint at something far more dark and deep. “How can it hurt you when it looks so good?” she asks. “Say Good-bye Hollywood” is a much darker rap song by Eminem in which he confesses to suicidal feelings and having sold his soul to the devil for his career. “Beverly Hills” by Weezer is a seemingly sarcastic look at the riches of the wealthiest area of Los Angeles.
“Don’t Mean Nothin’” by Richard Marx is a rather harsh take on the city, but it’s one that many dreamers who’ve had those aspirations broken or crushed will easily recognize. “Crazy” by Aerosmith mentions the subject of the song as promising to head out to Hollywood, even though the song isn’t directly about Los Angeles.