Influence Of Cultural Appropriation On Music

1720 Words4 Pages

Cultural Appropriation: The Influence of Music’s Image on Race Relations
Chart-topping artists have long been able to capture America with music videos that feature catchy lyrics, buoyant beats, and a vivacity of visual elements. The appeal of these videos lies in the glorification of celebrity lives, playing on the desire for pleasure amongst viewers. In the quest to address this desire, a pattern of White artists adopting clothing, hairstyles, and language that are attributed to Black culture has manifested. The appropriation that is present in these videos make them a source of capitalism in which a dominant race or class of people are able to simplify cultural rudiments of another for the sake of commercial appeal. These elements are …show more content…

“A people with no connection to history, divorced from place and context, engines of pure abstraction -- which is what Capitalism is all about; the conversion of the complex, beautiful world into quantifiable units that can be speculated upon" (Frank). Thus, a history of oppression in which Whites exploit the tribulations of Blacks is maintained within the modern music industry. The identification of stereotypes and further categorizations of Black individuals has been established and recognized. In a discussion regarding his inspiration for the series ‘Whiteness Goggles’, Peet explains, "Discussing [cultural appropriation] opens fault lines within groups of people, and reveals some fundamental differences in the ways different people see the world as a result of their contexts of race, class, gender and power. Appropriation is something I think about a lot, because I think it 's a singular way to understand some of the more insidious and destructive ways that capitalism works" …show more content…

These artists, who possess the power to reach millions of viewers, are often criticized for their lack of attention to the real issues facing Black America. Resounding efforts are made on their parts to exploit a culture but when it comes to anything beyond that, the artists remain quiet. Actress Amandla Stenberg insists on the consideration of this dynamic by posing the question “What if America loved Black People as much as they love Black culture?” in her critical video “Don’t Cash Crop my Cornrows” (Stenberg). During a historical period in which numerous Black Americans face injustices and many others have lost their lives, an evocative response from some of the most influential individuals in the music industry is

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how bell hooks explains the controversy in which white artists receive high praise for their appropriations of black culture.
  • Analyzes how the appropriation of black culture in music videos is a source of capitalism.
Show More
Open Document