Over the past few years, during the 2010s orchestrated revolts of Black Lives Matter, many bloggers and public figures, either Black or White, have helped highlight the issues of cultural appropriation, especially by pointing out their fingers at the female members of an improbable Armenian family living in the heart of Hollywood and who aspire to be replicas of mixed black women out of jealousy, when their father hated black people. Many members of the African diaspora asked themselves about the state of “white culture” and why the descendants of Europeans wanted, for the most part, to be part of a culture they had nothing to do with in the first place? In reality, groups such as The Black Eyed Peas (with horrible vocalist Fergie), Lady Gaga and Katy Perry deeply contributed to the dumbing down of culture and the decrease of quality in terms of musicality as well by serving the purposes of global politics. Because of them, all the different genres have been erased and gathered as one under a horrible techno sound. Actually, music is the first power which serves politics. It was therefore normal to have had our different favorite musical sections under the era of the nation-state but not now. Many singers who had been dedicated to their specific genres, such as RnB or Soul were crushed and isolated because of this globalization of the sound and were no longer considered interesting by the labels.
As a consequence, as the horrible techno sounds of the early 2010s were slowly being replaced by trap music, the latter has become the new “pop music” and so did Black culture, which turned into the new global beauty aesthetics. Many White girls today who love Instagram will steal from Black and Mixed women not knowing they are vultures as they have been let down by their own parents who refuse to educate them regarding music, too busy to work and focus on their own dysfunctions. The braids, the darkened skin, the amplified lips and the “black” attitude have become normal these days and associated with the aesthetics of social media as well. Therefore, in a matter of twenty years, White people from Western Europe and the United States have been the first crushed victims of the global politics they have supported by voting for the same corrupt machines. If many Blacks from the younger generation consider them to be ghosts with no heritages left, it is important to remind the readers that the White Westerners once had a culture they cherished and even incorporated in pop and rock music, or sometimes RnB.
The existence of Jessica Krug or Rachel Dolezal, two women I consider to be truly colonial and racist -both never came out as “transracial” but lied on purpose to receive a better treatment than the others based on their whiteness- proves a bigger problem. White people can no longer hide their weaknesses behind the veil of technological progress and capitalism, as the last two elements crushed them to the core. They envy the minorities for they still have their heritages, their cultures and identities, though damaged by five hundred years of domination. White people, on the contrary, who came from the wealthiest spheres, sacrificed that essence for technological progress, abandoning their ancestry for the advancement of Bill Gates-ism.
As surprising as it is for the members of the younger generations who came after us, some of the most famous bands and musical acts from the 1990s and early 2000s, before they were erased by the horrible band Black Eyes Peas and their improbable formula, actually placed their cultural traditional heritages at the center of their music and represented it with no shame, especially in Western Europe. Now that the region has been submitted to the colonial power of the European Union, some countries such as Spain, Portugal or Italy, already disdained due to their proximity to the south, not considered to be white enough by the “purest” Whites from the North, were reduced to simple province areas of Europe, and such issue is felt through music. Whether in France, Portugal, Spain or Ireland, it was more than common to hear traditional sounds be placed at the center of pop-rock rhythms of RnB. Unfortunately, due to globalism, such particularities did disappear.
At that time, other forms of music, the extent of a track were not reduced to the 3.00mn mark we know today. Irish singers, bands and musicians such as Enya, The Cranberries or The Corrs did manage to contourn such formula. The music industry did not only let them create their own songs, they also used their music to denounce the political state of their country, hurt by years of colonial conflict fomented by the British powers. Representing Irish culture was not just a way to exploit their own, it was, for some, an act of resistance, an act of survival. In 1993, Dolores O’Riordan, wrote a text over a melody to denounce the endless bombings of the I.R.A. whose members killed an innocent boy in an attack orchestrated against a supermarket. These lyrics would be later known as the song Zombie.
Originally from Limerick the members of the Cranberries had been, since childhood, exposed to the brutality of the colonial conflict which opposed a colonial British government and Crown against an oppressed Northern Ireland people. Zombie, now covered by improbable “Youtube singers”, was the testament of that historical era, a time when political violence, and actions for independence whether in Spain/South of France (ETA), Corsica, or Northern Ireland, were more than common in Western Europe. At the same time, Europe was the victim of its last great war in the Balkans during the 90s and early 2000s. Nationalism and issues related to identity were talked about before the presidents began to extend the ideology of “unity” through the creation of the “EURO” money. However, the movements of independence in Europe made headlines again in the late 2010s as Barcelona demanded its freedom from Spain, proving once more than the European Union could not really put an end to an unresolved issue. The referendum for the independence of Scotland was also another example.
In that era, Black musicians and singers such as Janet Jackson would be the ones to appropriate other cultures to reinvent their images as White European singers still had their cultures and ways of representing themselves. Through their traditional sounds, they sang their pain, their doubts and hoped for a better future in their nations. Other amazing geniuses such as Nelly Furtado, a Portuguese-Canadian, were deeply influenced by Canadian, American pop music and the other sounds they were exposed to as they grew up with members of the African and Latinized American diasporas. Though she grew up in Canada, Furtado never ceased to represent the Azorean Portuguese roots, she used to blend to pop, RnB and trip-hop or sang an anthem to her heritage as well in 2004, in Força, during the Euro a time when Portugal lost terribly. Contrary to Rosalia who built her career upon the exploitation of the Gypsy minority, and later the Afro-Latinos for her “Latin trap”, Furtado was one of the first modern Iberian musicians to export traditional Portuguese sounds into a genre made for the American market. Other bands such as Matmatah in France did not hesitate to mix rock with their traditional Celtic sounds.
Why was traditional music erased, then?
As new waves of immigrants arrived during the 2000s, and as the debates regarding identity became more and more present, the representation of European cultures was perceived as a form of racism which excluded the other minorities. The musicians were too white, not mixed enough and the purpose of globalism is to destroy the distinctions, the cultural differences, replace them or create a new mix which opposes to the first one. The authorities, thus, created a South within Western Europe. It was more than important for the leftists corporations and the right-wing parties to join and support atlantism at the expense of their people, so as not to hurt the immigrants. Yet, this disappearance contributed to the lack of respect from the immigrants towards the Western Europeans who, with no culture left, are perceived as weak and fragile. In that sense, other white people such as the Albanians, the Serbians, though less rich than the French (and less arrogant) did keep their culture and music, along as the Corsicans, the colonized island close to Sardegna, for they always had a spirit of anti-colonialism within them.
Interestingly, the Western Europeans had always mocked and despised the Eastern Europeans, regarding them as backwards individuals opposed to progress and technological advancement. Ironically, it is these Eastern and Southern Europeans who managed to protect their original traditions and not the Westerners who have become the uncivilized and lost creatures who sold themselves out for capitalism. Modern day Sardinians, Sicilians, Corsicans, Portuguese, Greeks or Serbians and Albanians have preserved the legacy of their ancestors and for this, the immigrants fear them and respect them more for it.
Rap music has, somewhat also played an important role in the preservation of such sonorities. French bands from Marseille such as I AM or La Fonky Family always represented their Mediterranean cultures. In Naples, the band Co’Sang, whose former members Luchè and Nto used to rap in Neapolitan were despised but favored the protection. And even if Italy has been Americanized, the Neapolitan pride and culture remains as Southern Italians were the victims of colonialism from the Northern Italians, an event which led to the bloody Reunification of the country. These rappers, either incorporated traditional sounds from their country of origins (Akhenaton from I AM) or paid homage to the traditional singers who came before them (Luchè and Nino D’Angelo). In that sense, the European peoples who have been the victims of inner colonial forces proved to be the ones who have succeeded into keeping their roots, more than those who came from developed/progressive European countries.
There was a European musical essence, a heritage, before everything vanished. It is up to the parents to educate and transmit such knowledge. Not up to Instagram and Lil Nas X.
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