Sunday, August 19, 2012

Race and Crossing Musical Genre Lines


So I was looking through my iTunes library and came across this song entitled “Leaving” by pop artist Jesse McCartney. What I noticed about the song was its heavy bass laden production with its very weak lyrics. The lyrics of the song were laced with hip hop/urban jargon. I loved the sound of the song but clearly the songwriter did not have much going in what he or she was trying to convey in the song. Why bring this song up? It made me think of pop artists who were predominately white and come from non-urban/inner city backgrounds try to break into the urban scene. Justin Timberlake is one prime example. I actually purchased his first CD and loved it. Honestly I think he was being himself. It was great timing for him and his solo career. The same can be said for urban acts that want to take on the pop frontier. Usher and Ne-Yo come to mind. They both have awesome commercial success with both R&B and pop. Race at times plays a factor in crossing these musical lines. It is good to point out that artists like Jason Derulo and Robin Thicke have found a place in their respective genre which may not be what their race would listen to demographically .Robin Thicke is an R&B singer, I believe he has not really taken the pop route from his songs that I have listened to. Jason Derulo to me is a pop artist and not anyway urban. That is so funny considering he is Haitian American and from Miami, (I believe.) I think crossing musical genres is a good marketing tool. Race makes it easier to come across. As you know music is the language of life and crosses no color lines. I mean the king of pop was not white. Ironic. Yes this is my opinion.

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