The Impact of Black Music on Other Genres

Nowadays, any song that we listen to is inspired by a song or beat from the past. Music and song arrangements by Black musicians and producers have inspired a lot of the music that we listen to in the present. Their songs have been sampled and covered. Their beats and melodies have been in countless songs. Here are a few music genres that have drawn their inspiration from music from Black musicians and producers.

  1. 1. R&B

    The late 90s and early 2000s are considered the golden age’ of R&B. Many of the songs in our throwback playlists are R&B artists that cemented their name in music history. Some of these legends include Boyz II Men, TLC, Destiny’s Child, Mariah Carey, Aaliyah and Mary J Blige. 

  2. 2. Blue-eyed Soul

    Blue-eyed soul is an influence of African-American music performed by white people from the late 90s and early 2000s. This list of white performers includes Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse, Justin Timberlake and George Michael. 

  3. 3. Pop

    R&B had led to the rise of pop music and black music influence in pop music. Solo artists like Usher, Rihanna and Beyoncé. The popstars from this era of music history inspired countless numbers of singers and musicians into today’s music scene. 

  4. 4. Country

    Remember when ‘Old Town Road’ was nonstop played on the radio during 2019? Although we might be annoyed by that song by now, we can’t ignore the success of it and Lil Nas X in the country music industry. Despite him being a prominent figure, country music has been performed and influenced by black musicians for years.

  5. 5. K-Pop

    I know that a vast majority of the US general public don’t listen to K-pop but as an avid listener to K-Pop music, it is hard to ignore the influence of black music. When the K-Pop music industry was being developed in the late 90s, it pulled a lot of inspiration from the thriving hip-hop and R&B artists from the US. Instead of taking ownership that many white artists have done in the past and present, they took their inspiration and tap into it to turn it into something new that isn’t watered down. K-Pop and K-R&B musicians and producers often work with black music producers in the US and cite their contribution in the credits of the songs that are born from these collaborations. 

woman performing on stage Photo by Josh Rocklage from Unsplash Black music has not only been used for inspiration by many artists, but it has also been culturally appropriated by many as well. This is a dark stain on music history because time and time again, the cycle of doing the appropriation is done by an artist, they get called out by fans, they apologize and the cycle repeats again. Black Lives Matter activism is at an all-time high, and culturally appropriating is even more shameful to do now. Sadly, that doesn’t stop cultural appropriation from happening. February, being Black History Month, helps us recognize the Black artists and music producers that influenced present-day music.