When thinking of blues music you instantly think of sadness, struggle, and storytelling. The sad reality of what it was like to be an African American in the south during the 1860’s was a major part of blues, and made it what it is today. Blues started gaining popularity in the early 1900’s with the help of W.C. Handy. The blues genre was a way for African American to express their emotions and possibly make money at the same time. Due to the growing impact, most blues singers were making a good living. The combination of the struggles they still faced due to the color of their skin and the money they were making caused them to turn to drugs. During this time drugs were extremely popular and they did not know the horrible effects of it yet. Heroin was being used at an all time high. The drugs that they were using soon translated to being in the music. For example, in Charley Patton’s Spoonful Blues he talks about the effects of heroin in a woman’s life. The lifestyle of drugs and sex was passed down through many genres of music and throughout time. Many people associate drugs and sex with Rock music but it really started in blues. This just goes to show that blues music impacted more than just the way other genres sounded, but the lifestyle behind it. Blues music is all about being vulnerable and real, this component transcends genres. Jazz, Rock, R&B (rhythm and blues), and many others all pull from the blues genre. Blues is the foundation of modern day music and the impact it has left on people will never be forgotten.
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