How The Industry Keeps Black Artists In A Box

How The Industry Keeps Black Artists In A Box

Is Lil Nas X a country artist?

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After four years of songwriting and producing music, I typically find myself lost in my music. Although I have a myriad of songs underneath my belt, I struggle with trying to find my sound and utilizing the creative freedom that music allows. I often feel suffocated by the terminology associated with the music I create - rap. That word has weighed me down and kept me from growing as an artist. I always find myself experimenting with different genres in private, but have yet to share with the world because of the boundaries placed on my genre from external institutions. I've noticed that many other Black musicians have struggled with meshing different genres together or experimenting out of the typical realm of Black music.

Now, Black music is a dense word. African Americans have influenced the creation of a multitude of popular music genres such as, hip-hop, rock and roll, jazz, and even dubstep. Today, most mainstream and popular Black artists are rappers I would like to preface the rest of this article by saying that I believe music is fluid and I think that artists should be able to expand past the guidelines that the music industry uses to determine genres. Although many popular artists are able to effortlessly travel from one genre to another, it is mainly Black artists within the industry struggle to break through restrictions placed on them.

With the recent popularity of Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road", listeners enjoy another Black creative pushing boundaries of the music industry by meshing together country and trap. Although this genre-bending track has heavy language that is common in other country songs, it has been deemed unfit to be featured on the Billboard Top 100 Charts. Although Billboard has publicly stated that race has nothing to do with their decision, Lil Nas X's situation seems to be a reoccurring struggle that many innovative and boundary-pushing Black creatives face.

Ultimately, it is the institutions that label the music we find on top charts or see winning awards, regardless of what genre the artist claims defines their work. Post Malone, an artist who is normally associated with the hip-hop community, has personally stated that he does not see himself as a rapper as he mainly sings on most of his tracks. However, he is typically placed in both Pop and Hip-Hop/Rap categories when he is placed on charts or nominated for awards. It seems that even with Malone claiming that he is definitely not a rapper, the industry is taking the liberty of allowing him to belong in both categories. This allows him to fluidly move between the two genres effortlessly.

Although post Malone's versatility is something shared with many other genre-bending artists such as Juice WRLD, Drake, and Lil Nas X, these artists are not given the opportunity by the music industry to expand outside of their assigned boxes. Juice WRLD is a versatile artist who meshes rock and hip-hop together but has not been featured on Billboard's Top 100 Rock Chart. Drake began deeply investing in his rap career but has recently been bouncing between rap and pop music. His 2016 hit "Hotline Bling" received a Grammy for being the best rap song of the year. If you've listened to "Hotline Bling", it is not a rap song. Drake was frustrated with his Grammy win because he does not consider the song a rap song, saying, "I'm a black artist, I'm apparently a rapper, even though 'Hotline Bling' is not a rap song."

Although decisions by the Grammys or Billboard may not be racially driven, it is an theme that is reoccurring among Black creatives and causes them to feel trapped within their genre. As always, artists are always finding new ways to innovate in their field, but the music industry needs to sever the chains they have placed on Black artists specifically. Hopefully, we can see more genre-bending music in the future and they can gain the acclamation they deserve.

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80 Nicki Minaj Lyrics Perfect For Instagram Captions

"Yo, you seen my last pic, go double-tap that for me."
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Nicki Minaj lets the world know about her amazing Instagram skills in Beyonce's "Flawless," when she raps "Instagram another flawless pic." Do you have a #Flawless Instagram picture but need a clever caption to go with it? The Queen of Rap has plenty of Insta-worthy song lyrics.

*(Some lyrics have been edited to keep this article "PG". Feel free to look up the real Nicki Minaj lyrics if you hate the radio edit.)


When you want to diss a hater:

    1. "You couldn't get a fan if it was hangin' from the ceilin."
    2. "I'm throwing shade like it's sunny."
    3. "I'm in my own lane, you ain't in my category."
    4. "These (girls) couldn’t test me even if their name was Pop Quiz."
    5. "Yo, people will love you and support you when it's beneficial. I'ma forgive, I won't forget, but I'ma dead the issue."
    6. "Not that I don't got good vision, but I don't see competition."
    7. "I’m Angelina, you Jennifer. Come on (girl), you see where Brad at."
    8. "I look like "yes" and you look like "no"."
    9. "But if you're ugly it's a no text zone."
    10. "If you are my rival, then that means you're suicidal."
    11. "Shout out to my haters, Sorry that you couldn't faze me."
    12. "Trash talk to 'em then I put 'em in a Hefty."
    13. "Like I mean I don't even know why you girls bother at this point. Like give up, it's me, I win, you lose."
    14. "All these haters mad because I'm so established."
    15. "Competition? why yes I would love some."

















When you want to tell people how awesome you are:

    16. "If I'm fake I ain't notice, cause my money ain't."
    17. "You can hate me, but why knock my hustle? I'ma be the queen, no matter how they shuffle."
    18. "Let me make this clear, I’m not difficult, I’m just ’bout my business."
    19. "I'm feelin' myself."
    20. "Excuse me honey, but nobody's in my lane."
    21. "Put me on a dollar cause I'm who they trust in."
    22. "I don’t say “Hi”, I say “Keys to the Benz.”"
    23. "I've been hot since flip phones" "Running this game for 5 years. Guess that's why my feet hurt."
    24. "Hotter than a middle eastern climate."
    25. "My money’s so tall that my Barbies gotta climb it."
    26. "No, I'm not lucky, I'm blessed, yes."
    27."I ain't gotta compete with a single soul."
    28. "'X' in the box, cause ain't nobody checking me."
    29."Excuse me, I'm sorry, I'm really such a lady."
    30. "Honestly I gotta stay as fly as I can be."














When you're hanging with your clique:

    31. "Cherish these nights, cherish these people. Life is a movie, but there will never be a sequel."
    32. "I’m with some hood girls lookin’ back at it."
    33. "We dope girls, we flawless. We the poster girls for all this."
    34. "Pretty gang, always keep them (boys) on geek."
    35. "The night is still young, and so are we!"
    36. "If you ain’t on the team, you playin’ for team D, ’Cause we A-listers, we paid sisters."
    37. "Pretty (girls) only could get in my posse."
    38. "Cause we the mean girls, y-yes we so fetch."
    39. "We fresh to death, down to the shoes."
    40. "Ain't at no wedding but all my girls cake tops."
    41. "Got a whole bunch of pretty gang in my clique."
    42. "Clap for the heavyweight champ, me, But I couldn't do it all alone, WE."
    43. "Put your drinks up, It's a celebration every time we link up."
    44. "I'm with some flawless (girls) because they be mobbin' pretty."


















When you're hanging with your significant other:

    45. "He tryna kick it like a ninja."
    46. "He could tell that I was wifey material."
    47. "Ayo, I just wanna be your first go to."
    48. "You got spark, you, you got spunk. You, you got something all the girls want."
    49. Find me in the dark, I'll be in the stars, Find me in your heart, I'm in need of your love."
    50. "They holler at me, but it's you, you."
    51. "I'm not living right, I’m not living if you’re not by my side."
    52. "I just wanna be somebody that can add to, your wife, be a friend, be a teacher and a fan, too."
    53. "I just wanna be your favorite."
    54. "He was the realest, I was the baddest, we was the illest."
    55. "I know you can save me and make me feel alive."
    56. "Yes I'll be your girl, forever your lady, You ain't ever gotta worry, I'm down for you baby."
    57. "Baby you my everything, You all I ever wanted."

















When you're single and loving it:

    58. "You could be the king, but watch the queen conquer!"
    59. "Thats why I'm crowned queen, and I ain't looking for the prom king."
    60. "I like independent, like July 4th."
    61. "I ain't never need a man, to take care of me."
    62. "He be like, "Yo, you so legendary", But he can tell just by my face he ain't getting any."
    63. "I am not Jasmine, I am Aladdin."
    64. "I don't even brake when I'm backing up, I'll swerve on a (boy) if he acting up."
    65. "So many boys in here where do I begin?"











When you're just living life:

    66. "I never worry, life is a journey. I just wanna enjoy the ride."
    67. "Tonight is the night that I'ma get twisted."
    68. "I’mma keep it movin', be classy and graceful."
    69. "So make sure the stars is what you aim for, make mistakes though."
    70. "And we gon' hangover the next day. But we will remember this day."
    71. "My only motto in my life is don't lose."
    72. "Take me, or leave me, I'll never be perfect. Believe me, I'm worth it."
    73. "I believe that life is a prize, but to live doesn't mean you're alive."
    74. "I wish that I could have this moment for life."
    75. "If I scream, if I cry, It's only 'cause I feel alive."
    76. "I can't believe it, it's so amazing. This club is heating, this party's blazing.""
    77. "It's so amazing, I figured out this world is ours for the taking."
    78. "I am not a girl that can ever be defined."
    79. "I got next, I'm gonna shine."
    80. "This is my moment I just feel so alive."















Cover Image Credit: Nicki Minaj

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7 Bee Gees Songs That Should Be On EVERY Playlist

Because we're all "Stayin Alive."

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The Bee Gees were one of the most popular artists of the 20th century and one of the best-selling artists of all time, but are remembered almost exclusively for "Stayin Alive" today. Although "Stayin Alive" is without a doubt a masterpiece, the Bee Gees also produced many other magnum opuses throughout their careers. In fact, they have the perfect song for every occasion.

1. "Stayin' Alive"


This is what almost everyone remembers the Bee Gees for today, and it's no wonder why. It's definitely a disco song, but it's as uplifting and spiritual as a hymn. It perfectly sums up life in four and a half minutes-it's difficult, stressful and full of challenges, but through it all, you're stayin' alive. The chorus, especially the repetition of "Stayin Alive," gives you renewed and determination even in the hardest of times. The rest of the lyrics only reinforce the overarching theme of perseverance and give you more energy. No wonder it's the go-to CPR song. Whenever you're tired or stressed out, just play this song and let it reinvigorate and rejuvenate you.

2. "How Deep Is Your Love"


The most well-composed love song of all time executed to perfection. In stark contrast to modern pop music, this song dives into and explores the true meaning of love. In addition, it beautifully articulates love's ability to overcome anything and everything from pouring rain to fools. In a world increasingly obsessed with bodily glamour and pornography, it reminds listeners how pure, beautiful and powerful true, platonic love is. Listen to this with someone special in a moving vehicle or on a warm summer night and something magical happens.

3. "Night Fever"


Forty years later, it's still as catchy as ever. The lyrics and the Gibb Brothers' irreplaceable harmony are already enchanting, but the sound effects are second-to-none. It's a must-have for any party playlist and the perfect complement to a nighttime stroll through Times Square or a drive down Las Vegas Boulevard.

4. "Tragedy"


Because sometimes life is a tragedy. Like "Stayin Alive," this song is a must-have for challenging and stressful times. The truthfulness of the lyrics speaks to your soul, while the energy of the falsettos and heavy metal guitar solo energize and motivate you. It's a rock song that's also uplifting.

5. "Massachusetts"

A bittersweet, Beatles-esque ballad about homesickness, especially if you are from Massachusetts. If you're not from Massachusetts, just replace "Massachusetts" with a four-syllable name or nickname of your hometown and the song still works perfectly. It's only two minutes long, but in that time it touches your heart and beautifully articulates the warmth and comfort of Massachusetts (or wherever your home is). There really is no place like home.

6. "To Love Somebody"


Another Beatles-esque classic. It's short, simple and sweet, making it the perfect song for Valentine's day or a private moment with your special someone. Since it's so easy to learn, you can also sing it to anyone or anything that has significance to you, such as a family member or relative, your car, a prized possession, etc.

7. "Immortality" (featuring Celine Dion)


When you combine two of the best-selling artists of all time, you are almost guaranteed a masterpiece, and Immortality is exactly that. Every detail of this song is carefully crafted from the meticulous arrangement of voices to the emotion-packed lyrics. It's a mixture of emotions-hope, nostalgia, love, sadness, and determination all in one. This makes it extremely versatile-it is a fantastic love song and a fitting tribute to someone or something special. It's every bit as heart-wrenching as "My Heart Will Go On." In fact, it should have been used in "Titanic."

Although perhaps not as famous as the Beatles or Michael Jackson, the Bee Gees stand out with the variety of music they could compose. They could write songs that reflect every emotion and suit every mood. In fact, they are quite possibly the most versatile songwriters of all time.

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