Throughout America’s history, people have been expressing their thoughts and feelings toward social injustices by violently acting against condescending authoritative figures, but not everyone chose to share their point of view this way. Marvin Gaye was an extremely influential individual during the late 1960’s to the early 1970’s, where he not only sang about his personal problems and past relationships, but also provided a voice for the people of his city who were being marginalized and scapegoated for things that were unreasonably implicated. After being absent from the music industry due to personal problems, he returned to the scene with politically charged and socially empowered songs that were inspired by the events happening around him. As a reflection of the tensions in that era, I believe that the songs “What’s Going On” and “Inner City Blues” impacted society immensely by influencing black power movements and social equalities through Marvin Gaye’s lyricism and vocalization techniques.
Marvin Gaye’s introduction to the music world can be traced back when he was child, where he sang in his Father’s Church. But it was not until he joined “The Moonglows” where he was noticed by the Motown record label. With Motown he started as a drummer and then slowly worked his way up the echelons to collaborate with other notable Motown prodigies, which helped him establish himself as a musician. It was not until he started working with Tammi Terrell, a Motown female artist, where he received the most recognition for their harmonic singing as a romantic duo. In an article by Melody Maker, Gaye stated, “At this point in my career, I feel I’ve achieved standing as a soul-pop artist, which is gettin...
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...With the emergence of his album “What’s Going On”, he was able to share his perspective on things that no other artists during his time challenged to do, which was to speak against the socio political issues affecting African-Americans, and minorities as a whole. Gaye has the deserving title of being called an influential person of his time because his songs reflected on the hardships prevalent in the inner-city in regards to excessive policing and poverty. His songs “What’s Going On” and “Inner City Blues” were a form of peaceful protest because it related and supported the black power movement. Americans that were constantly being oppressed and marginalized listened to his music because it gave them hope for a better future. Although he died at the age of 44, his music is still relevant to the socio political and financial struggles many Americans experience daily.
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