May. 15th, 2017
Music & Cultural Appropriation
Last year, arguments over and race and culture were everywhere. People on all sides exhibited every emotion—from offended to apathetic. There were a lot of big, complex questions asked with few, satisfying answers in return. Those issues are far from resolved; and 2017 looks to be an even more hot button year. Yet we at Bandbasher hope that broaching those tough subjects in open dialogue leads to a constructive conversation, enlightenment, and understanding between people—especially those who share the common love of music.
That’s why we couldn’t ignore this thought-provoking series of tweets (by the way, thank you, social media) by Richey Collazo (@richey_collazo).
When articles are read it isn't always considered that for hours I've spoken with a journalist about my life , where my heart is, my perspective at that time, and the next step in my career. Unfortunately only a portion of that interview makes it to print, & A lot of the time publications like to focus on the most sensationalized part of the conversation. So, to be clear I respect ALL artists who speak their truth and appreciate ALL genres of music (country , pop , alternative …. but in this particular interview I was asked about rap) I have always and will continue to love and celebrate hip hop as I've collaborated with some of the very best! At this point in my life I am expanding personally/musically and gravitating more towards uplifting, conscious rap! As I get older I understand the effect music has on the world & Seeing where we are today I feel the younger generation needs to hear positive powerful lyrics! I am proud to be an artist with out borders and thankful for the opportunity to explore so many different styles/ sounds! I hope my words (sung or spoken) always encourage others to LOVE…. Laugh…. Live fully…. to be there for one another… to unify, and to fight for what's right (human , animal , or environmental ) Sending peace to all! Look forward to sharing my new tunes with you soon! – MC
With Miley Cyrus’ recent turn from her unicorn horn stage-humping and Mike-Will-Made-It-collaboration ways, Collazo took note of the language Cyrus used to describe the transformation. A change that couldn’t be more opportune and profitable for Cyrus. The music and culture Cyrus once paraded through every stage, music video, and song she graced have now been dubbed vulgar by the pop-turned-hip-hop-turned-country star.
Another coming-of-age musical breakthrough in a long line of pop artists trying on and discarding cultures as they would their Supreme or Givenchy tees.
Below is the compilation of Collazo’s tweets; a well-reasoned breakdown of musical culture appropriation as a means for reaching the most profitable markets at the most opportune times in an artist’s career.
“I’ve noticed something… when they first start off in pop music they’re always “young and innocent” their image is slightly sexual but not enough to be raunchy.”
“they sell abstinence. purity. promise rings. and innocence with that white ass bubblegum pop music they *originally* are doing.”
“their *coming of age era* is always a pop with R&B/hip hop influence sound and overt sexiness to go with it”
“but once they find out being *blacker* only gets you so far with white audiences. suddenly their image is toned down & clean cut again”
“black people are tired of white people using our culture to prove a point. it’s racist. it’s not appreciation. it’s racist. that’s all.”
“and all you’re doing is showing us the stereotypes you place on blackness. you think us and our culture = sexual deviance & gang banging”
“and I’m tired. plenty of people manage to mature musically. without appropriating black culture and using it for your darker/adult image.”