View Full Version : Blacks and rock&roll

01-15-2000, 08:14 PM
At the most recent rock concert I attended, Rage Against The Machine in Detroit (which kicked ass, incidentally), I noticed that despite the band's multi-cultural angle, the crowd was as white as the driven snow.

That got me to thinking about all of the other rock concerts I've attended, and how in every instance, the crowds were almost 100 percent caucasian.

Why don't people of color seem to like or identify with rock and roll? Remember, they pretty much invented it way back when. Whites then ripped it off, blacks gave it up without much of a fight, and that's been that.

It's not just the audience; think about the bands. White rock musicians probably outnumber blacks about 200-to-1. But I don't believe that blacks, hispanics, etc. don't like rock music because it's played by whites. I think the lack of non-white rock musicians is a manifestation of their aforementioned lack of connection to the genre.

What's the deal?

"In much wisdom is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." - Ecclesiastes 1:18

01-15-2000, 08:21 PM
Used to be a form of black rock called funk.

Anyonne here remember the Funkedelics? Rick James comes to mind. My guess is it is a racial thing. Most of the blacks in rock play in otherwise white bands Hootie and the blowfish and others.

If you can't convince them, confuse them.
Harry S. Truman

01-15-2000, 08:31 PM
"A racial thing" only explains it superficially. A lot of young white folks readily identify with "black" music genres such as rap and hip-hop. It doesn't seem to go the other way.

Why don't the same driving beats and loud distorted guitars that get me off do the same for non-whites, generally?

01-15-2000, 08:36 PM
Perhaps blacks see "their" music as what's mine is mine and what's yours is yours. And the whites don't have that perspective.

If you can't convince them, confuse them.
Harry S. Truman

01-15-2000, 08:37 PM
Well, I cant speak for others, but rock just doesn't move me as much as other forms of music (i'm a person of color). One complaint from my friends who are people of color (that sounds odd to describe people :)), is that the music is too hard, the guitars are annoying, and the beat is "weak" (as in the base isn't as strong as they like). The lyrics and the way the lyrics are written just don't appeal to them. They also feel the singers either sound like theyre on something, sing "oddly", or they scream out the lyrics (like RATM, which I do not like at all).

I think it may be cultural, and who you grew up with also. Most people of color have friends and relatives who were more into R&B or rap, and that they can identify with that culture, more than they can with the culture of rock. Also, their friends all listened to that music, so they did too.

However my friends here in university like various styles of music from rock, to techno and a lot of genres in between.

It's worth the risk of burning, to have a second chance...

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
01-15-2000, 08:51 PM
It's more than just rock concerts.

I've noticed when I go on vacation (typically somwhere 400 or so miles of coastline), that I see very few Blacks even in restaurants.

I was in the FL panhandle over New Year's, and from the time I boarded the plane (all 50 or so passengers White) to take me there, from the time I landed back--I saw less than 15 Blacks, including employees at various bars and restaurants.

I was in a local (modestly-priced) restaurant tonight. The place was packed (as often happens of Fri and Sat), and there was not a single Black--this in a state that is 1/3 Black.

I don't understand the reason, but I've noticed it over the years.

This also applies to plays. I see a half-dozen plays or so a year. Other than the actors, I don't recall the last time I saw a Black person.

I don't go to concerts, but I have noticed the concert-goers as they traverse from the various parking lots to whatever building houses their concert--uniformly all-Black or all-White.

And the absolute most segregated place in the world is Church. Those are entirely two different worlds.

Oh, well. Just some observations.

01-15-2000, 09:52 PM
rock and roll is a hybrid of more than one styles of music come together . .country and western jump, harlem r&b, 12 bar blues, even classical. throw in doo wop and about half dozen other styles. so rock n roll is not an genre that african americans embrace wholly.
im german/swedish . . doesnt mean i embrace all music originating from those countries.