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Black Music

She told me she liked black music.
“Cool,” I said, “me too!
I love Bad Brains!
Do you like Living Colour?” I inquired.
“No, that’s not what I meant,” she replied.
“Oh, you like the blues, then.
Jimi Hendrix is really cool!
Lead Belly, Bo Diddley, B.B. King,
John Lee Hooker
Ruth Brown and Willie Brown.”
She shook her head with a frown.
“Ah, gospel then;
I have the new Blind Boys
of Alabama.  Do you
like Ben Harper, Marion Williams
or Shirley Caesar?”
“No, none of them, either.”
“Perhaps jazz?” I asked.
“Do you like Billie Holiday,
Bessie Smith, Miles Davis,
Ella Fitzgerald or Louis Armstrong?”
Her blank stare told me I was still wrong.
“No, I meant I like rap.”
“Oh,” I replied, “like Aesop Rock and the Beastie Boys?”

2 Jun 11

Rated 10 (7.2) by 5 users.
Active (5): 8, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10
Inactive (24): 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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 — unknown

clever clever, but were you just trying to spite her?
 — unknown

This was very amusing. It made me smile.
 — Io

I'm an R&B man myself, but I would NEVER equate Rap OR Hip Hop with Black Music.  The term was once used as the title of Billboard Magazine's chart in the early-mid 80's.  Then, they smartened up and changed it first to "Soul Music" and later to "R&B."  The "R&B" still sticks today as the title of said music chart(s), thankfully.  I mean, seriously...is there "White Music?"  LOL!  HELL, no!  And now that I'm here, I'll share proudly and lovingly the fact that Teena (Lady Tee) Marie, a protege of Rick James who was Caucasian had to literally "cross over" from the "Black Chart" to the "Pop Chart" a few times with her records to score a few "Pop" hits.  Additionally, she, before passing last December received the R&B Foundation's coveted Pioneer Award for a lifetime of achievement in Soul Music.  Not too shabby for a "vanilla child" whose colleagues included Chaka, Patti, Gladys and Natalie, huh?  REAL music is "colorless."
 — starr

p.s.  No other Caucasian performer has ever sung R&B more convincingly than Lady Tee.  She mastered, wrote, arranged, performed, played and produced the form very credibly.  :-)
 — starr

@ Io: Glad it brought a smile to your face... it has achieved its purpose! :)

@ starr: Thanks for the trivia!  I didn't know that about the Billboard Magazine charts.  And wasn't Lady Tee also called something like the Ivory Queen of Soul, or something like that?  Someone I'm really into right now is Adele.  She has an amazing voice.  And it's hard to categorize her into one specific genre.  She's a little R&B, jazz, blues.  If you like R&B, check out The Weeknd.  Cool stuff.
 — mtharp

"The Ivory Queen of R&B!"...Yessa!  Adele's REALLY tight!  She seems to be picking up where Winehouse left off cuz she (Winehouse) can't get her shit together.  The Weekend, huh?  I'ma have 2 ck. 'em out.  Thank YOU TOO!  Peaceout mt!
 — starr

I like 70's disco, list goes on, no I mean the Nolan Sisters, ouch !
 — unknown

Disco?  Let's stick to real music, please! ;)  I'm not familiar with the Nolan Sisters, but I'm sure they can't be good!
 — mtharp

@ starr:  Check out this tune from the Weeknd: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj8AL-CDX28.   Everything off House of Balloons is pretty cool.
 — mtharp

LMAO I loved this. Race sucks. We all look the same inside. We are so blind :(
 — Known

btw, I'm curious....Is this conversation quoted word for word. As in, did it really happen?
 — Known

Hey Known!  No, this conversation didn't really take place.  She really did tell me that she liked black music, but I simply said, "What do you mean?"  Unfortunately, I suffer from esprit d'escalier and never think of witty things to say when the occasion actually warrants it.  However, should anyone ever tell me that they like "black music" in the future, I'll be prepared! ;)
 — mtharp

wow, quite a catalog of music.  cleverly rendered poem.
 — JKWeb

Thanks JKWeb!  Much appreciated!
 — mtharp

I think you have redeemed yourself here mtharp. If in the moment you think of no clever words, write them down later and share them here.  I love reading them!
 — Known

Thanks, Known.  You're much too kind! :)
 — mtharp

Clearly a masterpiece. I like poems with a story, plus a learning bplank.
 — justicely

Thanks, justicely.  I just noticed that you and starr also added this to your list of favorites.  It brings a happy tune to my head to know that someone actually likes the drivel that I write! :)  
 — mtharp

HAHAHA!  If this is not poetic, I dont know what is.
 — Haxxen

Thanks, Haxxen!  Glad you liked it enough to add to your faves! That rocks!
 — mtharp

beautifully executed.

great ha-ha moment there. short sweet and to the point.
 — AtomBombJohn

Thanks AtomBombJohn!  Glad you liked enough to add to your favorites.  I see useine also added this to their favorites list.  You guys are mighty kind here! :)
 — mtharp

No, I meant black metal. Let's go burn a norwegian church.
 — Cerulise

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Cerulise.  Though they probably aren't considered "black metal" (at some point, labeling bands with all these sub-genres gets a little ridiculous!), I really enjoy a band called Underoath.  Incidentally, I believe they happen to be a Christian band... and they're based in the U.S., so they weren't involved with any of those Norwegian church bombings in the 90's. ;)
 — mtharp

I really really like this! very funny, you gotta chuckle outta me!
Unique writing style also!
 — TwinkleFairy

Thanks again, TwinkleFairy!  Glad this gave you a chuckle.  :)
 — mtharp

Wow, Mtharp this is poetry in itself! You commented on one of poems and provided excellent suggestions.   I was curious to read one of yours, given your poetic skills.  I love it.
 — unknown

Thanks, unknown!  I'm not so sure about my "poetic skills," but I appreciate the kind words.  Are you the author of "Eternal Waltz"?  If so, as I mentioned on that thread, my poetry pales in comparison to yours.
 — mtharp

Yes, I am the author of Eternal Waltz, and thank you again for your assistance with that poem.
 — unknown

this is bad. there are white people who sing jazz and gospel. your being just as ridiculous as the she you made up to act as though there aren't. what does it matter that there are white people who rap? if your trying to invalidate rap music thats stupid. it is just as legitimate a form of art as the others that you mentioned. every genre contains followers and posers who self-identify as the real deal. jazz perhaps more than any if you consider the ubiquity of fakeness such as elevator music. you just dont have a point worth making here and you still make it badly. theres a ridiculous amount of name dropping and pretentiousness but very little actual content. so many lines have no value. i dont mean to be too harsh because i strongly approve of the interest in art and expression that the existence of this poem suggests, but this poem is made to such a great extent from numerous different ego trips to be number 11 on top rated. people like it because it  supports their own ego trips, a situation that no art is free from. the best measure of its value is to look inside yourself and see if you can do better. let go of the vanities and impurities.
 — unknown

Sorry you didn't like this, unk.  In no way did I "made up to act as though there aren't" white recording artists who perform the various genres I mentioned.  In fact, by mentioning a hardcore punk band first (Bad Brains), that should have been obvious.  There are very few hardcore punk bands with black members!  And why would you think I'm trying to "invalidate" rap music?  I appreciate all genres of music and happen to enjoy Aesop Rock and the Beastie Boys, as well as "black" acts such as Outkast, Missy Elliot, Clipse, Saigon, Raekwon, the Neptunes, etc.  I'm sorry you misunderstood my point and were offended as a result, but I'm sure you'll eventually get over it.
 — mtharp

^^ it's weird when big ego's talk about other's having big ego's.
 — unknown

haha this is too funny!
 — Bookworm

Thanks, Bookworm!  Glad you weren't offended, but instead found the humor in this. ;)
 — mtharp

Thats a lot of punctuation .... argh
 — ghost

Hey ghost!  I had missed your comment amid all the spam.  And yeah, this thing is loaded down with punctuation, isn't it?  ;)  
 — mtharp

Well having no musical talent myself, but knowing many musicians I have heard so many conversations like this I enjoyed this thoroughly.  It tookme back to many a time two hours after a gig around a table waiting for a lift home...
I did recognise some of the names in there (I have an extensive Billie Holiday collection) but I took your point to be that classifying artists,or even people in terms of colour is pretty silly.   Couldn't agree more.  I also recognise the mockery of outsiders, which is commonplace among all ingroups, even in my own field, not something I am comfortable withbut I am not sureif you are intentionaly representing that; but because you do in this poem I am giving it a 10  
 — unknown

Thanks, unk, for taking the time to read, comment and rate.  I'm glad you valued the message and I appreciate your thoughts.
 — mtharp


Very clever :D
 — professir

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This poem should be on the poets  board walk . Its enough to intelligently turn on the modern generation to well worked out poetry.
 — justicely

Double damn! !
 — unknown

Ha. I dig this.
 — dannyprice

Lavern Baker, Brook Benton ,Lloyd  Price and Esther Phillips  some  other greats
 — unknown

humorous great talented
 — rivergood