Archetypes and Stereotypes of Jazz, Blues, and Hip-Hop

March 29, 2009 at 3:09 pm 1 comment

Words from my Archetype and Stereotype presentation.
Words from my Archetype and Stereotype presentation.

There are many words that describe music, but also there boundaries in music, just like politics. Music became a pride for some races, like African Americans are the best rapper, but because of that pride, the society believe in a stereotype that Caucasians cannot rap. I wanted to know if there was any conflict between African Americans and Caucasians through music.

After reviewing many images and other types of media, I couldn’t determine the stereotypes and archetypes for my topic.  I did much research about the people who had the most influence on the music genres of jazz, blues, and rap.  I chose these music genres specifically because the genres are originated by African Americans from the influence of their homeland.

African Americans band with couple of Caucasians who recently joined. (Otha and crew)

African Americans band with couple of Caucasians who later joined. (Otha and crew)

 

So for archetypes, I chose musicians (specifically black musicians) that had the most influence in the genre.  For stereotypes, I generally state what the generalization is, or the view of a certain group, and find (white) musicians to support that stereotype.

Most of the pictures, videos, songs, and other sorts of media was more for the Western Audiences.  Blues and jazz archetypes and stereotypes are more for the western audiences since that is where blues and jazz had the most influence on those audiences.  However, rap is widely known to all international audiences because rap became commercially well known throughout the world, while blues and jazz has not.  Blues and jazz targets mostly older people who have lived through the 70s because jazz and blues is considered as outdated in the present.  Rap became widely popular in the present and many people love the song and the beat to the music.  However, the subjects of the songs changed from experiencing hardship to musicians’ fancy life style, money, and girls.  Blues and jazz images seem very old and legendary, and all the pictures I find looks like this one:

 

Duke Ellington: One of the famous jazz musician

Duke Ellington: One of the famous jazz musicianBix Beiderbecke: A white musician that had set standards for jazz

 

 The images I found from searching “rap” showed tattoos, jewelry, fur coat, golden cane, etc. showing that how big and great their life is:

 

Rapper Lil Wayne flaunting his jeweled teeth, watch and necklace. Also his tattoos.
Rapper Lil Wayne flaunting his jeweled teeth, watch and necklace. Also his tattoos.


From this assignment, I learned that there were many old musicians that had greatly influenced the world of music and had influenced recent genres, like rap.  The musicians in the media show that most jazz, blues, and rap musicians are dominated by the African American society, and there are stereotypes that makes African Americans superior and more artistic than other races.  I learned that there are several white musicians that had been successful in their days and had accomplished what African Americans had accomplished musically.  The images the media display made it look that only African Americans are able to make better blues, jazz, and rap music. 

             Even though there are several other race that can achieve what African Americans are able to do, the media had made the generalization that blues, jazz, and rap are black music and no other race can make up to them.  Finding the archetype was easier than finding stereotypes because there were many musicians (African American) in the past that had influenced greatly to the music world, but finding examples of a stereotype of blues, jazz, and rap was hard. For example, there was a stereotype that Caucasians cannot rap, and only African Americans are exceptionally good at rapping. However, examples like Eminem and Vanilla Ice sort of breaks that stereotype. However, there was a video that shows the society can be surprised that a white man is good at rapping.

 

 
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