Music Culture

Music Culture

A huge talking point since the #BlackOutTuesday protest has brought about the hot topic of black music culture and the sales related to them. The #BlackLivesMatter protest has seen thousands of people take to the streets in a march of solidarity to raise racial awareness all across the world. Musicians and actors have been at the epicentre of such protests with the likes of John Boyega and Tinie Tempah making their voices heard for the cause. So what is music culture?

The arts have always been culturally relevant to the point of identifying ones origin through the music they listen to and even the clothes that they wear. Black music culture has told a story for thousands of years, from communication, to education and later songs of struggle and freedom. These songs of pain and struggle are still known and sung today and are unfortunately relevant.  What makes music relatable to ones ethnicity? The answer is history. 

We March

A few days ago there was a video on social media that showed youth in London dancing and singing along to ‘Changes’ by Tupac. The lyrics of the song could not be more fitting for the recent events that have just taken place. The song is a story about struggle and determination. We hope that this is the final straw with racial injustice, but how is a song that was made in the 90’s still relevant to the music culture? It is because of the message that the song carries. 

My Song is Yours Too

Struggle often creates expression, usually in the form of the arts. People who are able to relate to it often have the same experience and in terms of music this is where the culture is formed, because it is relatable. The problem this can create from those looking in who cannot relate is that stereotypes are formed. In the protest through music culture, people are labelled for the way they dress and speak. The lyrics of songs may be violent but that is the reality someone has experienced. People who are not historically and culturally aware form an ignorant opinion to a certain demographic of people. 

Being outspoken about struggle is often perceived as self –  indulgent. People in a place of privilege can have the perspective that what the others are going through isn’t actually as bad as they are saying. It takes knowledge of a subject to fully understand it. This is one of the many reasons that rap music is not relatable to those of an older generation who have not experienced racial struggle. Bad language and violence may be affiliated with the music, but understanding where it comes from allows open mindedness to peoples actions. 

Throughout history music has started movements. We can see this with rock, punk, jazz and hip hop. One of the greatest ever musicians, Jimmi Hendrix was able to cross a cultural barrier and overtake a genre of music that was predominantly white. through his music he unified people from different cultural and brought them to a mutual place of understanding for something they loved. He was asked to use his music for political gain but refused and said he just wanted to play because he loved it. That has such a strong message in unity. 

We must come together and understand each ones culture and learn from it. Although we may be different, we are all equal. 

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