Do it for the culture.
Move the culture forward.
We own the culture.
But what is “the culture”?
We label so many things “culture”, but what does that even mean?
Often times we see culture reference entertainment, art, cuisine, and fashion here in America. But is that what we mean when we use that term? Let’s break it down:
According to Webster’s Dictionary, Culture, by definition, means:
- the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.
- that which is excellent in the arts, manners, etc.
- a particular form or stage of civilization, as that of a certain nation or period: Greek culture.
- development or improvement of the mind by education or training.
- the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group: the youth culture; the drug culture.
- Anthropology. the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another.
As a Native Black Descendant of Slaves here in America, the culture that I hail from was born from traumatic resilience in the face of colonizing atrocities. My ancestors were forced to create a culture anew because their native rites, rituals and practices were stripped from them. And people who use such terminology as “do it for the culture” share that same lineage as I do.
So where does that place us today, Jazzmyn?
I’m glad you asked.
More often than not, Native Black culture in America is often reduced to achievements, progression and innovation in the entertainment industry, particularly that in music. Pop, rock, country, rhythm and blues, funk, jazz, soul, and hip-hop have all sprung from the experiences and expressions of Native Black people and throughout the decades we’ve used them to tell and re-tell countless stories and dreams and aspirations and fears and hopes. Music has been a solid vehicle in which we have made efforts in humanizing our experiences and show you how to get down and have a good time.
Culture today means something a bit different, I think.
Yes, it is appreciation of where we have come from as a community, but in today’s terms, to do it for the culture recurrently and covertly refers to silent rebellion against status quo.
Lemme break it down:
In the face of systematic and institutionalized racism and police brutality, and the unjust rulings and treatment by the Justice System, I have seen more and more artists in the music industry create more and more content for the people to enjoy. Sure, the revolution that streaming has had on the music industry has made an incredible impact on how we consume music; nevertheless, I would assert that music, especially hop-hop, is serving as a coping mechanism now more than ever. Some of the most excellent and revered artists are known to have created their best work out of hurt and pain. I don’t think today’s music is any different. Yeah, we’re hurting. Yeah, we’re in pain. Yeah, we come from decrepit environments where all we know is scarcity and lack of access. But you know what? We like music. We like to entertain. We like to see our friends and families happy and having a good time, so we’re gonna make music that we can vibe to, music we can dance to, and let music help us get this hurt and anger off our chests.
Now are there artists who may not be in the industry with this type of purist thought? Absolutely. We’re always been the type to create the hype. But for many music artists today, I believe that they’ve found a way to have fun and feed their families, and I can’t knock that hustle.
This is one of many posts on bynkradio.com that will cover “the culture” and what it means concerning entertainment, art, how we treat each other, education, politics and faith, so please stay tuned. Let’s remember that culture, especially Native Black culture, is not a monolith and can vary and be respected across regions and dialects.
What does “the culture” mean to you? Let me know everywhere @jazzmynblu
What is “The Culture” is an original post and appeared first on BYNKradio.com by Jazzmyn Blu.