James Brown's Influence on African American Assimilation

Topics: Black people, White people, Funk Pages: 2 (676 words) Published: November 15, 2012
James Brown’s Influence
Music throughout history has inspired and influenced culture significantly. It defines who we are, for it is the ultimate form of expression. Over the course of time, music has developed and changed as new artists innovate and provide a new light into their scope of the art, as they inspire the further development of music. Music is the ultimate instrument of togetherness, for it has no color, it has no prejudice, and it carries no bias. Music is notorious for bringing people together in times of cultural foils and tensions. In the early 1900’s to the mid 1900’s, America struggled through a phase of protection of civil rights, and the segregating nature of the white community and the black community. America needed an entity so powerful that it could bond these two poles and bring solace to the tension between the two conflicted cultures. America needed an artist like James Brown to emerge and help the African-American community prevail and unite the two communities. James Brown inspired the further advance of African-American assimilation into American culture through his innovative methods of writing and performing music. America needed a new wave of music that could astound the black community, but all the while be accessible enough to appeal to white community. James Brown introduced a new approach to the way music was written which was revolutionary. For example, the rhythm in music was never paid as much attention to as melody and lyrics were. The most impressionable aspect of music to Brown “ was the rhythm. Rhythm is the primary ingredient of hip-hop and rap. The words come at you in cleverly crafted waves. These waves are punctuated by syncopated spaces of silence played against pulsing accents created by spoken volume or group volume. This is the same strategy used by the artists of the funk era” (Powell). No one had ever heard music emphasizing rhythm before, and all classes of people, white and black, were stimulated by...
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