Commodification Of Black Music

In past black music was seen as undesirable by white people. But since white people discovery of how black music is very popular they have been taking advantage and trying to profit off the success of black music. Now that black muNow that white people are listening to black people, white people want to sign black people. The increasing demand to capitalize off of black music has led to a lot of black artist being ripped off and used to make more many for white record company owners. 


During slavery and all through the 1800s. It was well know that black music and celebration had no real space in white mainstream music. Negro spirtuals were often sung during hidden church ceremonies and used during day labor. Many white people lack interested and didn’t value the music made from black people. Although this is true they often liked to steal songs and play them off as their own. Some black music were paid. But this was very rare. They were subjected to disrespect and not treated as equal to their white musician counterparts. They would get paid little to noting also. For example a negro spiritual book was published by white people but the writer and black workers who wrote them were never credited. example would be Scott Joplin, a popular Ragtime artist, who sold his sheet music to white people. He did not get to make much and often financially struggled. 


Jazz is the perfect example of black music from New Orleans was stolen by white artist and used by white artist to became even more famous than the black artist. For example ragtime became a white dominated music genre were many white musicians were labeled as “The Best” at that time. White jazz artists watching black jazz artists are starting to mimic their styles and crested dances based off of black music. Minstrel shows were the perfect example how white people mad money off the humiliation of black artist and perform the same songs and make money doing so. Given that white people are only going to watch white people, it doesn’t matter if a black jazz artist and a white jazz artist are playing the same song because the money is going into the white person’s pocket. In the 60s, it’s the civil rights era. Black artists are allowed to perform for white people, but of course they cannot sit with them. However, that exposure allowed black artists to become more popular. Black music was playing on the radio, talk shows, bars, and et

Modern day Impacts

Today there is still a huge problem with record companies and white businesses trying to exploit artist, especially when it comes to the commeriliation of Hip Hop. Many young artist sign unfair deals that limits their star down or where they don’t see in profits. For example Megan Thee Stallion signed a deal that limited the amount of money she earned and creative freedom. and This is still a common occurrence today. Another problem would include the lack of creative freedom black artist experienceat these predominately white labels. They can’t fully expresses themselves in music without being controlled by white opinions. A lot of the White men you control the music industry are unqualified on current music trends and have no real experience to relate to hip hop artist. A big problem is that a lot of these white people do not even listen to certain genres of music, because for a long time black music was frowned on by them. However, as it became popularized, white people noticed that they could make money off of it. 

Music Platforms

Many artist have gotten their start on music platforms such as sound cloud and TikTok. Their increasing popularity and demand is only enhanced by these social media and music platforms. Unfortunately they rarely see any true earning for their following compared to what she companies are making. Big platforms use black artist and music to market their platforms but rarely give the credit and money they. It is too often that many black songs and music is gentrified as used to lured young black people to continue to use the apps. 

sources-Etta James

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