Saturday, March 21, 2009

Racism and Music: A Personal Perspective.

This past Saturday, one of my relatives had a comment for me wondering why I don't listen to much if any rap. 

Before I go any further, I love that guy and he's hilarious. 

However, what he said got me to thinking about how people see me, how I see music and how I see the world.

Clearly, the message is that since I'm black that I have to listen to what other people feel is "black music" completely ignoring Lenny Kravitz, Lajon Witherspoon, Howard Jones, Kele Okereke, and Doug Pinnock.

I don't particularly listen to much rap nowadays, but I am absolutely proud of who I am and where I come from. I wouldn't change where I came from if I could.

I grew up in the birthplace of modern day rap music, The Bronx in New York City.

The reason I don't listen to as much rap is because I feel that a lot of the current mainstream music is a mockery of what rap is. It's become a mere gimmick that insults the community. I feel that a lot of the music in the mainstream has become fast-food quality. Easy to consume, but just as easy to excrete. 

That being said, I still love the music and will defend the art form.

For example, it gets me upset when people will swear that they hate rap, but adore Linkin Park. What Mike Shinoda does is no different from what Jay-Z or Ludacris does.

I don't feel that the rock that I listen to is as gimmicky and I relate to its messages. It has nothing to do with color.

A comment my father made years ago also comes up with this. He said that he doesn't understand why I listen to my "devil music". 

I can't blame him because he may have been raised a certain way, but it's funny that a lot of the bands that I listen to are considered Christian rock artists.

Flyleaf, Red, P.O.D., Switchfoot, and Skillet to name a few.

While I may keep to posting about a particular genre, don't assume that I don't listen to anything else.

I will listen to anything that I can relate to, no matter the genre.

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