Deceptions, Perceptions, and Stereotypes of Music.

Essay by SallieCollege, UndergraduateA-, October 2003

download word file, 6 pages 4.7


The purpose of this paper is to examine how different types of music are stereotypically tied to different races. The media tends to portray the audience and artists of rap music as mostly black. Also, media depicts mostly white people singing or listening to country music. While these facts are true, the music industries are not limiting their listeners to the respected race. There are millions of listeners that break the racial stereotype, as well as a few artists. Eminem, for example, is one of the most successful rappers to date and he is also white. Why would a predominantly black industry allow a white rapper to become so successful? Ironically, very few black artists attempt to break the stereotype of African-Americans and rap music. White male and female artists who aren't afraid to tell the stories of their lives dominate country music. Country songs tend to tell tales of personal subjects.

The popular country music industry has never generated a successful African-American country singer. Why are the singers and most of the listeners of the country genre white? Knowledge and understanding of how certain races feel about particular types of music is important in understanding different societal perceptions.

Literature Review


Rap music began with hip-hop around 1975 when DJs brought funk and soul records along with their turntables. They would manipulate original music to create continuous beats, which would be played at block parties. Lyricists soon stepped in, borrowing from Jamaican "toasting"-catchy rhyming over a beat (Curry, 2002).

Rap music is often associated with the urban culture. Most rappers are African-American males. African-American female rappers started to become known in the late 1980s. In the female rap tradition, there are four categories in which women rappers fit: "Queen Mother," "Fly Girl," "Sistas with Attitude," and "Lesbian." Female...