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Music: Associated Stereotypes and Diversity


Broaden your musical taste and experience the absolute beauty of music


Chrome Music NoteI’m confident that I am not alone when I say ‘there is no way I could live without music’. Ok, I suppose I would be able to live but let’s not get pedantic about things. Music is a necessity for me, even when I’m not actually listening to it. The day I wake up and Mum ISN’T complaining about why my music is on and I’m sleeping, erm, yeah…that will never happen. Everyone loves themselves a bit of music but what’s the obsession with stereotypes.

‘OMG! Helen! You’re turning white!’ was the response I had from a friend the first time I decided to open up my earphones to other genres of music aside from that of hip hop and R ‘n’ B. I was listening to the song that paved the way for the popular influx of funky house, Fish Go Deep – The Cure and the Cause.

A lot of people like to stand on their moral high-horse, stating they don’t hold stereotypes about anything. But come on, who are we kidding? When we delve a little deeper and actually think about it; what would we think if we were sitting next to a ‘punk’ on the bus and saw on their iPod Touch that they were listening to Tinie Tempah? We would be shocked! Why? Because we wouldn’t expect it, Breaking Benjamin’s – Firefly would be a much more ‘fitting’ song. I am very fond of this song but a lot of people who have heard me listening to this have been as shocked as when the whole world found out that Tiger Woods had 11 mistresses on the side.

The most shocking response I’ve had to the fact I have such an eclectic taste in music was from someone who is actually interested in making music. They were ‘spitting bars,’ as they described it and they were actually quite good. I asked what kind of music they listened to and obviously they told me grime, hip/hop and R ‘n’ B. I have no problem with grime and I still do listen to it on the odd occasion but I kind of threw it in the bin when I left school but I digress.

When I revealed that I have everything on my iPod from Britney Spears and The Pussycat Dolls to Drake and Jadakiss to The Veronicas and The Fray (they were not aware of the latter two artists so I simplified it to pop, rap and rock), he replied ‘you just lost ratings. You’re not black.’ I looked down. Well I was still black, so clearly, he was visually impaired but more importantly it made me realise how narrow-minded people can be towards music and how many seem to believe that all genres of music are completely separate from one another. I mean I’m sure he isn’t an avid listener of disco music yet disco was very influential in the origin of rap music in the early 1970s and the history of rap shows that instrumentals often sample beats from popular or well-known soul, funk or  rock songs.

It is evidently clear that rap artists are moving into the genre of alternative rap and from the sales generated – we like it. I mean, everybody loved the legendary duo of Jay Z and Linkin Park – Numb/Encore. Outkast’s highly acclaimed album ‘Speakerboxxx/The Love Below’ incorporated musical genres of rock, punk, jazz, indie and country aside from merely pop and rock. Jay Z stated that indie rock would play an important role in the evolution of hip-hop and without even having to delve into origins and history we can hear the fusion of hip-hop and rock on Lil’ Wayne’s recent album – ‘The Rebirth’.

Now I’m not saying that everyone has snapped their CDs or ceased downloading because of these fusions because these are the songs that everyone actually likes. I acknowledge we are coming into a more accepting era but simultaneously people seem to be unaware that these fusions are intrinsic in some of the most commercial songs they listen to.

So the next time you pass someone listening to something that you are adamant would never be found in your headphones, just think it may be the same song that was sampled for the very song you are listening to. Musical diversity is a must and I’m not saying you will or must like every genre of music but until you’ve broadened your taste…well, you haven’t really experienced the absolute beauty of music.

Colourful Music Notes

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2 thoughts on “Music: Associated Stereotypes and Diversity

  1. I absoutely agree with everything mentioned, possibly due to personal experience! In secondary school I listened to rap, hip hop and r ‘n’ b, because you obviously believe listening to the same music as others will allow you to fit in. Listening to anything else would make you look like a freak. As for now, I listen to EVERYTHING with no shame! Why should I even be ashamed?! Listening to different genres of music actually broadens your understanding and helps you to have your eyes open to other things in life other than being soo narrow minded. Most people probably listen to rap because it is a genre that is mainly referred to gangsters and thats what people look up to these days!

    Helen, I love this entry, it puts forward all my views but in your amazing style of writing. Keep it up dude xxx <3

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  2. This entry is so truthful but yet rather disturbing to be quite frank. It shows how narrow minded people in today’s society can be. I’m pleased to say that my musical tastes are very diverse indeed, and I’m aware of music of all genres. I mean broadening your horizons can only be more beneficial for yourself? Right? Living in London (one of the most multicultural cities in the world) people will have to, sooner or later, be more culturally aware and engage in things outside of their comfort zone! Music is that stepping stone..

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