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The Importance of Black Music

via CNN.comvia

Black music has an unfortunate tendency of being slept on time and time again. Until recent years, the beauties that are Black artists were undiscovered by those outside of the Black and POC community. Yes, some Black artists will always have their particular White audience, but understanding the importance of Black music is so much more than not changing the station when a Beyoncé song comes on (because when the queen sings, everyone listens) or going to a Kanye concert in your twenties. It’s about understanding the soul behind the music, because that’s what Black music is– pure soul. Many have tried (and many have failed terribly) to recreate this certain vibe that you can only find in Black music. It’s that vibe that makes you close your eyes, that vibe that makes you turn the song up and just soak in the lyrics.

 “To understand the art’s importance, you don’t have to enjoy it or appropriate it or exploit it  – you merely have to appreciate it and acknowledge it’s genius.”

A lot goes into the lyrics of a rap song or a soulful ballad. Contrary to popular belief, rap is more than sex, guns, and alcohol; RnB is a beautiful concoction of Black experience: a cup of Black hardships, a dash of Black love, a teaspoon of aimless Black thoughts, and a smither of oppression. We write and sing about what we feel, and many times, what we feel is also what thousands of others feel also. Hip-Hop and RnB unite our community– one that can be so easily broken apart, like bread. So when Black artists write about the reality of the Black community, they’re using their platform to subliminally slip a little Black magic into the cars of millions of people around the world. They are using their voice to speak for the voiceless, and yes, it helps when they execute this in a rather catchy way, but the truth will always be there.

It may seem hard to digest, but behind the gibberish of Chief Keef is the same art of Frank Ocean and Solange Knowles and Michael Jackson. Of course, each artist has their own idiosyncrasies and style but I guarantee that they all relay the common messages of the misadventures of being Black.

It’s a lot to take in, I get it. The Black music industry has always had a rather toxic stigma clouding the judgement of anyone who dares to venture into the land of Hip-Hop radio stations. But obviously, there’s something enticing about our music because it has sparked so much inspiration.  The musical confessions from the likes of Erykah Badu and Marvin Gaye are the masterpieces that we remember years after they were made. Black music captures our mood, our views on life, on mankind, on the world at the time.

It’s the best type of audio diary that never gets old and that never fails to intrigue those from nearly every culture. This doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to belt the N-word in a Drake song if you’re non-Black or take advantage of the gift of Hip-Hop that the Black community decides to gift you. But it won’t hurt to take a few minutes from time to time and think about the blessing of Black music.


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