This year is Black Music Month, and many are engaged in a deeper dive into the originators of music itself, the inspiration for their creations, and the contemporary realities of record label politics.
Swing, jazz, gospel, blues, R&B, country music, hip-hop, rock’n’roll, house music, techno, and all kinds of soulful utterances of black people in the Americas and around the world are within this paradigm. . The question, “Is hip-hop music still considered black music?” can be a moot question for some.
Historically, all forms of black music (i.e., music made by illegally enslaved blacks and their descendants) have been traced to storytelling mechanisms, historical records, and acts of rebellion against oppressive regimes. It is multifaceted in the sense that it is as a source of personal expression. Entertainment was relatively superficial.
With each generation, new forms of genius emerged that interpreted the times through music. The ebony hands that made it are alive and well, and the DNA of all forms of black American music can be found in the music that preceded it.
The chronological thread runs from hip-hop, through rock and roll, blues, reggae, gospel, and jazz, all the way to slavery, and sometimes to Africa itself, considering call-and-response, heavy drums, storytelling, and more. .
In its modern context, hip-hop music has changed in many ways since it was born in the South Bronx 50 years ago. Economically, it has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. Technically, it’s easier than ever to create music. Lyrically? As with beauty, let’s leave it to the eye of the beholder.
Most artists would agree that once a piece of music is made and released, it is no longer theirs. It now belongs to culture, but preferably for a fee. And then there’s the kicker.
Cultural expressions are defined as those pertaining to a particular society, its ideas, customs and arts. Music performed by blacks was not recorded and pressed until 1890, when George W. was, as it is today, a true engine of freedom. Or low paid creativity.
From the call of slaves and chain gangs to impassioned preacher speeches and funky ’70s twirls, expressions of black culture show how America’s ancestors met the next day, survived the last event, and continued to exist. has been useful for Because of its existence, we are here today. We are their tomorrow.
Similarly, without jazz, blues, rock and reggae, there would be no hip-hop. Also, rock wouldn’t be the same without gospel and blues, and vice versa.
Black cultural representation permeates everything in America today because it was commoditized in a way that promoted a particular version of Black cultural representation. A version that reflects America’s own ideas. It is a cultural expression of callous, greedy, apathetic, violent, spiteful, vengeful, mean, abusive, and death-seeking.
These qualities can be found throughout all human societies and in all human expressions, both historically and contemporaneously. As has always been the case with all forms of black music in America and the Caribbean, many of hip-hop’s greatest lyricists were inspired by black pain, poverty in the quest for dignity in society. , demonization and the pain of alienation. crazy world.
Sure, there are fun jams, deep flows, and eternally inspiring ones, but you have to dig them up. Depending on where the marketing budget is spent, it will also lose popularity unless there is a catastrophic deployment.
Economically, the record industry has landslided most of its profits from music created from the life experiences of black Africans. Only recently has its true measure been revealed.
Rock and roll’s roots are in blues and R&B, so it’s infused with ancestral energy. Blues is infused with ancestral energy as it is packed with swing and ragtime elements. And since the drums of plantation life mimic African rhythms, they too are infused with ancestral energy.
But once any art form is shared with the broader society, it becomes part of that broader society. But an artist’s legitimacy is also measured by her ability to interpret the language, events, and realities of black life into music that reflects that interpretation.
The words and concepts used in rap music always come from the mouths and experiences of individuals in their teens and twenties. As never before, rap musicians are bound by a different level of ageism than musicians in other genres. No one but JAY-Z, Wu Tang Clan, and Snoop Dogg are willing to listen to the Pop-Pop trend.Meanwhile, Jon Bon Jovi, Cher, Grateful Dead can fill the stadium With just a few hours’ notice.
Capitalism (and racism), by its nature to monetize creative expression, changes the game. For example, dancers were once integral to not only graffiti artists and DJs, but also hip-hop crews. Fifty years later, MCs are penultimate, and graffiti artists, dancers and turntablists have long since fallen from prominence because they can’t monetize their labels.
So the question remains, is hip-hop music still considered black music? Not surprisingly, yes. The fact that there are more white rock guitarists playing today than black rock guitarists doesn’t change the fact that Sister Rosetta Tharp is the originator. Tharp was the gospel singer and guitarist he recorded from 1938 to 1968, and has worked with many artists including Elvis Presley, Little He Richard, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Jimi He Hendrix. regarded by many music historians as an inspiration.
The fact that jazz music isn’t dominated by black musicians today doesn’t erase the fact that it began in New Orleans as a fusion of swing and ragtime made by black people.
Similarly, most of the hip-hop music is controlled by individuals who are not the creators, and most of the creatives are still marginalized by American society, even though most of the black music is bought by white Americans. , who are or come from black neighborhoods that are often impoverished. . Most of the language used and scenarios presented are derived from young black Americans and their way of life.
Thus, hip-hop music as a form of cultural expression is downright black, not only because of the blackness of its South Bronx origins, but also because of the blackness of its musical ancestry and contemporary practitioners. But it would be nice if the dominance was blacker.