I believe that genres/formats of music were meant to be mixed-up, mashed-up, disassembled and put back together in new (often better) forms. The Red Hot Chili Peppers belong in this conversation.
Flea shared the following quote in the March 12, 1988 edition of Melody Maker, in an article written by Mat Smith.
“The way radio is segregated, our music is too funky for the rock stations and too rocky for the black stations. Funkadelic had that same problem especially in the early days when they were completely hard rock funk.”
He made this statement 21 years ago. I don’t think it’s much different today.
It’s amazing how segregation bleeds into art and general self-expression. And I hate the fact that Flea even has a reason to make the above statement. But it’s oh so very true; and his quote is a nice way of describing the issue.
Does a certain race have an exclusive right to a certain type of music? I say no, but I can already hear arguments for the flip-side; some that may even make a little sense.
From the same Melody Maker article, lead singer Anthony Keidis shared,
“We’ve been a band now for five years and it just so happens that we’re white but that’s irrelevant. Our music shouldn’t be categorised in terms of colour cos it really sets up barriers that are just negative and so all these years we were inspired to play funk ‘cos we grew up in America and we heard beautiful funk music so we got into our own special funk groove and people began saying to us what are you doing playing that groove when you’re white and we jut thought it was pure bulls***. People just tend to categorise us by colour with bands who we’re nothing like other than the fact that we have the same colour skin. They may as well compare us to other bands who we don’t sound like that are black.”
How do you categorize music? What assumptions do you make on an artist? On a song? I think we all have our assumptions; I’m the first to admit it.
We need to continually try and bring down unnecessary categorical walls.
Music knows no boundaries; we don’t need to try and create any for it.