How the Impact of African American Popular Music Has Been

african american music culture

African American music is a part of American history. It was the mainstay of southern plantation life, and much of what is known as “ragtime” was born from the blues. Most people think of big bands such as Fats Domino and the Isley Brothers when they think of the classic rhythm and blues styles that have been popularized in rock and roll and jazz. But the history of gospel music goes back much further than those two giants. Early gospel songs were inspired by various things, including the spiritual traditions of the African Diaspora.

Gospel Music

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Gospel music has always included elements of rhythm and blues, and gospel music. This blending of genres brought a whole new perspective to American popular music. The inclusion of spiritual messages was more common in the earlier records that African American gospel groups made. But on some recordings from the 1940s and ‘war’ period, the group would also be singing about the daily experiences in their African American communities.

Influence On Rock And Roll

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It was inevitable that African American music would influence rock and roll. Both men and women would dance their way to the point where rock and roll were born. Some people claim that rock and roll started as gospel music, but the actual connection can be somewhat unclear. At any rate, it shaped the sounds that would become popular music throughout the rest of the twentieth century. Gospel music was also a key part of the African American struggle for civil rights.

The influence of gospel music extended to the world of popular music. Gospel music was the driving force behind many of the songs that took America by storm in the 1950s. That’s because gospel music spoke directly to African Americans in a language that most white Americans could not understand. It bridged the gap between America’s racial divide and gave voice to the people who felt forgotten.

Rock and roll itself started as a response to gospel music. Many early rock musicians were attracted by the message of hope and spiritual enlightenment that gospel music conveyed. As time went on and rock and roll became more popular, African Americans also became more drawn to the music. As a result, African American music culture has always influenced popular music.

Hip Hop And Rap

Hip hop and rap are two other forms of rock born from the African American music culture. These music styles have brought about several lawsuits from corporations who do not like the messages conveyed by the performers. Also, rap music has often been used as an instrument of disrespect. Nevertheless, many people are starting to respect the lyrics that rap artists put across.

Jazz is yet another one of the African American music styles that have grown because of necessity. Jazz is what is known as a “post-racial” genre. It utilizes the old forms of African American music, but it adds a few blues into the mix. It is a way for African Americans to communicate their struggles to inspire unity among all people. Because of this, African American music styles will continue to be influenced by many more generations to come.

Final Words

In conclusion, although there are several African American popular music styles, none of them alone can say they created the impact that they have had. The fact is that all of these music styles have helped shape the African American community’s culture. As long as people are listening to music, there will be African American popular music. Eventually, as long as there are listeners, there will be African American popular music.

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