AFRICAN AMERICAN TRENDSETTER/AHMINA JAMES

I BELIEVE THAT AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE TRENDSETTERS IN MUSIC, FASHION, AND DANCE. I KNOW, THERE ARE OTHER ETHINICITIES WHO ARE VERY INVOLVED IN TRENDSETTING. HISPANICS, FOR EXAMPLE, CAME UP WITH REGGEATON. REGGAETON IS ORIGINATED FROM PANAMA. AND IT’S SOUNDS CONSIST OF A MIXTURE OF SALSA, BOMBA, AND LATIN POP, REGGAE, HIP HOP, AND R&B, WHICH TO ME IS VERY CREATIVE, BUT I STILL THINK THAT AFRICAN AMERICANS HAVE MORE PUBLICITY AS FAR AS TRENDSETTING. WHEN IT COMES TO DANCING IN TODAYS GENERATION, ONE OF THE MOST TRENDSETTING ARTISTS IS SOULJA BOY. WHEN HE CAME OUT WITH “CRANK THAT” EVERYONE WAS DOING THE DANCE, FROM KIDS TO GRANDPARENTS. IF YOU GO ON YOUTUBE JUST ABOUT EVERYONE COMES OUT WITH A CRANK THAT SONG AND DANCE. EVEN WITH MY FRIENDS THEY CREATE THEIR OWN CRANK THAT DANCE FOR EVERYTHING THEY DO; WHICH I THINK IS EXTREMELY WHACK. THE REASON I SAY THAT, BECAUSE YOU DON’T NEED TO COME UP WITH A “CRANK THAT” DANCE SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU BRUSHED YOUR TEETH. AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE ALSO TRENDSETTERS IN TERMS OF FASHION, WHEN MC HAMMER CAME OUT WITH THE PARACHUTE PANTS IN THE 80’S EVERYONE STARTED TO WEAR THEM. I’VE NOTICED THAT AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE TRENDSETTERS WHEN IT COMES TO MUSIC. FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN ICE-T CAME OUT WITH “6 N’ THE MORNIN” IN 1986, A SONG THAT WIKIPEDIA CONSIDERS TO BE ONE OF THE FIRST GANGSTA RAP SONG, WHICH I CAN AGREE WITH. I ALSO THINK THAT ICE-T HAD A LOT OF INFLUENCE IN THE WAY RAPPERS PORTRAY THEMSELVES IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY NOW. IT SEEMS LIKE WHEN I TURN ON THE RADIO OR GO ON YOUTUBE SOMEBODY IS TRYING TO BE A GANGSTA RAPPER; WHICH IN MY OPINION IS WHACK AS WELL. NOT EVERYBODY NEEDS TO BE A GANGSTA RAPPER IN ORDER TO MAKE A NAME FOR YOUR SELF, ESPECIALLY SINCE HIP HOP IS VERY DIVERSE. EVEN IN MY GRANDPARENTS TIME AFRICAN AMERICANS HAD A LOT OF INFLUENCE EXSPECIALLY DURING THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE. VERY FAMOUS ENTERTAINNERS SUCH AS JOSEPHINE BAKER, BILL ‘BOJANGLES’ ROBINSON AND BILLY HOLIDAY. I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS WILL CONTINUE CHANGING AND AFRICAN AMERICANS WILL HAVE SOME TYPE OF INFLUENCE IN THAT CHANGE.

I’M AHMINA JAMES WITH A COMMENTARY FOR YOUTH RADIO, YOU CAN LISTEN TO THIS COMMENTARY AND MORE ON THE WEB AT WWW.YOUTHRADIO.ORG

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