“I’m taking my culture back, because Rock ‘N’ Roll is black”…
Talk about a bold statement that has caused this music video to go viral.
For somebody like myself who is of the African Diaspora (trying to be politically correct), I like listening to Rock & Roll. I was more into Punk Rock during the 00s era. Blink 182 (one of my favorite Rock bands), Linkin Park, Yellowcard, and many more were (and still are) on heavy rotation on my playlists since I was a kid. The sad thing about being black and loving Rock & Roll, is that you get shamed for being black and loving Rock & Roll. Even though you would think we’d be more accepting of it these days (like we seem to be about other things that maybe shouldn’t be acceptable), everyone is still doing what everyone was doing back in the 00s, and that’s shaming black people for liking Rock music.
When I see all the videos criticizing the meaning of this song “Rock ‘N’ Roll is Black”, it just reminds me of my younger days and how my peers attempted to make me feel like I was “NOT BLACK” simply because I enjoyed Rock music. I didn’t know me singing a rock song would change my complexion much less my ethnicity, but according to my peers, I was “TRYING TO BE WHITE.”
I’ve come across many commentators talking about Cinnamon Babe’s recent track. Some support it, and of course some feel some type of way about a black woman saying “Rock ‘N’ Roll is black.” Well of course I have my opinion as well. Here’s how I feel about Cinnamon Babe’s track…
I don’t feel she’s necessarily addressing the fact that the founders/pioneers of Rock music were black (Chuck Berry or even Jackie Brenston) and that the culture of rock music belongs to black people (even though I feel like that’s how many took it), but I feel she’s speaking on behalf of many other black people (like myself) who love Rock music but are shamed for listening to it.
You know how many of my own people (of the African Diaspora) would call me a white girl or tell me I’m “Not black” because I would enjoy the culture of Rock from the music to the dress code. I got the worst backlash from my own people. Don’t get me wrong, the Eurocentric folks (Once again, TRYING to be politically correct) had their commentary as well like “But you’re black. Black people don’t listen to rock music.”, but it was more of my Afro people that would shame me for it. Like I somehow was less black for wanting to scream at the top of my lungs to a song that expresses some form of emotion that I can relate to. So because I’m black, I’m only obligated to listen to Hip Hop or R & B music. My skin complexion somehow becomes fairer if I listen to Pop, Rock, Country, or any other style of music that my Afro people would classify as “WHITE PEOPLE MUSIC.” Do you see the ignorance here?
To me, Cinnamon Babe is speaking out on behalf of the black people who just love rock music and don’t want to feel ashamed for it. So her saying “I’m taking my culture back, because Rock ‘N’ Roll is black.” (to me) is Cinnamon Babe being that voice for other black people (such as myself once again) to know it’s ok to be black and love Rock and have no shame in it. I feel she’s vocalizing on a discussion that seems to get swept under the table quite a bit, and that’s the discussion of BLACK NOT BEING A MONOLITHIC CULTURE. How do we define being BLACK? Why is black only represented by mainly American Hip Hop culture? Why are black people (like myself, once again) considered weird because we dress with a more gothic style or talk in dialects that don’t seem “Black”? What does talking like a white girl mean??? Because we talk more proper? Well if you associate “talking like a white girl” as proper, then what do you associate “talking like a black girl” as then??? Once again, see the ignorance…
I’m grateful for this song, because it really is a great song and has created a discussion that needs to be had. The song is creativite, it conveys a bold and powerful message, and sis’ vocals fit just right for this style of music. I believe the African Diaspora needs more representation within different genres of music (Pop, Country, Rock, EDM, etc.) so that more black people can feel comfortable within being who they are, but also so we can start normalizing being black and not feeling ashamed for diversifying the culture of black.
Y’all check out this week’s Artist of the Moment Cinnamon Babe with her track “Rock ‘N’ Roll is Black.”