Appropriation of Blues

The genre of Blues began in the beginning of the 1900’s and quickly gained popularity. It became so huge that many subsets of the genre developed, including; country blues, 12 bar blues,  gospel blues, etc. So, it goes with out saying that the Blues had an influence on almost every genre that came after it, especially jazz, gospel, and country music. The Blues was a form of music created by Black people in the deep south. Blues music was characterized by anecdotal lyrics of sad or difficult times, that gave the genre it’s name. Strong bass lines and the use of instruments like saxophones, bass, and piano worked together to create the distinct Blues sound. During the emergence of this new genre Black people were facing a new form of slavery. The Blues emerged during the Jim Crow era and the difficult experiences being faced by Blacks in America significantly contributed to the Bluesy sound and lyrics of the music. More over the segregation kept Blues music strictly as a part of our community until cultural appropriation took effect and white people began stealing our Blues sound. It is no secret that white people stole the work of Black people in this country, but it was perhaps at it’s worst during the era of Blues music. Due to the legalized racism at this time, black people had no rights, and certainly no rights to their music or intellectual property, and this led to a lot of rip offs of lyrics, music, and general sound. The worst part is the significant profit that whites received for their blatant theft, and Black musical artists were often left with nothing.

important performers include BB King, Etta James, Ma Rainey, and Bessie Smith, attached below is a video of BB King performing


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