Like many other genres hip hop seems to depict the story of the Black experience. The candid lyrics and influential culture have a major impact. Abstract stories with catchy phrases and beats carve strong history outside of the Billboard charts.
However there are more genres out there to be explored. And no this is not a story bashing hip hop music.
We need to hear more from artists who decide to take risks and be more creative by being inventive using vivid imagery and lyrics. Artists who take risks need more attention. Not mention artists who explore other genres outside of your typical hip hop realm.
The 53rd Grammy Awards introduced many people to the beautiful and talented Miss Esperanza Spalding. The 26-year-old newly crowed Grammy-winner is very prominent in jazz, yet many people have never heard of her. God forbid a Black woman be well-versed in jazz music! Blacks excelling in jazz–who would have ever thought.
Like many musical acts, Esperanza Spalding is full of unnoticeable talent. Yes, unnoticeable. Many artists who avoid the famous glitterized crotch popping or gimmicky lyrics are constantly passed up. This is just the unspoken truth of industry standards. The media constantly criticizes any celebrity that has any sort of sexual images in their work, whether it is found in a movie or music video. But sex sells–period.
However, we already know that.
With the decline of record sales, it’s no wonder artists have latched on continuing to keep the legacy alive, only to sell more records. Very often, music artists step outside of their comfort zones. Then there are other artists who are able to constantly release new and exciting music that push the envelope. And let’s not forget there are artists who are just dying to even put out a single.
Let’s celebrate other genres as much as we celebrate hip hop.
I am more than hip hop.
– Drew-Shane Daniels
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Drew-Shane Daniels is a Philadelphia based writer maneuvering through life and graduate school. Hailing from Dallas, his Southern charm and East Coast hustler mentality fuels his ability to tackle stimulating lifestyle and cultural topics. He’s the creative genius found on his personal blog www.heardhimsay.com. His work has been featured on Clutch Magazine, Black College Wire and BET.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @drewshane.