How Rap and R&B Changed America
One of the things that make us very unique and special is our ability to
create beautiful music, and how we comprehend its beauty. Music is the
universal language which anyone can understand without decoding its language.
Here in America, music has been (and still is) shaping our society and
affecting our identity. In addition, our music has a great influence on other
societies that are far away from us. Ethnic diversity in our country has given
us a vast amount of different kinds of music. People come to America from
everywhere in the world bringing with them their culture, and creating their
own kind of art.
African Americans have had a great influence on American music. R&B Music
was introduced in the 1940’s after World War II. R&B originated in the
40’s and flourished in the early 60’s. R&B Music started gaining attention
during the time when other music back then was declining. R&B changed the
conventional view of big band music and the R&B performers started
performing in small groups. R&B Music emphasized blues style and structure
in a song.
R&B uses instruments that are similar to the instruments used by
conventional bands. The saxophone and piano are two staples of R&B Music.
The introduction of the electric guitar gave R&B its unique look. The
electric guitar made R&B very attractive, and it gained power in America
in a very short time. By the 1960’s, R&B had become very popular. The
African-American community loved it, but all the different cultures that were
present back then did as well. It has been said that the Blues Music and Jazz
Music had an important role in the development of R&B. Truth be told
R&B has had its own role in the development of several music cultures
including Rock ‘n Roll.
Despite the great success it had in its early days, R&B has changed in
recent years. In the past, R&B was all about writing a good song. Artists
used to concentrate writing beautiful lyrics that had meaning, and was not
just about the beat. Modern R&B Music is different from that, it has
become less meaningful and more about the instrumentals.
Hip Hop Music
Hip Hop is a music genre that was created in the 1970’s by inner city
African Americans. D.J.’s would take vinyl records and spin them on two turn
tables and mix the records together. M.C.’s/Rappers would grab a mic and
commence to spitting rhymes to the beat. In the early days of Hip Hop Music
there was also break dancing and beat boxing going on.
Not Just Music
Hip Hop is not just music though. Hip Hop is a culture that includes block parties,
clothing styles, political views, and music. Early Hip Hop Music was just
M.C.’s rhyming over the two turn tables and a microphone. As Rap Music
evolved, producers started using drum machines for the rhythm and sample
records for the melody. M.C.’s started calling themselves rappers and started
using their rhymes for political influence and cultural influence.
Hip Hop Music is now being called Rap. Rappers today write about different
subjects than what former M.C.’s wrote about. Rap Music today glorifies drugs,
money,cars, and the degrading and using of women. Written songs today
sound nothing like the songs of old. Rappers today make millions of dollars
off of the music they make and perform. When Hip Hop first started it was done
for fun and used for influence. The influence of today’s Rap Music is still
there, but it is used in a negative way. More money is being made in today’s
Rap Music, but content and lyrics are on the decline.
The influence of R&B and Hip Hop Music on society is seen all over the
world. When these two styles of music were first introduced they were game
changers. For better or for worse no one can deny the effects of these genres
on music and culture. In the beginning of these styles trends were being
established that are still going. Although these genres are still around they
are in a much different form than what they started. Rap Music and R&B
Music are here to stay. I wonder which direction these genres will head in the
future, only time will tell.