R&R People+Culture: What Is "White" Music?

Res, one of the first black girl rockers. Download her newest album, Black.Girls.Rock! here

There's a scene in Chris Rock's I Think I Love My Wife that I think about everytime the topic of "White" music comes up. In this scene, Nikki (Kerry Washington) listens to Richard's (Chris Rock) iPod to determine if he has "nigga ears". Nigga ears are, according to Nikki, ears that are hard core segregationists when it comes to music due to the fact that they pretty much solely listen to black music (R&B, Rap, Neo-Soul,ect.). Nikki is one of the many black people who think that listening to white music(Alternative rock, some pop) means that the listener is automatically cultured. While I have always been an advocate for broadening one's horizons in every way, including culture, I find it highly problematic that someone could be deemed uncouth and uncultured simply because his iPod features a plethora of black artists.

British rocker V.V. Brown, who is currently on tour with Maroon 5. Check her out here.

Such an attitude is backward and obviously ignorant considering the number of black artists who have experimented and succeeded with genres of music that are traditionally considered to be white and vice versa when it comes to white artists who have found success in genres that are traditionally considered to be black. Let's stop acting like Robin Thicke isn't playing on your local R&B/Hip Hop station and like Darius Rucker doesn't exist.

Priscilla Renea's music is very folksy in a Jewel way. Check out her video for her new single Lovesick here.

This issue of black vs. white music came up again on a recent trip with one of my friends to Atlanta. On the way back home, we stopped to visit one of my friend's cousins who has relocated to Atlanta to go to school. My friend's cousin is one of those people that frustrates the hell out of me, yet in the end I always feel sorry for him. He's been on this reinvention-of-self quest lately, and apparently that includes distancing himself from anything that is remotely reminiscent of black culture and people. He was quite proud as he announced that part of the reason for his recent success was that he gave up listening to black music. It's evil and instills a spirit of destruction in people that he feels blessed to have broken away from. Many of his attitudes about other aspects of life, especially women ( which is a WHOLE 'NOTHER post!) mirror his sentiment about what he calls black music.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64YxapA8SRo&hl=en_US&fs=1&color1=0x402061&color2=0x9461ca] Dondria,who was discovered on YouTube, proves that an R&B and an alternative rock sound can exist in one artist.

I'll be the first to say that there are destructive qualities about music of today that is put out by black artists. The misogyny,hypersexuality, and blatant irreverence and lack of restraint are not things that I seek to defend, yet it is usually never highlighted that the same ills exist in most music genres across the music industry, black, white or whatever. And as I've touched on before, black artists whose music is more positive and culturally rooted almost never get the shine they deserve. I always wonder why people like my friend's cousin rush to buy a Coldplay album instead of researching the myriad of options that they have by positive black artists to replace the music that they feel no longer fits them. I'm sure white people aren't going to rush out to buy an Erykah Badu album when Heidi Montag's new album drops.

Let's start enjoying music for the colorless thing that it is and stop furthering this foolishness that a certain race has a monopoly on classiness and refined culture.