United States

Jazz to Rock to Rap

Music has always spoke to people. It is a platform for people to put out there opinion, political standpoint and emotions and music to have a good time and feel good. Jazz was the most popular genre of music in the 1920’s and 1930’s but while jazz and blues was the biggest genre of music in that time, it was also one of most looked-down upon genres because the lyrics of jazz in the roaring 20’s was talking about what was going on in the 20’s which was partying almost every night and the lyrics was talking about sex and alcohol. Over time more genres of music came out like rock and roll, in the 50’s and 60’s it also started to be the most listened to and most hated genre as well as rap and r&b in the 90’s and 2000’s

The roaring 20’s was the time of jazz and blues and partying. In the 1920’s Jazz was the top genre of music to listen too. Jazz was also  predominantly made by African Americans, which influenced the 1920’s pop culture. Although the older generations looked down upon the music because in their opinion it was immoral and disrespectful to older cultural values. Jazz lyrics talked about sex and parties and drinking alcohol, which during the time alcohol was illegal. A lot of venues wouldn’t allow live jazz to be played or performed, besides the underground clubs that had alcohol and was ran by mobsters, who would make a profit from selling alcohol in the secret clubs. But jazz isn’t the only genre of music talked down upon, in the 1940’s jazz music started to be insignificant and in the late 40’s into the 50’s another genre of music made a rise and that was rock and roll.

Rock and Roll was a very popular music choice in the late 1940’s right around when jazz started to die. Rock and Roll was evolved from African American music styles such as, jazz, blues, and gospel. In the early styles of Rock and Roll pianos and saxophones were the lead instrument until they were replaced by the guitar in the late 1950’s and the beat of jazz and blues was usually snare drums. But in classic rock the instruments were guitars and drum kits and singers. This genre was a huge success in the music industry. But like jazz it was very judged genre. The lyrics of rock and Roll were often about drugs, alcohol and sex and partying, where the term party like a rock star came from. People also didn’t like rock and roll because they thought it causes juvenile delinquency and vulgar language. Rock Stars had a carefree reckless way of living and they put it in their music. Rock legends like Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors was arrested on stage for starting a riot. Also to add to rockstars reckless lifestyle the guitarist of The Rolling Stones throwing a T.V out of the montage hotel. But as rock started to become more approved from people a new age of music started coming out and it was called hip hop.

Hip hop and rap is the biggest genre of music today and has been a big part of the music industry since the 1970’s. Rap became bigger as time grew, like in the 1980’s is when rap really started to take off. Witch artists such as the sugar hill gang, N.W.A, The Fresh Prince and Salt and Pepa,rap was becoming a huge impact on the pop culture. Rap was also originated from African American culture which started in the east coast. But as time went by a new type of Rap was born, which was gangster rap. Gangster rap was really big in the late 80’s and through the 1990’s. With names like N.W.A, Tupac, The Notorious BIG, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and many more. Gangster rap or reality rap was rhythm and poetry talking about the real struggles and real problems in the ghettos during that time like gang violence, drugs and corrupt police. Even though this was a big genre of music it was hated by older generations like jazz and rock was, because rap lyrics were and still are very vulgar and talk about sex and drugs. And like jazz and rock, people would buy the records and destroy them just to show their hatred toward the music. But Rap/hip hop is the number 1 genre of music today and current rappers influence the pop culture of today, just like jazz and rock did.

Article by Dom Smith

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