Afrofuturism Examples

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As I will study Afrofuturism and music in the 21st century, it is important to look at the historical and musical background of Afrofuturism in the 20th century in order to get a good image of the history of Afrofuturism. There are different musical genres and artists that can be associated with this term. I will give some examples of musical genres and artists that were involved in the Afrofuturistic music.

Jazz is the first musical genre that will be discussed. Jazz is often associated with blackness and slavery. Unsurprisingly, several jazz musicians follow the ideals of Afrofuturism. According to Davids article in 2007, Sun Ra is one of the best examples within the jazz genre. His music shares a lot of the post-human ideals. The ideas
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However, these feelings are not only expressed through jazz. Post-soul is also a genre that can relate to this subject. Afrofuturistic thoughts about the post-human, without any identity or subjectivity, can provide an opportunity for musicians to express their thoughts about this matter. Another form of soul associated with Afrofuturism is neo-soul. This kind of soul is aesthetically and conventionally the same as post-soul. However, there is a slight difference and to explain this I will take a neo-soul artist as an example: Erykah Badu. She is a typical neo-soul artist, not only because she creates music in this particular style. She also creates a self-conscious identity, which is the extra aspect of neo-soul (David, 2007). She uses her musical freedom to create her own identity and is therefore taking the opportunity to create her own interpretation of the…show more content…
Funk is a genre that is difficult to describe because it has a lot of different characteristics. Although, when looking at an artist within this genre, for example George Clinton, it is possible to get a good idea of funk. He might be the best example of a 20th century Afrofuturistic funk artist. When you look at a concert of his album “The Mothership Connection”, several Afrofuturistic aspects are visible. Together with the Parliament and Funkadelic (later on emerged and became P-Funk), Clinton created a mixture of “funk and jazz with electronic sounds that edges their musical playfulness toward political commentary” (English, 2013). According to Daylanne K. English, P-Funk wanted to express their thoughts about black power in the future and how their funk music can be a kind of “faith” for black people. When we look at the performances of P-Funk during the concert of The Mothership Connection, with the elaborate stage decors, the costumes, and Clinton arriving on stage in a space ship, we can conclude that this is a perfect example of Afrofuturistic funk in the 80s.

Since I am writing my thesis about Afrofuturism in the 21st century, it is now time to move to the present. The artist that inspired me to write my bachelor thesis about this subject is Janelle Monáe, “The Electric Lady”. She is an icon of Afrofuturism within music in the 21st century. Using this specific 21st century artist, I will explain
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