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All That Jazz

Once again, we have permitted others to take our music away from us to engage in it’s truth, in which we have blindly allowed to dissipate from its core essence. Rap birthed from the impregnation of the African American experiences of pain, struggle and destitute places into a music form where it's first word was of spoken truth. The rawness of its nature resonated into the streets, leading to world domination, where all could grab a piece of it and make it their own truth. Yet, the womb in which it was created and developed became dehydrated and the breast from which it was fed stagnated by milk from another mother. A different mother’s provision, although supplicating, could not manifest its line of descent of the musical ancestral oracular. The African voice has always been manifested through music and song of it’s time and space. Rap was an African American extension of that lineage that somehow became diluted into the mainstream where it could be exploited and transformed into a detriment to our being. Sexual deviance, violence, self-degradation became the lyrics disseminated to represent the darker side of our darkness, squelching the light from which it emanated.

And now, we have such artists whom have mastered the art, redefining it’s genre into music that they can acclaim as their own, like the young white rapper George Watsky. Watsky has intrinsically intertwined his poetic justice into a rap form that is becoming the widespread acceptance. And just as Elvis purportedly created Rock and Roll on the foundation of Chuck Berry; John Travolta Saturday Night Fever disco explosion on the backs of Sylvester and Peaches and Herb; Jazz Dixieland Jazz band on the demise of Charles “Buddy” Bolden; raps transformation trajectory is on the rise with brilliant poets like Watsky and Macklemore.

My point is to say, now of all times, when our voice in America is more powerful than its ever been, can we afford to be silenced; misguided nor misconstrued. Music has been a universal force to distinguish our stories and exude our greatness of our highs and lows, our goods and bads. Just because the major record companies have hand picked from our brew what ingredients are to be fed to our communities, doesn’t mean that we have to continually sit at the same table day after day and starve ourselves. Let’s recognize the power that we have to rescue ourselves from drowning in this climate of change that is being denied, once again, by the initiators of it's windfall.

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