Rollin’ in the D: The Adele Phenomenon & Black Music

8 Grammys, 3 consecutive number-one singles, and the heart of every music critic on Earth—that’s right, Adele has it all!  Seeing Adele sweep every award ceremony and our pockets has been somewhat gratifying for all of her fans, especially considering Adele’s 2008 debut, 19, barely cracked any sales numbers outside of the U.K. upon its initial run.

Listeners have deemed Ms. Adele some kind of modern music hero, yes? She represents not only for the “true” artists refuting the electro-flop-pop movement, but she’s also become a spokesperson for full-figured women, a pioneer of yet another British Invasion, and it’d be absolutely ignorant to not mention she’s done what everyone wishes they could do – kick their heartbreaker’s ass and get paid and praised to do so.  Adele’s pushing against a lot of odds, yes, but what about the biggest “odd” of all in the industry (and really the world)? Call it playing the race card, but could Adele honestly have all this success or even half if she were a black woman…you know, a “sista?”

What makes Adele so damn special? Of course she’s got a voice from the GODs, but it’s her “soul” that’s propelled the critical and commercial success attributed to Adele in the past year. Soul is one of those things that separates the Britneys from the Lauryns, but so are sales figures. Jill Scott, India.Arie, and Jazmine Sullivan all have soul, but who’s pushing albums out like Adele? Correct me if I’m wrong, but 21 alone has outsold all three of their careers, combined. Coincidence? Not so much.

Adele’s monstrous takeover is not a strange occurrence, especially in the American market. The fascination with whites being able to perform an act distinctively attributed to blacks is one of those things that always seems to gets pockets emptied out. Need a receipt? My two most favorite examples: Norah Jones and Eminem.

Norah’s venture into jazz with 2002’s Come Away With Me enamored everyone. It was mind-boggling to see a skinny white girl singing jazz like that.  Among several honors, the album most notably garnered eight Grammy  awards (five for Jones) and a diamond record certification from the Recording Industry Association of America.

Eminem; a white rapper – certainly not the first to do it, but definitely one of the few with the opportunity to capitalize off the heels of the rap momentum. To date, he has two diamond-certified albums, a massive heap of awards, and countless other accolades, including being honored by Rolling Stone as “King of Hip-Hop.”

As extreme as this sounds, supporting artists like Adele at the same magnitude in which artists like Jazmine are ignored continues to enforce notions of white supremacy; not in its radical sense of course, but definitely in the music scene and other arenas of entertainment. The sad truth is that whites and white music are reigning supreme; black music is pacing its way around the pits of the Hot 100 or on the charts designated for black music.

The discouraging facts about sales numbers and chart statistics is that in due time, they will inevitably be more than just a few digits. Statistically speaking, Eminem can be considered the face of hip-hop. In fact, in 50 years when the Internet and sales numbers become that generation’s primary key to the past, Eminem will more than likely be the face of hip-hop. And Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream is going to be equally compared to Michael Jackson’s Bad. Bizarre, but that’s where money goes.

So what if Adele was black? She’d be just another big black woman singing sad songs, something that’s been recognized since the early 20th century. ‘Taint nutin new to de eye, naw? She’d be struggling for even a gold-record certification. Oh, and a number-one single on the Hot 100? In her dreams! She’d get a minor Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album, a Soul Train nomination, and a feature in VIBE. Then when she switched up her sound to have a little more mainstream appeal, she’d lose her core fan base and be just another black soul singer on VH1 Soul.  No?

  • http://conrodonline.com C. Jay Conrod

    This has been going on FOREVER. Let’s go further back, shall we? Elvis Presley, the “King of Rock ‘n Roll,” was only doing what blacks had been doing for decades before him. It becomes safe for whites to accept when it’s presented by another white person. It’s silly, but it’s our reality.

    • the_bananaboat

      The difference is that Elvis did it better. And his contemporaries in the black community have said so more than once.

  • Fact Check

    Heads up. Norah Jones is Indian.

    • http://conrodonline.com C. Jay Conrod

      If we’re being specific, half-Indian.

      • Fact Check

        not trying to apply the one drop rule. im just saying, he could probably pick a better example. ideally someone who is actually a “skinny white girl”

    • Kj

      Correction: native American.

      • Fact Check

        i can’t tell if you’re trolling.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    She deserved it period.

    • Lacey_Johnson

      This has been going on FOREVER. Let’s go further back, shall we? Elvis Presley, the “King of Rock ‘n Roll,” was only doing what blacks had been doing for decades before him. It becomes safe for whites to accept when it’s presented by another white person. It’s silly, but it’s our reality.

  • KUR COL DE DAAB E NUBA

    This generation will just fall for anything. That child smokes like a chimney. They need to tell her to quit. Its not attractive or healthy.

  • http://arondastewart.com Bella

    Sadly, I agree with this article. Adele’s voice while beautiful, is no more beautiful than Jill’s or Jasmine’s. But her skin is significantly lighter… sad.

    • Tamila Shultz

      I think Adele’s voice is much better than Jill Scott’s and Jazmine’s. The reason why she’s far more successful is that she has crossover appeal. Whereas Jill Scott and Jasmine are strictly black RnB, Adele is also rock and pop. As such, she reaches a much broader audience. This is why Janet Jackson was so successful in the 80’s and 90’s. She mixed genres and therefore appealed to a much broader fan base. When she moved further into black RnB her sales shrunk. The fact that Adele is white is irrelevant.

  • Alicia

    This is why Beyonce upsets me. She deserves everything she’s earned. She’s obviously a hard worker. But she’s the designated BLACK pop star. Before her it was Janet Jackson. There can only be one and the bitch better know how to dance.

    Adele’s voice is not to be compared to Jill or Jasmine. Hell, I thinks it crazy to compare Jill to Jasmine. They are from two different schools! So is Adele. What set her apart was her songwriting. She hit hard and at the right time. The mainstream was ready for someone who wasn’t Lady Gaga.

    I acknowledge the issue but I think that Adele is a bad example. When I think about non-blacks doing black music, I think of Johnny Lang and Christina Aguilara.

  • Americanboi

    I don’t agree with this article. At all. Because you can’t wrap your mind about why someone isn’t as successful as someone who you feel is less talented your going to assume its race? Jill Scott is just OK to me. Jasmin Sullivan is good….but to say Adele is so successful mainly bc she’s white is completely ridiculous. Like STOP always using the race card. Your probably one of those ppl who think Beyonce’s so successful bc she’s light skinned. Not because she worked her ass off, perfected her craft, and pretty much had a slave master for Manager, who happened to be her father. Ugh. Black people I swear…it’s not always about race.

    • Lacey_Johnson

      Ugh white people I swear are so delusional can not realize the color of your skin plays a part

      no it’s because every time someone white sings R&B people act like it is groundbreaking just like they did in the 90’s when Christina Aguilera came out or how they treat Justin Timberlake there are black artist whose voices are ten times better than they are however skin color does play a huge part you are blind if you think otherwise Adele skin color has given her an advantage because people look at her and say wow a white girl singing soul music they did the same thing with Joss Stone it’s not about playing the race card do you realize that black female singers that are popular today are all light skin if they are not light skin they are White India white people will buy Adele’s music because they like Soul music but you won’t buy Mary J Blige music or India Arie ? Look at the group like Led Zeppelin all there hits are mostly covers of black artists songs but I bet you don’t who those artist are why aren’t they more successful it’s there song same thing with Elvis Adele is doing better than black artists with similar (if not better) vocal talents then her because she’s not confined to what black soul singers are confined to. Her songs are played on ALL radio stations, hip hop, pop, R&B etc. Singers like Marsha Ambrosius don’t have a chance in hell to receive that number of spins because their musical outlets are limited to the one or two hip hop stations in a city. Magazine covers and television shows are the same way, Marsha gets Vibe, Adele gets Seventeen, Cosmo, and Vanity Fair; it’s a numbers game.

      I love Adele but her skin color gives her an advantage of being automatically more commercial and easier to “sell” than a woman of similar stature rocking natural curls and caramel skin. That’s not playing the race card, that’s living.

    • Lacey_Johnson

      Also look at the cover of magazines like Vogue or Cosmo who do you mainly see a white female the majority of successful actresses in Hollywood are what white if she is dark skin she is playing a slave or nanny the only real black actress that has been successful is Halle Berry and she is what ? half white why do you think Jet magazine was created to show that black women can be beautiful and amazing as well it’s not just black look at Cosmo Latina they have their own thing even their own award show We praise Marilyn Monroe every single year but do you know who Dorothy Dandridge is? of course you don’t

  • glamourous

    Agree wholeheartedly with this article. YES it is about her race and if you think its not, then you need to wake up. White people love to use the word “race card” but that phrase has always been used against us, POC, to shut us up.

    We live in a society where whiteness is upheld and most definitely if Adele was black, she would not be where she is now. Point. blank. period.

    Adele throws up the bird- its “edgy”. But when MIA, a POC, does it everyone goes crazy. And if you think its not because of race then you’re probably a racist yourself.

    • the_bananaboat

      Everyone goes crazy? Really? Everyone? I don’t remember this.

      • jackie

        do you think that white artists have more value?

  • Morgan

    Most of mainstream music is African American right now. Jay Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, etc. are some of the most famous/rich artists. Because a white person is successful in music its some sort of conspiracy? Articles like this are annoying

    • Jessica Johnson

      no it’s because every time someone white sings R&B people act like it is groundbreaking just like they did in the 90’s when Christina Aguilera came out or how they treat Justin Timberlake there are black artist whose voices are ten times better than they are however skin color does play a huge part you are blind if you think otherwise Adele skin color has given her an advantage because people look at her and say wow a white girl singing soul music they did the same thing with Joss Stone it’s not about playing the race card do you realize that black female singers that are popular today are all light skin if they are not light skin they are White India white people will buy Adele’s music because they like Soul music but you won’t buy Mary J Blige music or India Arie ? Look at the group like Led Zeppelin all there hits are mostly covers of black artists songs but I bet you don’t who those artist are why aren’t they more successful it’s there song same thing with Elvis Adele is doing better than black artists with similar (if not better) vocal talents then her because she’s not confined to what black soul singers are confined to. Her songs are played on ALL radio stations, hip hop, pop, R&B etc. Singers like Marsha Ambrosius don’t have a chance in hell to receive that number of spins because their musical outlets are limited to the one or two hip hop stations in a city. Magazine covers and television shows are the same way, Marsha gets Vibe, Adele gets Seventeen, Cosmo, and Vanity Fair; it’s a numbers game.

      I love Adele but her skin color gives her an advantage of being automatically more commercial and easier to “sell” than a woman of similar stature rocking natural curls and caramel skin. That’s not playing the race card, that’s living.

    • Tamila Shultz

      Jay-Z doesn’t produce music. He produces poetry, and most of it is bad.

  • Michelle

    I pretty much agree with glamourous’s post.

    To even to assume that race has nothing to do with Adele’s success is ignorant and only tells me that you refuse to acknowledge your white privilege.

    And listing a few successful African American artists to down write off this article’s argument is like saying “i’m not racist because I have black friends.” You can miss me with that.

    And before people start bringing Michael Jackson into this to fight against this article’s argument, let me remind you that even though Michael Jackson was a mega-superstar, people still remembered he was black despite his transformation. The amount of ridicule and harassment he received reflects that. Polanski also had a child rape charge and left the country to escape being arrested. But you don’t see people giving him a hard time about that now do you?

  • UrLadyHeroin

    I think people are missing the point of the article. Adele is doing better than black artists with similar (if not better) vocal talents then her because she’s not confined to what black soul singers are confined to. Her songs are played on ALL radio stations, hip hop, pop, R&B etc. Singers like Marsha Ambrosius don’t have a chance in hell to receive that number of spins because their musical outlets are limited to the one or two hip hop stations in a city. Magazine covers and television shows are the same way, Marsha gets Vibe, Adele gets Seventeen, Cosmo, and Vanity Fair; it’s a numbers game.

    I love Adele but her skin color gives her an advantage of being automatically more commercial and easier to “sell” than a woman of similar stature rocking natural curls and caramel skin. That’s not playing the race card, that’s living.

  • White Man

    I agree and disagree. I agree, Adele would most likely not be where she is now if she was black. But lets not make hasty generalizations. Would Morgan Freeman be where he is if he was white? No. Obama? No. It comes down to opportunity. Obama had the “first black president” idea helping him. If another white girl came around singing like Adele would she get as popular? No. So to say that race plays a part is true. But to say that it only works for whites is false.
    – The Most Discriminated Demographic (aka the White Male)

    • Lacey_Johnson

      no it’s because every time someone white sings R&B people act like it is groundbreaking just like they did in the 90’s when Christina Aguilera came out or how they treat Justin Timberlake there are black artist whose voices are ten times better than they are however skin color does play a huge part you are blind if you think otherwise Adele skin color has given her an advantage because people look at her and say wow a white girl singing soul music they did the same thing with Joss Stone it’s not about playing the race card do you realize that black female singers that are popular today are all light skin if they are not light skin they are White India white people will buy Adele’s music because they like Soul music but you won’t buy Mary J Blige music or India Arie ? Look at the group like Led Zeppelin all there hits are mostly covers of black artists songs but I bet you don’t who those artist are why aren’t they more successful it’s there song same thing with Elvis Adele is doing better than black artists with similar (if not better) vocal talents then her because she’s not confined to what black soul singers are confined to. Her songs are played on ALL radio stations, hip hop, pop, R&B etc. Singers like Marsha Ambrosius don’t have a chance in hell to receive that number of spins because their musical outlets are limited to the one or two hip hop stations in a city. Magazine covers and television shows are the same way, Marsha gets Vibe, Adele gets Seventeen, Cosmo, and Vanity Fair; it’s a numbers game.

      I love Adele but her skin color gives her an advantage of being automatically more commercial and easier to “sell” than a woman of similar stature rocking natural curls and caramel skin. That’s not playing the race card, that’s living.

      And the most discriminated race is not white are you kidding me do you know how much privilege you have for simply being white the most
      discriminated are the minorities !! mainly blacks and Hispanics id you do not think so all you have to do is study is the criminal justice system which I have been doing for years and you will that being White is like gold in America I hate when white people think since it is not the 50’s or 60’s racism towards black does not exist open your eyes it is real you do not understand because you do not have to go through have you heard of WHITE PRIVELLEAGE ? no I suggest you study it

      • Lacey_Johnson

        and FYI some white girl did come singing like Adele there names are Christina Aguilera Celine Dion Joss Stone every 10 years or some white female comes along sings soul music and people think it is greatest thing ever nothing new the same thing happened with Justin Timberlake this has been going on since the 50’s starting with Elvis

        • the_bananaboat

          It may or may not be the greatest new thing, but it will reach a much larger audience.

      • Tamila Shultz

        You should start using periods. You have far too many run-on sentences.

        Black singers are often not as popular as white singers because many of them stay within the limited scope of traditional black rhythm and blues. While popular, I do not like Christina Aguilera. I find her music to be far too poppy. I don’t like Jill Scott, Joss Stone, India Arie, or Mary J Blige because I don’t care for that type of music. However, I do enjoy singers like Adele, Pink, and Annie Lennox because they haven’t limited themselves to just one genre. There are elements of rock in there and this is what appeals to most white fans.

        While Led Zeppelin did cover some black songs and borrow/steal parts of other songs in the beginning of their career, most of their hits were originals.

        Elvis was more successful with the black songs that he covered for 2 reasons. His versions were better and he reached a much larger audience. At that time most white people were not listening to black artists and groups. The covers done by the Beatles were generally better than the originals as well.

        Adele does have the advantage in that most people assume that her music will be more appealing to a wider range of fans than a black woman would.

        Currently the most discriminated against would be the white male. Liberals are doing everything they can to denigrate the white male on every side. If you are white and male many consider you to be evil by default.

        Most crimes are committed by poor people. Most blacks and a smaller percentage of Latinos are poor. Black culture is far more violent than white culture. Young black people end up fighting constantly to survive on the street whereas most white people live peacefully and safely in their neighborhoods. The end result is that black people commit far more crime in general and far more violent crime specifically than white people based on population totals. This is why there is a much higher percentage of black people in jail or prison.

        Racism against any group is still alive and well. I am Samoan, which is neither white nor black. As such, racists assume that I must be on their side. Black racists assume that I must hate whitey since I am a woman of color and white racists assume that I must hate blacks since all the things that annoy them about blacks must annoy me as well. So both feel free to express how they feel around me. I can say without a doubt that black people in general are far more racist than whites. Most white people have moved on from the racism of the past while black people are still stuck there. Black society today is where white society was in the 1950’s. Give it another 20-30 years and black society will have caught up with white society. As long as you hold on to your hate you will never be free of bondage.

        • Zico

          By larger audience white,I suppose.

        • the_bananaboat

          Yes, with so many more white Americans out there it’s to be expected that they would be the dominate audience based on sheer numbers. White Americans decide what is and is not popular. That may change some time in the future, but that is the way it is now.

        • Zico

          Are you sure about that violence crap maybe you should ask the Native American indians,or the aboriginal Australians about white culture being more violent than black culture

        • the_bananaboat

          Over 90% of the Native Americans died from diseases that they contracted through the whites, blacks, and Asians that they had contact with. Many whites, blacks, and Asians died from diseases they contracted from the Native Americans as well. Most whites were not fighting the Native Americans. That was mainly the Union Army. Most whites, blacks, and Asians were just trying to survive. Poor people are far more likely to commit crime and most black Americans are poor, so they live in a violent culture. Some of that is caused by police brutality, but most of it is caused by black people. Black Americans are the most dangerous foe of black Americans. It’s sad, it sucks, but it’s true.

  • Mrlinx

    What’s funny is that white people will buy Adele’s records because they like soulful singing but the majority of them could care less about previously mentioned artists like Indie Arie or Jill Scott. Someone mentioned earlier that it has been like this for a long time and gave the example of Elvis Presley (a very good example I might add). I would like to interject the example of Vanilla Ice. I’m a 70’s baby so I was a teenager when Vanilla Ice came out and I can distinctly remember white kids who professed to HATE rap rockin “Ice Ice Baby” loud as hell in their cars, headphones, radios, and tape players. Don’t lie white people because y’all know I’m right! That’s why you’re smiling as you’re reading this right now…LMAO!!

    • Tamila Shultz

      I’m not white, but I like Adele because she writes well, sings well, and blends genres. She is like a throw-back to the 80’s singer-songwriters. I do not like India Arie or Jill Scott because they’re just black RnB, which is limited. Elvis Presley covered many songs and he always made sure to give credit where credit was due. His covers were pretty much always better than the originals. This was true of the Beatles as well. I remember when Ice Ice Baby came out as well. It had a good beat because the original source (Queen/David Bowie) was good. Unlike most rap out at that time, it crossed genre’s. Personally, I think rap died in the mid 90’s. Most of the rap that came out after that that I liked was hybrids. Rap mixed with dance, rock, or metal.

      • yaoi queen

        Adele doesn’t blend genres… She’s strictly soul. Elvis doesn’t get credit because he copied black artists.

        Ice Ice Baby was garbage. It’s just like other rap songs, but it has a white guy rapping. Go figure.

        Rap did in the 00s, but it was revitalized in the 10s.

        • the_bananaboat

          Adele blends soul, rhythm & blues, pop, and rock. They are separate genres. Elvis was no different from anyone else. Both white and black artists copied each other. Elvis made a point of giving credit where credit was due every time. Ice Ice Baby was a pretty good song, but then the music was created by an actual band (Queen). It came out in 1990, but was written in 1983. This was the beginning of the widespread appeal of rap. Without white people (the overwhelming majority) black music doesn’t make it most of the time. Like Rock music, it took white people to reach the majority. Rap has been very lame since the mid 90’s. Pretty much everything that has some out since then has been mediocre garbage.

        • yaoi queen

          Adele mostly sings soul. I don’t remember her singing any rock songs. I can see a mix of pop though.

          Elvis is white, which is why he got the fame.

          It was mostly white artists copying black artists though.

          “Without white people (the overwhelming majority) black music doesn’t make it most of the time. Like Rock music, it took white people to reach the majority.”

          That’s kind of the problem though. Black people create music and it’s all, “meh.” When a white person copies it, all of a sudden it’s “pure fucking genius!”

        • the_bananaboat

          Elvis was seen because he’s white, but he made it because he was talented. Both white and black singers, musicians, songwriters, and performers are inspired by and borrow from each other. Listening to something, getting inspired, and the creating your own thing is not the same thing as copying. I will ignore cases like Pat Boone, which was terrible.

          The reason why black music in the USA can’t make it without white people is because white people make up over 72% of the population of the USA. There simply are not enough black Americans out there to buy an album to make it successful. It’s not a problem. It’s just reality. Some music is meh and some of it is genius, regardless of race.

          A good example of this would be New Edition vs The New Kids on the Block. New Edition was cheesy bubble gum pop. The songwriting and lyrics were simply and silly. And the timing was wrong. Then New Kids come out a few years later and they’re far more successful. They were better singers, the songwriting and lyrics were better, it wasn’t as cheesy, and the musical landscape had changed. I wasn’t a fan of either. I’m a rocker chick, but I could see the difference. Of course Bel Biv Devoe came out after that and they were much better than either.

        • yaoi queen

          This conversation is over to be honest. I don’t care to talk about it. I’ve said my piece and I’m done at this point.

        • the_bananaboat

          That’s fine. I’ll accept the win.

        • yaoi queen

          So because I don’t want to repeat myself like a Parrot for a troll, I lost? Lol, accept your “win” then.

        • the_bananaboat

          Repeating yourself wouldn’t help. You would still be wrong.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748266203 Robin Whyonearth

    Interesting. I came to this site after a google search of “what do black people think about adele” and found another subject entirely. While I agree that if Adele were African American, she’d have a thoroughly different career, I think the article misses the point. Adele is a unique combo of great soul, great voice, and here is the kicker: working class. She is as working class to the core, and that’s what makes her special. If Adele were identical in every way, other than she had a posh accent or came from privilege, her career would be nowhere.

    What if Nina Simone were the same in every way, but was happy and cheerful, married to a great guy for 40 years? What then? What if Dinah Washington had been drop dead beautiful with great skin? Would her voice have the soul? What if Sarah Vaughn was from Spain? What if Aretha’s career had started in 2012, you think she’d sell any records today, without the video-friendly model good looks of Alica Keyes or Beyonce? I’m not so sure.

    Like my grandmother used to say, If I had wheels, I’d be a bus.

    Adele is a star. She’s the real deal. Being a star (sorry if this sounds corny but here goes) is this special alchemy of something indescribable. It’s not enough to have talent. You have to have a talent for talent. That something extra. Nobody knows what it is, but we can all see greatness when it’s in front of us.

    Judy Garland was white, Streisand is white, and either of them would be ranked well above 99% of African American singers… not because they’re white, but because they are stars. But Billie, Ella, Sarah, Dinah would also be ranked above 99% of African American singers. (The “greatest” list of all singers is largely black, though, everyone would agree.)

    But as for the great Billie Holiday, who most people, including me, rank as the best number one awesomest ever, did you ever think about how her voice wasn’t that great? I mean, can you compare her voice to Sarah Vaughn’s or Ella Fitzgerald’s? You can’t. It’s a thin and reedy, plain voice. Yet it is the greatest voice of the greatest singer who ever lived. It channels magic from the Gods. Like I said, it’s that weird something different thing, that makes a star.

    It’s rare air up at the top, and Adele’s position up there isn’t because she’s white.

    • Lacey_Johnson

      If you do think the color of your skin plays a part if your serious than you are sadly mistaken what is going on with Adele is the same thing that happened with Elvis

      He get’s all the credit for being this Rock God but he didn’t write his own music could barely play an instrument all he did was sing black music it got famous off of the that look at all the big rock big bands the beatles, led zeppelin, the rolling stones people say that they are the founders of rock but have no idea who Muddy Waters is or Led Belly the fact of the matter is when someone white sings “black music” they get more credit the color has a huge impact just your eyes why do you think the majority of successful female singers are all light skin or black when was the last time you have seen a dark skin singer exactly even Brandy takes about how she still has a hard time due to her skin being darker

      There is nothing new or ground breaking about Adele every 10 years or so a white female comes out singing soul music and people treat her like the second coming of Jesus they did the same thing with Celine Dion Christina Aguielra Joss Stone and now Adele if she was black she would just be another fat black women singing soul music why isn’t Jazmine Sullivan as famous ? or Emile Sanders there voices are just as good and can put on a good show

      • Tamila Shultz

        Few artists of the 1950’s wrote their own songs, so that doesn’t mean anything. Elvis sang music and he sang it well. He was a massive fan of black music and gave them all the respect in the world. If he covered a song he gave proper credit. Back then the labels owned the songs and they decided whom to allow to cover something. The artist or group didn’t have a say in the matter. Elvis is the King of Rock because he was extremely talented and he brought Rock n Roll to the masses, which means white people.

        People known who the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and The Rolling Stones are because they made amazing covers of old songs and then later created amazing original songs on their own. They deserve all the respect they receive. They are not considered the founders of rock, but rather bands than came later and added to the tapestry of the rock experience. A casual fan will not care about whomever came first. They’re in the now and only care about the now. Whenever that may be. A more serious fan will have taken the time to not only understand the artist’s or groups music, but also whomever influenced them. They would know Muddy Waters and Lead Belly. However, those men are not Rock n Roll. They’re the blues. Most fans of Rock n Roll are not fans of the blues from that era.

        Most black singers limit themselves by singing just black RnB. When they do this they will almost never cross over onto other charts. Most white singers that sing RnB also sing rock and pop. Brandy is an example of this. She only sings black RnB and has little crossover appeal. Since black people make up at most 13% of the total population anything that has limited crossover appeal will fail to sell well. Celine Dion is a pop artist. Christina Aguilera is a pop artist. Joss Stone is black RnB (regardless of the fact that she’s white) and as such her appeal is limited. This is true with Jazmine Sullivan and Emile Sane as well. They’re strictly black RnB and therefore have limited crossover appeal. I think Adele has a better voice than either of them.

        • yaoi queen

          Rihanna sings pop, but people STILL put her in the R&B category. Black people no matter what will still be put in the R&B and rap category unless they’re obviously rock.

        • the_bananaboat

          R&B stands for Rhythm & Blues. This is an offshoot of Rock music.

        • yaoi queen

          There is a difference between them though. Also what does that have to do with Rihanna singing pop with the occasional mix of rap in it, but they put her as an R&B singer?

        • the_bananaboat

          I have no control over that. The labels do what they do in order to maximize sales. Sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re wrong. Racism is not a factor here. The only thing that matters to them is green. If a hippo or a tiger could sing and make money they would promote them and sell them. Almost nobody cares about race. Those people care about money.

        • yaoi queen

          I was proving that the entertainment world is racist. Also you can control it since white people are the majority, they would have a bigger protest power.

          The people buying their stuff cares about race, so…

          Also, why continue to put black people in R&B/Rap categories when they obviously sing another genre, again Rihanna.

        • the_bananaboat

          You cannot prove that the entertainment world is racist. You can only offer up your opinion that they are. That is not proof of anything.
          How can I control this since white people are the majority? I’m not white. I’m Samoan. I’m from a much smaller racial minority than you are.
          People buy music because they like how it sounds. The race of the group or artist is irrelevant. Or are you saying that you don’t buy music from artists or groups if they’re not black?

          The music industry doesn’t care about race either. It’s all about making money and they promote whatever they think will sell. They have and will make mistakes, but money is the deciding factor. Rihanna is as big as she is because the overwhelming majority of Americans do not care about race. They don’t care that she’s black. That being said, black female singers tend to stick to black American rhythm and blues whereas most of their white counterparts do not. Black American RnB has limited appeal. It’s just music, and the driving factor is money.

        • yaoi queen

          You can, when you see how they treat white people vs minorities.

          “I’m from a smaller minority!” This isn’t oppression olympics.

          How can they like it, if they haven’t heard it? Black music doesn’t always play on mixed radio stations/mainstream radio stations. How can you like something, you’ve never even seen/heard?

          Rihanna is big because of her fashion and personality. She had to be super iconic in order to be mainstream.

          Some black singers are pop, but the award shows put them in R&B/Rap to placate them.

        • the_bananaboat

          Like I said, it’s all about the money. White artists and groups sell better than black artists unless they have crossover appeal. Right now rap is dominant and so it has a lot of crossover appeal. Traditional black RnB doesn’t have nearly as much crossover appeal. Race has nothing to do with their choices. Money does. It’s all about the Benjamin’s Green is the only color that matters.

          “This isn’t oppression Olympics” I never said that I was oppressed. My people never whine or cry over any perceived slight. We never pull the race card. I mentioned my race because you said that I could control something because whites are the majority.
          The music industry and radio stations play whatever they believe will have the most appeal. Traditional black RnB has never had wide appeal. Those that did have a wider appeal made it on to the radio. The industry makes their decisions based on what they think will make money. Some decisions are wise and some are poor. Race is not a factor. Youtube has changed things quite a bit. Artists and bands have more exposure than ever before. Racism is not involved.

        • yaoi queen

          BLACK R&B doesn’t have the crossover appeal. It’s like with big lips. Big lips are on damn near all women of color. It didn’t become a thing until a white woman, Angelina Jolie, had them.

          “We never pull the race card.”

          That’s something the majority of white people do. *Me complaining about racism in a topic about race.* “Stop pulling the race card!” *White guy randomly tells racist joke at the SITE of a person of color. People call him out and he says, “This wouldn’t be a problem if I were a person of color talking like that about a WHITE guy!”

        • the_bananaboat

          I’m not white, I’m Samoan. So when I said “we” I meant Polynesians in general and Samoans in particular. We never pull the race card. Black R&B is a cultural phenomena and doesn’t have wide appeal, but it does have some crossover appeal. Typically the artists who’s music is further away from the cultural base has the largest crossover appeal. This is why Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson or Whitney Houston had such success on the R&B and Pop and Rock charts or why Shania Twain had success on the Country and Pop charts. The same is true of many other artists. Hall & Oates and Queen were very popular on the Pop, Rock, and R&B charts. As far as big lips go, all races have them. Whatever a society finds attractive or preferable changes over time. Since this society is dominated by whites it’s not surprising that a white woman would make it more popular.

          Telling racist jokes is wrong no matter where you are, which race you’re from, or whom you’re talking about. That being said, I’ve seen it from first hand experience where black racism against whites was ignored or even tolerated. As a person of color that isn’t white I see and hear a great deal that you do not see and hear. Most Americans are not racist. Society has progressed to the point that most have moved on from that, assuming that they were ever racist to begin with. When I do run into racist people it’s interesting. The black racists assume that as a woman of color that I must hate whitey as much as they do and the white racists assume that black people must annoy me as much as they annoy them. Both of them are wrong, but that’s what they assume. So they speak more freely about their racism around me. They assume that I will be on their side. But that is not how my people (Polynesians) work. We judge others based on the strength of their character. We do not care about their skin color. My oldest son is married to a black girl. My second son is dating a Chinese girl. My oldest daughter is dating a white guy. I do not care about their race, but I do care if they’re quality people.

          You will always find rude, obnoxious, ignorant, hateful people out there. You have to ignore them. Some people are just fucked up, but most are not.

        • yaoi queen

          Pop music has not strayed from the cultural base and it’s popular. I wonder why that is?

          All races do not have big lips. Big lips are mostly found on people of color. That’s why when white people did black face, they made the “lips” prominent. The white people who were the first to have them were ethnic white people: Greek, Italian, etc. who mixed with people of color.

          In a majority black crowd, then typically yes, but in a majority white crowd? Hell no, they’ll rant for days.

          America is still racist. Bish, are you like currently in America? If not, then do you have a television and watch American news? Do you go on Social Media? I’m curious… They still are racist, but they hide it now. Racism is frowned upon if you are overt, so micro-aggressions occur.

          It’s not about hating whitey. It’s about being aware that racism is now over. If you want to continue to live in a bubble then that’s fine, but I refuse to live in a bubble.

        • the_bananaboat

          Pop music simply means whatever is popular at the moment. It can and will change quite rapidly. It doesn’t care about any particular cultural base. In the early 80’s it was dominated by hard rock, metal, pop rock, and European new wave and electronic music. In the late 80’s that switched to pop metal, pop rock, and eurodance. This continued on into the 90’s and added grunge and rap started to come on strong. The late 90’s added post grunge, more rap, nu metal, and the boy bands. Race had nothing to do with any of this. Almost nobody in the industry cares about race. It’s all about the money.

          All races do have big lips on a percentage of the population, but they are more prominent on people of color.

          Of course the white people would rant about racism against them. All races would have a problem with this. Racism is a product of the mentally and emotionally weak. A racist person is lacking in strength, integrity, respect, understanding, and character. A racist person is afraid and they compensate for this fear by lashing out at anyone that is different. The race is the racist is irrelevant.

          Yes I live in the USA, and don’t call me a Bish. Of course there are still racists out there. What I said was that most Americans are not racist. I then went on to explain how black and white racist react around me, so clearly I am aware of the fact that there are racists our there. We all must rise above that BS. We must be better than that. I do not hate anyone based on race. In fact, I do not hate anyone at all. It takes up far more time and energy than I’m willing to spend on that.

          I do not live in a bubble. That would be contrary to my career as a psychiatrist. It is very important that I am very aware of human behavior and my surroundings. If you assume that people of other races hate you then you will find racism against you, even when it’s in your head. You need to be better than that. Just let that BS go.

        • yaoi queen

          Pop music is the sweet bubble gum music. Sure it meant popular music when it first came out, but not it’s just that sweet bubble gum music.

          They are more prominent on people of color, exactly.

          You can’t be racist against white people. You can be prejudice, but not racist since they hold most of the economical, political, and social power.

          Most Americans are racist, but they hide it. I try to be open minded, but it doesn’t work out. Sure some people of every race is nice, but that doesn’t negate that there are those who are racist. Hell even the ones that like me as a friend/girl friend are racist.

        • the_bananaboat

          Actually you can most definitely be racist against white people. Racism is the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. It is prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. It is the hatred of others based solely on the color of a person’s skin. Having any economical, political, or social power over them is not required. What you are describing is racial discrimination, which is an expression of racism, but only an aspect of it. You’re describing a small part of the whole. If a person of color assumes things about white people because they are white and/or hates them because of it then they are racist. You can hate white people, I can hate white people, and other races can hate white people. This is all racism. You are repeating a lie that you have been told by black racists that are attempting to excuse their behavior, but if you look at the meaning of the word you can see that it is wrong.

          As a psychiatrist the study of the mind and human behavior is my specialty and my passion. It is human nature to be unsure about and insecure around people that are different from you, with race being a very obvious difference. Most of us get over that by intellectually thinking it through and realizing that we are being irrational. The instinct to be suspicious is there, but we are so much more than our instincts and we overcome that. This is why racism, or the hatred of others based on race, is almost always a tool of the intellectually limited. Most people are not racist. Most white Americans do not care that you are black or that I am Samoan. Most blacks do not care that white people are white. Because of the lingering side effects of slavery, black American culture has not caught up white American culture concerning racism. Most whites have moved on from the racism of the past, if they were racist to begin with. They have rejected the racism of their parents, grandparents, or great grandparents.

          If you run into people and you assume that they are racist then you will have many misunderstandings in life. Since my people value character so much more than skin color that is how we judge others. This is more than likely a result of the fact that our culture was isolated and developed by itself in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

        • yaoi queen

          You can’t be racist against white people. Racism is race vs race. Even if all people of color in Europe and America teamed up, they would still have smaller numbers than white people. Notice I said Europe and America because those are the most powerful countries with the most social and economical power.

          http://www.dailydot.com/opinion/reverse-racism-doesnt-exist/

          http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/07/8-things-white-people-race/

          You CAN be prejudice against white people, but not racist.

        • the_bananaboat

          Then you’re ignoring the meaning of the word. Power is not required to assume things about others based on race and hate them for it. The sources you provided are opinions and opinions are not facts. I am using the actual concrete, set in stone, undeniable dictionary definition of the word. By using nothing but the facts any emotional bias is removed. My statement stands.

          “Racism is the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. It is prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. It is the hatred of others based solely on the color of a person’s skin. Having any economical, political, or social power over them is not required. What you are describing is racial discrimination, which is an expression of racism, but only an aspect of it. You’re describing a small part of the whole. If a person of color assumes things about white people because they are white and/or hates them because of it then they are racist. You can hate white people, I can hate white people, and other races can hate white people. This is all racism. You are repeating a lie that you have been told by black racists that are attempting to excuse their behavior, but if you look at the meaning of the word you can see that it is wrong.”

          These are the hardcore facts. No opinions, but actual facts. The opinions expressed on the links are BS. You have bought into a lie. You have been hoodwinked.

        • yaoi queen

          The racism definition is wrong. That’s stereotyping.

          Racial discrimination is discrimination against people because of racism. You have to have power for BOTH definitions.

          People of color hating other races is prejudice and bigotry, not racism.

          What you’re saying isn’t a hardcore fact, it’s the wrong definition of racism. Racism is race vs race, and only one race wins in that aspect.

        • the_bananaboat

          Then you’re ignoring the dictionary, which is the ultimate source of definition of any word with no bias of any kind. You are expressing your opinion whereas I’m providing the ultimate, undeniable source of information. If you cannot figure that out then you’re truly confused and cannot be reached. You cannot be any more wrong. There’s no “wrong definition”. It is THE definition of racism. Anyone from any race can be racist against anyone from any other race. Power over them is not required. If you believe that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races then you are a racist. If you practice prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism against someone of a different race based on the belief that your own race is superior then you are a racist. If you hate others based solely on the color of their skin then you are a racist.

          What about countries where people of color are the majority and control the system? Can black Africans be racist against other races? Can East Asians be racist against other races? Can South Americans be racist against other races?. You have been lied to and you have bought into that lie. Now you’re digging in your heels. Can you be racist against me? You’re black and I’m brown. Can you hate my brown skin? What about the racial hatred between blacks and Latinos or blacks and east Asians? They don’t have any power over each other and yet many of them are racist against each other. All races can be racist against any others.

        • yaoi queen

          The dictionary isn’t biased? Are you not aware of the people who wrote the dictionary. Hint: a white male wrote the dictionary.

          Power does come into play when talking about racism. Racism is race vs race. Believing all members of a race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race is stereotyping. You’re shoving the definition of stereotyping down my throat and saying it’s racism. Hate based on skin color is bigotry.

          African, Asian, and South American countries don’t have that much power. The most powerful countries are the European countries, Australia, and the United States/Canada. They have the most power.

          I can’t be racist against you and you can’t be racist against me. Hating your skin color would make me a bigot. Hatred is prejudice, not racist.

    • Lacey_Johnson

      hell even look at the majority of magazine you see today Vogue Cosmo who is on the cover a white female why do you the minorities created their own magazine Jet magazine for black women they have Latina Cosmo Now because mainstream is not for the minorities it is mainly for whites

  • Bobbie Wayne

    what a cow. thinking she is a beautiful bird…more like a mite infested Turkey.

    • Tamila Shultz

      Actually she is very beautiful. The fact that she’s fat is irrelevant.

  • ANON

    I disagree, the fact that there are so few white people that actually rap or sing jazz or other “black” things and becomes success full points more to to talent than to racism. Eminem is talented, Adele is talented and so is Norah Jones. Eminem is also not the face of hip-hop he is up there but I think more people would consider black artist like Tupac and Biggie and Run DMC and others to be the face of hip-hop.

  • Josiah

    Eminem for example, is not by any means the MOST talented. There are hundreds of Black rappers, both old and new, signed and unsigned, that are much more capable. So why has he, a White rapper, been crowned the “King of Hip Hop” by Rolling Stone? This is not simply about talent. White Supremacy truly is at play here. Same goes for Adele. Jasmine Sullivan has a warm, deep, golden voice to die for, and is also not stick skinny and yet, she hasn’t achieved nearly the amount of success that Adele has in our White dominated, Eurocentrist culture of the West. Face it: White Supremacy is at play. It *always* is.

    • the_bananaboat

      White people represent 72% of the total population of the USA. They outnumber all racial minorities combined by almost 3 to 1. Of course they dominate the culture. Deal with it. Dominating a culture by overwhelming numbers is not at all the same thing as having a system of racial supremacy. Europeans established the culture, and so we have a European dominated culture. You have a couple choices. Blend with the rest of us and be an equal or leave. Any time you ever take a rag such as Rolling Stone magazine seriously you have failed and failed miserably.

      • Josiah

        “White people represent 72% of the total population of the USA. They outnumber all racial minorities combined by almost 3 to 1. ”

        True.

        “Of course they dominate the culture. Deal with it. Dominating a culture by overwhelming numbers is not at all the same thing as having a system of racial supremacy.”

        Since you want to get savvy, where in my previous comment did I ever say this? Where did I ever specifically state that Eminem or Adele are more popular and acceptable to the mainstream because White people are the majority? Quote me please.

        “Europeans established the culture, and so we have a European dominated culture.”

        No, darling. Europeans established the American state (after invading an already inhabited landmass and enslaving Africans) but they did not establish the “culture”. One would have to be totally ignorant to believe this. “American culture” is and always has been a combination of various cultures, including Native and Black cultures, and in more recent times, Asian cultures. Furthermore, American pop culture is HIGHLY influenced by African American culture. Almost every popular American musical genre was created within or strongly influenced by Black communities, including Rock & Roll and Pop.

        “You have a couple choices. Blend with the rest of us and be an equal or leave.”

        What a typical, unsurprising comment. Chile, what are you talking about? Why is it that every time someone critiques the status quo, some hollering hit dog rolls in and tells that person to either accept everything the way it is, even if it is broken and in need of change (or at the very least, dialogue) or leave? I don’t need to go anywhere. I have every right to question and critique the establishment. If you don’t like it, why don’t you leave? What does it mean to blend in? To shut up and never question why things might be the way they are? Gross, no thanks.

        “Any time you ever take a rag such as Rolling Stone magazine seriously you have failed and failed miserably.”

        And yet, the magazine has always held a very influential role in pop culture. It’s such a rag that it’s being launched in various countries worldwide.

        • the_bananaboat

          Rolling Stone crowned Eminem the King of Hip Hop. You said that this was a case of white supremacy. It is not. It is simply an opinion. Then you said “our White dominated, Eurocentrist culture of the West”. So I said of course they dominate the culture, because they are the majority. Eminem and Adele are more popular for this reason. They’re white, and white Americans dominate the culture. This is not an example of white supremacy.

          Europeans established the current culture. The cultures of the Native American nations were mostly oppressed, squeezed out, or died out. Over 90% of Native Americans died from diseases that they contracted from whites, blacks, and Asians that they had never developed antibodies to. Many whites, blacks, and Asians died as well, but this was not their base. They could always have more come over, whereas the Native Americans didn’t have any place to go. Most of the other Native Americans were wiped out by war, massacre, famine, or other causes. The dominant American culture is predominantly European. American culture is a blending of many cultures, but it is dominated by Europeans.

          During the height of slavery 1.4% of white American men owned a slave. Owning a slave was expensive and very few could afford to buy one, much less several. This means that the overwhelming majority of white Americans at that time did not own a slave and that as more and more whites came to the USA a smaller and smaller percentage of white men owned a slave. Over 80% of the slaves that were brought to the Americas went to South and Central America.

          “some hollering hit dog rolls in”. I’m guessing that this was a typo?
          At some point questioning and critiquing devolves into whining and crying. Blending in means stop setting yourself apart and playing the victim. Using hyphenated labels to identify yourself (and I’m not saying that you do) is an example of not blending in. If you cry too much people will stop listening.

          Rolling Stone may be entertaining, but it should never be taken seriously. The Enquirer and The Sun are very popular, but they’re rags as well.

  • http://www.anishinaabekwe.com/ Cecelia Rose LaPointe

    I am all for some Phyllis Hyman a true soul sister! Also check out some Indigenous/Native hip hop and other amazing music — http://rpm.fm

  • the_bananaboat

    None of those women sing like Adele. Christina Aguilera sings cheesy pop. There’s very little substance there. Celine Dion sings adult contemporary, which is a different genre. Joss Stone would like to think that she’s black and so she sings like black girls. I’m not a fan of any of them since they don’t sing what I like. Elvis and Timberlake have talent and it came/comes through in their music.