It is crazy to know that America has always undervalued and under-appreciated black people’s contributions to society. People of color have had the biggest impact on American history in things like space travel, food, transportation, science, medical research, and many others. But one place where our presence has always been felt, heard, and seen since the beginning was in music. Music, something that manipulates you and the people around you no matter your background or culture.
Black people have always had a hand in music. Whether it was negro spirituals, the hymn in churches, Rock ‘n Roll, Jazz, R&B, Rap, and Pop, we usually controlled and shape the music industry. Just for the sake of time, we will start in the late-1950s, when Rock n Roll was starting up. It was led and dominated by artists such as Little Richard, Frankie Lymon, and Chuck Berry. Fast Foward to the Funk/Soul Music Era where artists like Prince, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder. Go up a year or two you have Pop/ R&B music being spearheaded by acts like Luther Vandross, Pattie Labelle, Teddy Pendergrass, and late Michael Jackson. Many great pioneers in each genre and we’re missing many artists. Then we’re led to what’s considered the “Golden Age of Hip-Hop,” which showcases many artists and music that is still sampled to this very day.
People of color have used music to describe life, bring people together, or to just have a good time. So during this time were every business and industry has profited from our culture we need to hold them accountable and force them to speak up and choose sides. Also Shootout to Tyler the Creator for calling out the music industry for trying to place every black artist in the “Urban,” category, they finally stop limiting us, and hopefully, we can start getting the proper recognition at award shows.