Black American Music Influence

1681 Words7 Pages

Black American music’s influences spread wider than one’s imagination, influencing other forms of music and art, their audiences, and even things on a wider scale such as individuals, social movements, and cultures. Although these influences may not be explicitly stated, they are there regardless of how well-known they may be. Black American music is the backbone of our nation as a whole, influencing the nation through its production of new innovative sounds and ideas. Hip hop, blues, and jazz stretched the limits of what was considered normal for the music of that time, creating an entirely new way to do things. The wide influence of Black American music is shown through its unique and unorthodox nature directly influencing 20th century Black …show more content…

Hip Hop was much more than just a music genre. Hip hop was a youth movement that began in the late 1970’s; even more than that, it was a nationwide culture. It was a highly influential culture of American youths that was exceedingly popular especially among urban Black communities at the height of its popularity. After the Civil Rights Movement, black youth felt the need to have some sort of medium to express their frustrations at their daily problems and struggles, a medium of which they did not previously have before this. Media stations would rarely ever showcase black individuals, even for news outlets or things that we may deem essential today. Thus, hip hop was born. “Hip Hop’s core is the commitment and vision of youth who are agitated, motivated, and willing to confront complex and powerful institutions and practices to improve their world.” (Lanehart 187) Hip hop invented many new techniques and styles that were never seen before this point. Rather than singing lyrics as what had been done up until then, words were almost spoken in a certain technique we now know to be called rap. Songs were remixed into a completely new pieces with the help of a disk jockey (a D.J.) and a master of ceremonies (an M.C.). As previous popular music genres had focused on melody and harmony, hip hop was innovative for its time for its primary focus on rhythm and language, which is most often seen through its use of rap. …show more content…

This is what hold this genre together, its lyrical qualities and subject matter. Perhaps the beginnings of blues can be seen in spiritualism/slave songs, which come from African American communities in history. Their influence in blues music can clearly be seen if examined closely. For example, both spirituals/slave songs can be seen telling stories of woe, much like blues. Although they typically may take on more religious contexts, spirituals had a recurring theme of pain, and thus asking a higher power to come and deliver them. This was a genre that was birthed from the pains of oppression that African American individuals had to experience both during slavery and post-slavery. This genre of expressing frustrations, tragedies, and sadness evolved into what we now consider blues. The main drive for both are the same, except blues much more secular, while spirituals are more religious within their lyrical content. Black poetry in the early 20th century was widely influenced by these common blues themes. Specifically, popular black poetry from the 1920’s to the 1960’s shared these themes of sadness and tragedy, thus emitting a “blues aesthetic.” (Thompson 1) One example of this “blues aesthetic” in black poetry is within Sterling Brown’s pieces. In a piece of his titled “Ma Rainey,” he speaks of the aftermath of the Mississippi River flood that occurred during

More about Black American Music Influence

Open Document