It seems like we bearly go a week without someone being called out for cultural appropriation.
The other week, it was Bruno Mars’ turn.
The racially ambiguous singer was called out for appropriating black music and making it his own – repurposing funk for mass consumption.
And more recently, a discussion on BBC Three saw Nike being slammed for culturally appropriating grime as a way of making money from black culture in their Londoner ad.
Both valid arguments.
After all, black music has, for the most part, been both a form of celebration and resistance.
Funk music originated back in the mid-’60s, with musicians like James Brown taking soul and jazz and re-working the rhythmic groove of the baseline. At that time, concerts were still segregated. Afro-Americans – artists included – still suffered from the injustices of institutionalised and societal racism. Martin Luther King was murdered in 1968; funk has its origins in that climate.
But we’d be deluded to think that the likes of James… Read the full story