I write this article the day before my country's birthday. With everything happening within our fifty states, I find it difficult to plan for tomorrow. Thinking about sparklers, frankfurters, fireworks and cheer makes me feel like I'm ignoring many elephants in the room. The 4th is the best holiday to celebrate outside, yet this year we need to stay home. Additionally, anti-racist protests demonstrate that while the Declaration calls for "certain unalienable rights," not everyone in this country enjoys those rights equally. How can we celebrate freedom in America when not everyone is truly free? I don't know about you, but it feels hypocritical to me.
UK grime is a relatively new genre that emerged in the 2000s, taking inspiration from UK garage, hip-hop, dancehall and jungle. Grime tracks will often run at 140 BPM without surpassing this number too much, followed with a strong bassline and lyrics that usually represents those with an urban lifestyle. The genre name (first unofficially called 8 bar or sublow) was made by journalists to differentiate it from traditional garage tracks and describing its sound as ‘grimy’. In an interview with Hot 97 FM, Dave further explained, “Grime MCs usually have radio sets where they rap and switch instrumentals, when the beat changes they have to catch the drops in. If I’m rapping, there’ll be a beat underneath me, then they’ll change it and I’ll have to catch the drop”. Arising from East London and growing out to other British cities including Birmingham and Manchester, grime has been a platform for rappers of colour to voice their experiences of suppression, protest and culture.
Mention the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and you will elicit a wide range of strong emotions. Growing up in Scotland, I can recall being scared and confused by the regular reports on it from a very early age, the horror remaining with me as I came to understand what the Troubles were. As a teenager, we had a short holiday in Ireland, which involved catching the ferry to Belfast. Things were supposed to be more settled at that point, with the Good Friday Agreement being on the cards, but I was unsettled at the sight of armed soldiers walking about when we drove from the ferry terminal. However, that is of course small fry next to living through it.
Black History Month takes place each June, as initiated by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 and commemorated by President Barack Obama in 2009. In 2016, Obama noted that Black artists and musicians help the country “to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.” This statement rings true, especially as we find ourselves in this moment of history in the making.
Behind the beat of each popular recording that the world has loved, is often a sad tale. The television show UNSUNG, on TVOne chronicles the rise and fall of many famous artists and there is usually one common theme, "Creative differences." Time and time again it is revealed that greedy, unscrupulous managers and producers desire to do thing their way at the expense of the artists. For those who were not aware, this issue, in part led to the demise of one of the most popular singing groups of all time, The Beatles." The beginning of the end was set in motion around June 20, 1970 when their classic song, "The Long and winding road" was introduced to the world.
For scores of rock musicians that climb the slippery slopes of fame as part of a group, their own personalities and names as individuals are often overshadowed by their group's combined image. Sometimes, however, certain artists are able to break through as solo artists and figures after they have gained fame within a group. Very occasionally, their status as an individual garners new fans long after their biggest hits have topped the charts and they become the most elusive star of all: a cultural icon.
"Hippies" come in all shapes, sizes and colors but most times the word conjures up images of white males in the 1960's with long hair, wearing bell bottoms and getting high. This story is specifically related to Caucasian hippie's who were abused by the police in the early 1970's. I emphasize this because there is a point to be made. Please note I am not deflecting from the Black Lives Matter movement, even though all lives do matter. I am expounding upon the fact that police brutality has always been an issue. Americans are thankful for the law enforcement officers who do their job well, but still these stories of bad cops persist.
From the very start of their journey as musicians you could tell the Beatles were different. Standing proudly at the top as one of the very first ever bands to write their own music, their fashion was what truly made them stand out from the rest.
April marks the 50th anniversary of when the Beatles broke up. Although the exact date is a little fuzzy, most people point to April 10 as the official day the biggest band in the world called it quits. An article written by Don Short titled, “Paul Quits the Beatles,” was printed on the front page of the Daily Mirror.
Back in the late 1960s - 70 century with an old story of an expanding couple of artists at the time, John Lennon & Yoko Ono. Partly because the husband was a former Beatles man, partly because of the personality of the two who smells of rebellion - heterosexual, great ideological, political influence and many others... John and Yoko often provided true, genuine, and vulgar details and they were always full of gravity with the journalist hunt. Moreover, for half a decade, since 1975, these two people had been reclusive with the outside world. This increased the desire of the press and media, including the owner of Playboy magazine.
The late 19th century saw a revival of British musical composition, prompted by three composers who all earned knighthoods.