Black Music - Not as black or white as it seems



…and a genre is like a style of music like say house, garage or indie


you’re highlighting muscle shoals rhythm section as an example to get rid of the term black music. do you also think the term ‘Spanish renaissance’ should be binned, because el Greco was born in Greece?

why are you chatting about bobby Caldwell and some guy who played piano with bobby Womack? i can make a competent curry, so that ain’t indian food, now?

because it’s black music, that doesn’t exclude white people from parting with cash. so many hip-hop gigs are near all white.

so you want the mobo’s and 1xtra scrapped, or what? that’s just a whole lot less exposure for black artists.

you saying ‘good enough or not good enough’, is the same argument used against all woman shortlists. i disagree with you.


Hey furryfan

On the Spanish renaissance. All I can say is it ain’t my thing. I’ll leave that for others to deliberate over

Your second point on the competency of your culinary prowess - good for you! Methinks your appearance on masterchef may well be impending but your point has no relevance to Bobby Caldwell, Bobby Womack, or even some piano playing dude! (sounds better than guy)

Now we’re getting closer to the subject matter with your third and fourth point so let me see whether I can cover them with one answer. One could paraphrase that the term ‘black music’ depicts a journey of struggle for visibility. From the turn of the 20th century with ragtime right through to modern times. For a long time the term was a means of black artists owning, and defining their music, if for instance you were an artist in the US, only ever playing on the Chitlin circuit and not receiving plays on mainstream radio. We in the UK adopted the term ‘black music’ in the 50’s and 60’s and it inspired a whole generation to be the superstars of today. But is it relevant now?

In the UK participants in black music face issues far different to their american counterparts. Like you correctly highlighted, hip hop gigs are likely to be permeated equally by white yoots as black yoots so there’s never been a problem with the consumer. The main article already alluded to that. However if we look at the decision making processes around black music (in the UK), whether it be in radio, television, press, the (larger) record labels, then these areas are alarmingly bereft of black people (…and please don’t tell me that they aren’t talented enough to hold these positions). Ultimately this means that the pathways of investment, development and nurturing of this music will be limited because the chances of the UK creating its own execs who diversify products, reinvest in their communities then pull along others (Dr Dre/Berry Gordy/Sean Combs come to mind in the US) are stunted. This costs the UK as a whole!

To finish, these are the reasons why I would move away from the term black music because the struggle is a different one now. Yes keep phenomena like MOBO or 1Xtra 'cos peeps acknowledge the roots of where the music comes from and we should never lose sight of that. However the real problem black music faces is societal and infrastructural - no different to say English football where we see lots of black players, a smattering of token black managers but where the decisions are made in the English F.A…well you’ve always got the security guy at the front entrance!

p.s I’m not even gonna go near your last point, a gender one. Either way my missus will disagree with me and have me up by the balls!