Music and Dance Jazz Music Mo

Initial Post Instructions
Choose one of the music or dance movements that you read about this week and at least one work from that movement. Then, address the following:

  • Examine the movement and specific work in relation to historical and political influences of the movement.
  • Identify characteristics of the movement and how the work reflects these characteristics.
  • Include a statement from the artist and one from a critic.
  • Include a link to the lyrics and/or video depending on your choice.

Follow-Up Post Instructions
Respond to at least one peer. Further the dialogue by providing more information and clarification.

Student Sample:

“As the text notes, rap music has its roots in gospel, blues, and shout (Martin 2018). Culturally and historically, this is obviously the case, as rap is part of the evolution of Black social life in the USA. When listening to rap, however, the connection to gospel, blues, and shout in the music itself may not be evident for much of the genre. There is at least one rapper who has made his name by foregrounding this connection in his music over the last 20 years. Kanye West has produced and rapped over beats featuring prominent samples and riffs straight from classic gospel and blues music. His debut album, College Dropout featured a musical production that West himself labeled “neo-soul” in reference to its fresh twist on its explicit soul roots. Ciccariello-Maher writes that West’s sampling of Black soul music mixed with his early 21st century hip-hop lyrics is reminiscent of Du Boisian “double-consciousness”, or, the paradoxical tension felt by Black folks trying to make a way through racism and oppression in the USA. As a Black man in America, West’s humanity is constantly challenged, and yet, in a capitalistic society, West feels the “constant temptation to validate [his] own humanity through conspicuous consumption” (Ciccariello-Maher, 2009, p. 386). It is not West’s vulnerability to this temptation that reveals the continuity with Black gospel and soul music, but his chilling awareness that he is constantly being tempted by the very forces that kill him, which brings a particular poignancy to his samples, production, and rhymes.

While West’s career took many twists and turns, including the tragic death of his top inspiration and mother, Donda, his debut album, College Dropout, may remain his greatest feat. In particular, the song “Family Business”, with its nostalgic sampling of the Dells “Fonky Thang, Diamon’ Rang” drives home the heights of Kanye’s musical prowess and innovation of the soul sound. More recently, West has returned to gospel music explicitly, through producing Sunday Service choir songs. Hip-hop, while derided by many critics as an empty, materialistic, vulgar display of ignorance and vulnerability to the temptation of conspicuous consumption, has much deeper roots in the Black freedom struggle. As such, it continues to resonate with all walks of life, with all sorts of people all around the world, who are going through it in their own ways.

Family Business – YouTube (Links to an external site.)

Ciccariello-Maher, G. (2009). A Critique of Du Boisian Reason: Kanye West and the Fruitfulness of Double-Consciousness. Journal of Black Studies, 39(3), 371-401. Retrieved August 4, 2021, from (Links to an external site.)

Martin, F. D. (2018). Humanities through the Arts (10th Edition). McGraw-Hill Higher Education (US).

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