Week 6: Reading (Vasudevan)

Theft and Artistry

The article allowed me to comprehend in a more in-depth way the manner by which cultural appropriation is criticized. In response to the article, I know see cultural appropriation as the act of using another culture, apart from one’s own, to gain profit from the implementation of the foreign culture.

These situations tend to include an artist who fails to portray the culture in question appropriately, and instead, includes members of their own race to represent the cultural traits they seek to signal out.

The example given in the article was Beyonce’s and Coldplay’s song Hymn for The Weekends, whose music video was extensively criticized for wrongfully displaying Indian culture. Moreover, neither artist in a participant of the culture under scrutinization, which worsens the situation even more.

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Response:

While I enjoyed exploring the roots of reggae music and its thereafter offspring, hip-hop, I was not too engrossed by the reading as I had previous background information regarding the topic. I am also not surprised to discover that reggae was originally created as a means to express political points of views, as this is also the case for most music genres.

Music has been a means to express political discontent for years. Many artists raise awareness of immoral situations worldwide through the lyrics and melodies implemented in their music.

However, I did find very intriguing the excerpt where the author mentions:

“Every Jamaican Politician knew what every Jamaican musician knew – the sound systems were crucial to their success” (page 30).

In the previous quote, not only does the author claim music can display political points of views, but they are also stating that musicians had a direct effect on the outcome of the polls.

I partially agree with the author’s opinion, since if lyrics disclose information which had been previously out-of-reach to the public, then such a situation can have a definite impact on elections’ outcomes.

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