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The White Scene--Your Thoughts

Posted by - 10:47 PM on 10/31/07
Look at the most popular bands that are covered on this site: Fall Out Boy, Jimmy Eat World, Brand New, Say Anything. They all share something in common. Now bring in almost every other band that we cover and they'll all share the same thing in common: their skin color.

The punk/emo genre seems to lend itself to a predominantly Caucasian crowd. It wasn't always this way.

Take Bad Brains. They made arguably the first hardcore record with their single "Pay To Cum" in 1980 and are sources of influence for today's punk/emo icons with bands such as Minor Threat and Rites of Spring. Basement 5 was a trio from England that combined punk, dub and Metal, with Lemmy-like (Motorhead) vocals. Jean Beauvoir was an established bassist, pianist, and songwriter (The Ramones). Even Ice T's song "Cop Killer" was recorded with a hardcore/thrash band. All of them and many more were at the beginning of the punk movement and not white and all influential.

We at Absolutepunk.net want to know--if this music scene started off so integrated, what has changed about the music or the scene that has allowed it to become so cookie-cutter and predictable in terms of race?

Sure, there are bands like Gym Class Heroes, Killswitch Engage, and El Pus that feature nonwhite members, but it is still a very small percentage in a still-growing genre. Even the membership on this website is primarily white. Why do you think this type of music primarily attracts Caucasians?

Rap/R&B is stereotypically for African Americans. Rock is stereotypically for Caucasian Americans. Take every other ethnicity and it seems that they have their own stereotypical brand of music. Why do you think these musical bounds have been created--is it a product of society or is it the music? Does it even matter?


Thanks to doomcrs04 for the topic suggestion. If you choose to comment, please be respectful.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 176
10:54 PM on 10/31/07
#2
newfoundmichael
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I was just thinking about this the other day. Hopefully someone has a good answer to this question because I am baffled.
10:54 PM on 10/31/07
#3
brandnew21g
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i think its definitely a product of society, what you are exposed to, and what your friends listen to
10:56 PM on 10/31/07
#4
vandalroyale
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Electric Guitar : It speaks directly to the soul of the white person

10:56 PM on 10/31/07
#5
BlackpoolLights
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I think it has to do with how people of each race tend to "fit in" with their racial stereotype (particularly the black culture of the USA), and music is one easy way to do that.

It isn't a universal rule, by far, but it is still the majority. It probably has something to do with how each clique tends to express its emotions, what they consider normal reactions to subject matter, etc.
10:57 PM on 10/31/07
#6
Firefly Mars
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One of our members is black and fronts a pop-punk band. GCH is so awesome though. I just re-discovered ...For The Kids. I highly recommend it. I'd add more to this disscush but I am sleeeeepy.
10:59 PM on 10/31/07
#7
Domb
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Rock and Roll in general is primarly caucasian. I would say it's just because of how white people primarly started the rock genre and it will still be awhile before the numbers even out ethnically. Just like females and sports or in certain job positions like doctors.
11:02 PM on 10/31/07
#8
namembal
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For some reason I don't see a black person fronting a pop-punk band. There are a lot of metal bands for example - KsE, Suffocation etc.. But pop-punk seems a little too.. weird?
11:03 PM on 10/31/07
#9
yourlifeonfilm
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i think its image that sells
11:03 PM on 10/31/07
secretemily
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Electric Guitar : It speaks directly to the soul of the white person



Oh man, I remember seeing this...SO funny.
11:04 PM on 10/31/07
MidCal
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I think society is to blame with the racial divide in music. For example a white kid in high school who listens to rap is considered a "Wigger"and trying to be black, yet if he listened to hardcore, it would almost be considered normal. TV networks like MtV enforce these stereotypes by showing rap videos with all black people in them, or punk videos with all white people. I don't think people should be judged by what they listen to. Music is something race should never play a factor in.
11:06 PM on 10/31/07
gavinseymor
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What is "cookie cutter" and "predictable" supposed to mean when referring to the current scene thats mostly white? So what black, hispanic and asian kids don't identify with many rock bands and their messages.

do the people at AP.net identify with 50 Cent's message?

MY QUESTION TO YOU IS: why in music does it matter who or what listens to it as long as you and the artist like it?
11:06 PM on 10/31/07
guywithstik
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I don't think music is somehow relegated to your ethnicity or skin color or whatever. It just doesn't make sense that it would be the music. I think music tends to reflect an individuals own preferences, but it also reflects their own society and culture. At the same time, I'm white, and I grew up in a pretty affluent NJ suburb, but Outkast speaks more to me than a lot of the punk/emo bands that populate the genre -- does this inform anything about my society and culture? I'm not sure. Part of why I love Outkast is because they are talented musically, but part of are the ideas Outkast represents. It's an internal thing, and I don't feel like it is a product of my society, because I'm pretty sure it is unique to me.

I do see the points this article is trying to get at, and I think they are valid and relevant. But sometimes I wonder in painting these musical genres in such broad strokes, whether we're sacrificing substance (however murky or unclear it may be) for simplicity.
11:07 PM on 10/31/07
bop24buf
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why does race have to matter? im not one of those people who think racism doesn't exist anymore, but in this situation it's totally subjective. if you're black, white, asian, you can listen to fall out boy or 50 cent, and britney spears, who cares?

maybe it has something to do with the stereotypical fanbase of the genres. fans of 'emo' bands are seen as guyliner wearing pansies. fans of rap are rough and tough. if you wanna feel tough, are you gonna listen to the rocket summer, or notorious BIG? i know im babbling and basically making little sense, but basically what i mean is, i dont think its a race thing, i think its a personality thing.

what i really wanna know is how 10 year olds are listening to non radio music and going to concerts these days. when i was 10 i didnt even know music outside the radio, haha. (srry, off topic)
11:10 PM on 10/31/07
Loveisa4lttrwrd
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Rock and Roll in general is primarly caucasian. I would say it's just because of how white people primarly started the rock genre and it will still be awhile before the numbers even out ethnically. Just like females and sports or in certain job positions like doctors.
I'm going to have to disagree. Rock and Roll definitely took it's roots from African American culture. Rock is based heavily in blues and jazz, the type of music which we stereotypically categorize with black culture. The shift from that culture to the Caucasian culture is interesting but white people definitely did not start Rock.

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