Music is defined as the vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion. Genre is defined as a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter. The one word these two words have in common is “form” which has several definitions depending on the subject. Vera Nazarian says “If Music is a Place, then Jazz is the City, Folk is the Wilderness, Rock is the Road, Classical is a temple.
For years artists in different music genres would only make a song that sounded exactly like what there genre of music should sound like. If the song had a featured artist, then the artist would be associated with that genre of music as well. For example, However in recent years this has not been the case. If you haven’t realized, more and more songs have artists who represent two or three different music genres. There are Hip-Hop songs with R&B and Reggae artists featured, or pop songs with Latin artists featured on them. In other words, music genres have become one big melting pot in today’s world.
About ten years ago, you would have never seen a reggae artist perform at Hot 97’s Summer Jam, or seen arenas such as Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden have Reggae/Soca events. Now when you go to a major concert there are three to five different music genres being represented at one time, which is a beautiful thing to music lovers like myself. About ten years ago, if you would have said Miley Cyrus would eventually do a song with Juicy j, everyone would have called that idea preposterous. Now, that idea is pretty normal in today’s society. The mixtures of these different genres have created a better quality of music for certain genres. For instance, Reggae and Soca music have gained more fans and popularity as a genre because many rappers and r&b artists have had Reggae/Soca artists featured on their songs.
Pop music in my opinion is the big winner, simply because the majority of today’s music seems to have an element of Pop music associated with it. Hip-Hop’s popularity is on the rise again. Cd sales and online sales of Hip-Hop are the highest it has been since the early part of the century. Mariah Carey has a song with Mac Miller, Nicki Minaj has a song with reggae artist Gyptian, Jay-Z has a song with Coldplay, and if it isn’t Reggae or Soca then there’s a pretty good chance that Adam Levine is on a song that isn’t his normal Pop genre.
So, back to the definition of “music” and that word “form” again. It seems like despite there being different music genres, music today can all be made into one form with all the collaborations and mixtures of music. So let’s enjoy and embrace this new day of music where genres are making songs with other genres, we have not seen anything like it before, and we may never see anything like it again.
About our contributing writer: Shawn Thomas
Shawn Thomas was born November 18th, 1988. He was raised in the Prospect Heights and East Flatbush sections of Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Samuel J. Tilden high school in 2006 and graduated from Nassau Community College in 2011. In 2012, he became involved with managing R&B and Hip-Hop Artists. In his spare time he is a songwriter and often writes about different topics that are happening in today’s world. Shawn’s writing influences are Stephen A. Smith and Mike Lupica, who write sports columns, and Natasha Artwell who writes music columns for the Source Magazine.