Appropriation in Hip Hop Versus Appreciation

Bruno Mars has been all over social media this week, it’s not because of his incredible album from this year either. A woman by the name of Seren  Sensei Aishitemasu stated that he’s appropriating the culture.  The video she posted drew a lot of criticism, but it was mainly directed towards her. Despite the fact she was correct in certain aspects then totally off in others.

In order, to articulate everything clearly to prove how she is right. You must know the real origin of hip-hop. Which was in the seventies in New York primarily in the Bronx. Which is predominately a Hispanic and black area. This was wonderfully illustrated in Netflix’s “The Getdown. So, to say that Hispanics don’t belong in hip hop would be totally incorrect. Not to mention, being Afro-Latino that isn’t common knowledge to many people because society makes you choose a side. Here are some famous Afro-Latino rappers Noreaga, Trina, Fabolous, AZ. Noreaga claimed both sides proudly, Fabolous is known to the hip-hop world as a black man see the difference?

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 The next point she stated was about the OG’s before us not getting the accolades they deserved. She was a totally correct with that and it’s no secret. We all know black artist have been getting ripped off for years and that will never change. Especially since hip-hop is now the number one genre. There was a time when rock n roll was the number one genre. There were prominent black stars until it was whitewashed, just like jazz, blues, etc. R&B right now is starting to get lighter and lighter. That’s mainly because the most profitable genres right now are Pop or Rap. This is painfully evident in the reality talent shows. It's certain look and sound that’s showcased. The days of listening to Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston to cure your broken heart are starting to wither. Mainly because auto-tune can’t help them sound like that and the women who can sing like that don’t get the resources needed. The men who sung back in the day like Johnny Gill, Ginuwine, R.Kelly are getting older. The only men who can come close them are Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Tyrese. Khalid and Daniel Cesar have proven that the got the juice. It’s just going to take that one hit for them to become superstars and stay out of trouble. Prince said it best in one his interviews, “to be a great musician one has to study their craft. They have to study every aspect of it to be great”. Quincy Jones echoed similar sentiments in his Vulture interview.

At the end of the day, those executives want our money. Those musicians just want to be compensated for what they love to do. So, is Mars appropriating? Nah fam.. Your reaching way too much the people who appropriate are the Kardashians, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus etc.

 


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