African American music is encouraged by cultural events and social issues. Many African Americans began music mainly through church gospel and choirs and the success of black music was to be inspired by this, for example most artists had begun their career through church gospel and then moved onto Jazz, and soul. Popular African American music in sass with the success of Jazz and blues and then soul and rock and roll had begun at the late ass’s. In 1960 show the success such as Funk developed through the innovations of James Brown and in the ass began hip hop. Range of these, including Jazz, ragtime, blues, rhythm and blues, R, Shaker, understanding popular music, 2001, page 6) James Brown supported the civil rights campaign and produced songs such as ‘Don’t be A Dropout’ to promote education towards black audiences. He had a different approach to capture audiences, he believed that the way forward is through working hard as he explains in his song ‘America is my home’ in which he claims that one time he cleaned shoes and next he was meeting the president.
He also comments on regardless if your black or white We’ll fight together to get rid of enemies’, he shows that regardless of race when we are attacked we can become one and overcome anything. He promoted peace and supported politics for most of his life and found that American people regardless of their race can live together. James Brown brought a new transformation in soul music; he brought soul and captured mainly white audiences through his soft vocal and love talking songs. James Brown was accused of being on the white side and not being black enough because he listened to what white American music producers and leaders told him.
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In late sass the assassination of Martin Luther king occurred and affecting the whole African American community. James Brown controlled image and music suddenly took a turn s he was those among the shock who felt sad due to death of their leader. He became politically involved when White Americans turned to him to bring peace through music and help prevent violence after Martin Luther King assassination. His clean friendly image took a turn and produced a song about standing up for what we believe in and in this song he shares that we as a black nation should be proud of whom we are and fight back through education and not through violence. Brown worked with city officials to help keep the crowd calm. He urged the audiences, particularly its black members, to respond peacefully, rather than violently, to kings assassination. ” (Party/politics: horizons in black political thought, Michael George Handcar, page 253,) He performed the song at a concert after Martin Luther kings death and was famously known for bringing an alternative reaction to audiences that went to the concert instead of rioting due to the death of Martin Luther king. This lead to crossover of music fans at James concert which show black audiences as well as white. Brown, a personal friend of kings, was at first asked by the mayor of the city of Boston to cancel the concert, for fear of rioting particularly black neighborhoods of the city. (Party/politics: horizons in black political thought, Michael George Handcar, page 253,2006) He was also often approached by White American mayors and the president to prevent violence among African Americans. He would be invited to give speeches and appear on TV to promote peace and not violent approach to civil rights.
James Brown released ‘Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud’ (August 1963) In this song he mentions the prejudice and Judgment towards black Americans and promotes black power. He released the song as a message for young black children to be proud regardless even if they’re black, his aim was for audiences at the time to feel and understand what his lyrics were about and to approach things in a calm manner by saying what we are we are proud rather than responding in a violent outburst. The video had more white Americans featured in it than black, which showed that even in his songs he had always had more white promoters, fans than black.
He had gained a crossover audience due to the song which saw black audiences attending his concerts and his song I’m black and I’m proud became a civil rights anthem. LYRICS: Say it loud: I’m black and I’m proud! Some people say we’ve got a lot of malice Some say it’s a lot of nerve But I say we wont quit moving until we get what we deserve We have been bucked and we have been scorned We have been treated bad, talked about as Just bones But Just as it takes two eyes to make a pair, ha Brother we can’t quit until we get our share One more time!
I worked on Jobs with my feet and my hand But all the work I did was for the other man Now we demand a chance to do things for ourselves We’re tired of beating’ our head against the wall And working’ for someone else Say it loud: I’m black and I’m proud We’re people, we’re Just like the birds and the bees We’d rather die on our feet Than be living’ on our knees Rap groups such as NNW and Public enemy used music to get attention towards issues such as race, politics and poverty. In majority of rap songs lyrics most commonly mention not being treated equally, ethnic differences and hate and pain are discussed.
NNW prefer to use a heavier and stronger approach to make a point and show through their lyrics that they are even willing to kill to stand up for themselves. N. W. A was group often associated with the founding of gangs rap. Gangs rap was more violent openly controversial and use of extreme language such as ‘inning’ buck that police’ which earned them a letter from the FBI director who opposed to the lyrics and rage of language used with criminal content such as killing and shooting.
The first successful gangs rap album and song was W. M. A straight auto Crampon which was released in 1988. NNW strongly expresses law enforcements and crimes against black community. Gangs rap was criticized by commenter’s and religious leaders of American. Gangs rappers often defend themselves by claiming that they are expressing the realty of inner city life and black neighborhoods and they explain this through lyrics and do not themselves do the crime or anything used in their lynch. WHAM STRAIGHT AUTO CRAMPON LYRICS
Straight auto Compton crazy motherhood’s named Ice Cube From the gang called Inning With Attitudes When I’m called off I got a sawed off Squeeze the trigger and bodies are hauled off You too boy if hay buck with me The police are goanna haft come and get me Off you ass that’s how I’m going out For the punk motherless that’s showing out Inning start to mumble, they want rumble Mix me and cook me in a pot like gumbo And other lyrics from the same song you weekly, monthly and yearly until them dumb motherless see clearly So when I’m in your neighborhood, you better duck Cozy Ice Cube is crazy as buck As I leave, believe I’m stomping UT when I come back, boy, I’m coming straight auto Compton White American police have been mentioned in many rap music songs, due to racism which the black Americans feel that the police had towards them; this is expressed through rap songs including NNW straight auto Crampon. “I see a monotheistic cop I don’t dodge him” NNW use strong language and controversial lyrics to express their opinions and thoughts through lyrics. Straight auto Crampon and various other hip hop songs portray an image of how life is for African American.
Changes in black music was influenced by conditions and upbringing of musicians, for example hip hop/ rap artists performed songs regarding how they see life and how they felt, this includes being put down and arrested by white American police, hard living environment they were born into, a life of drugs, violence and pain. Many rap artist including NNW mention drugs and disrespect towards women which may have been influenced by real life events. Violence and swearing was essential in almost all rap songs. The audiences and music experts were shocked and surprised at the new turn of popular music. Hip hop had instantly become popular and people were blown away by the arrival of popular music. While official and public _ _ “focus on effects” lenience and sexuality___” (R, Shaker, understanding popular music, 2001, page 10) Hip hop brought an old method of style to music for instance rhyme, most hip hop songs were written in so the next line of the song would rhyme with the previous one, for example ‘Inning start to mumble, they want rumble’ ‘Mix me and cook me in a pot like gumbo’ at the end of each line the rap lyrics rhyme and this brings a professional approach to the song and fans find this type of rhyming rap enjoyable and easier to re sing through excitement. Poverty, violence, and dead-end lives of the black youth developed in the sass ND this lead too many black Americans producing anger through songs and lyrics.
Public Enemy are a main example of African American musicians challenging authority. They are known for their politic issues lyrics and outspoken on politics through their music They approach the situation calmly by raising real issues such as poverty and racism, rather than using swears words and controversial language. They question real issues, situations and not afraid to say what they believe in through their music. They show criticism of the American media and law which criticisms Black Americans and see them in a racial way. Their lyrics and songs question the frustrations and concerns of the African American communities across the country.
In the early ages of Public Enemy they produced album ‘It takes a nation of millions to hold us’ and with this album came songs that question issues and concerns of African Americans, such as ‘Caught, Can We Get A Witness? Which questions real life situations and regarding how black people are treated for crimes and in the lyrics “Now, what in the heaven does a Jury know about hell” “Understand where we’re going”, are asking white Americans and Judges politicians what black Americans are going through and feeling. Through their songs they make a statement to show what African Americans are going through and how the unfair treatment they get, they mention real life events and show the audiences this is what is happening. They claim that White audiences have no idea what black audiences live with.
Public Enemy lyrics such as ‘Understand where we’re going’, ‘They claim that I’m violent’ and ‘On the radio most of you will demand this Won’t be on a plastic’ were used to show what is going on and how the African American people felt and how there song probably won’t get promoted because the white Americans are trying o keep the black Americans quiet about racial situations. They also mention how the radio stations won’t play their music because they speak the truth and because playing their music brings controversy towards politics, racism and violence. The radio stations and other various prefer to keep a clean image of music and promote songs which do not raise issues and debates and preferred to play love/happy musical songs. The African Americans remained in the poorest parts of the cities which lead to gun crime, violence drugs and racism in which African Americans believed was being brought to them by White Americans.
The public enemy had reared a history in counter culture and black music. They raised awareness in issues which have not considered essential; they asked questions through their songs and brought African Americans music which they could relate to. Hip hop was performed through songs about cars and money, but when Pubic Enemy arrived in the music scene, they used music as a key to represent social criticism. They questioned social and economic and race issues when no one had done before. Public Enemy’s belief that rap could be relevant and socially conscious (Hip hop matters politics pop culture and the struggle for the soul of a movement, Samuel
Craig Watkins, 2005 page 119) The audiences of Public enemy were not shocked by their lyrics as they have experienced most of the situations mentioned in the song such as police harassment and the hard life conditions. They represented a voice for African Americans who had not been heard before. Their music revolution helped audiences including white young Americans and Black to get into politics, to raise question and issues, to read and get into political questions. They changed the way audiences looked at black hip hop and how people Judged black Americans. For African American youth, Public Enemy was more than a band they were a new evolution who helped their issues get raised and heard.
Public enemy songs such as ’91 1 are a Joke’ represents how long emergency services would arrive to a black American area and how black Americans are treated different to the call of 911 either if they were the victim or the suspect, they would be criticized and bullied regardless. ‘In Fear off black planet’ public enemy focus of black and white Americans having a relationship, and ‘Fight the power’ became one of the most influential and popular song in history of hip hop music, because the lyrics explain realism and strongly expresses law enforcements and crimes against black immunity and situations which many Black Americans could relate too. The song raised questions, demanded answers and brought awareness to the nation and across the world. Talk about real world issues that frustrate hip hop nation” ” _even Journalistic in their rhymes _ _reality rap” (Hip hop matters politics pop culture and the struggle for the soul of a movement, Samuel Craig Watkins, 2005 page, 119) Fight the power some of the lyrics: Elvis was a hero to most But he never meant to me you see Straight up racist that sucker was Simple and plain Mother – him and John Wayne Cause I’m Black and I’m proud I’m ready and hyped plus I’m named Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps Sample a look back you look and find Nothing but redneck’s for 400 years if you check They represent through their songs their realism of harsh times of African Americans and racism which is an everyday event.
Public enemy’s political song ‘Party for the right to fight’ which is an example of politic issues on Black African Americans and discussed Malcolm X and Martin Luther King assassination and government cover ups, and racist’s to keep black Americans quiet. Public Enemy questioned and spoke about issues which were aimed at the American overspent, the plot of killing black leaders was done by Whites and the ‘so called government’. In the lyrics American Black leaders (Malcolm X) Elijah Muhammad and Martin Luther King are mentioned and honored. Public Enemy are inspired by Black leaders and use their music to spread issues and harsh and racial events occurring within Black communities in America. These questions are raised and politics and audiences from around the world have become aware of what is happening.