Why I don’t Celebrate Adele’s Cultural Appropriation of Black Music

“Adele brought soul to the Grammy’s” I was shocked by these words written by a popular male poet. The music industry like its parents, racial, historical and cultural supremacists have perfected the art of distraction. The ability to distract others from what’s really happening and important with “Bullshit.”

Adele is a perfect example of a cultural tool being used in America’s music industry (Grammy’s)cultural war. Adele is talented. Okay, with that said lets  move on. The Grammy’s elimination of specific ethnic catagories is an intentional racist move to erase memory. Meaning to erase knowledge and memory of African American  and other ethnic cultural icons of color. The purpose being to replace them with Eurocentric cultural versions. In other words its goal is to revise history/herstory.

In order to have an in depth knowledge, understanding and appreciation one must go to the roots of much of America’s music (African American music.) Listen to the true innovators and creators of the sound Adele emulates  and the music industry appropriates and sucks the blood Blacks. This is nothing new. America has a history of making money off the backs of Blacks, since the enslavement of Africans.

Sadly, the mentally enslaved crabs in a basket prefer to bow down to their massas in adoration  begging acceptance while rejecting themselves. There still remains an ingrained hatred, suspicion, and mistrusting of self.

The Grammy’s rationalization for eliminating ethnic catogories was a time issue. Not so Grammy’s! Not all of us are sleep. It’s nothing more than more of the same. A blazen attempt to discredit the true genius and  historical/herstorical contributions of Blacks and peoples of color.  Persons such as  Mamie Smith, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Dinah Washington, Carmen Macrae, Billie “Lady Day” Holiday, Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaugh, Ella Fritzgerald, Betty Carter, Anita Baker, and Pattie LaBelle just to name a few. African American women who laid the foundation by creating styles being emulated by the likes of Adele. One arrogant White guy went so far as to equate the genius of Billie Holiday with that of Amy Winehouse may both rest in peace. No doubt he was high on krak.

Adele and others are persons who study the styles and sounds of these musical geniuses. Persons who have successfully along with the record companies hijacked African American music and ethnic music. Historically/Herstorically African American Classical music “Jazz” was looked down on by White America. It wasn’t  until White America  discovered its marketability and gave its okay did it become acceptable. Read the history /herstory of America’s record industry. It’s grounded on the blood, sweat, tears, suffering and backs of African Americans much like much of America’s history/herstory.

The music industry continues to suck the blood of those with dreams. They’re the puppet masters. The Grammy’s motivation is not strange it’s psychotic. It continues its psychosis unabashedly, hijacking African American and the culture of persons of color, while lulling unsuspecting dreamers to sleep.

We don’t need the Grammy’s! Why are you depending on their standards to judge your creativity and talent anyway? As quiet as it’s kept the Grammy’s know your worth, why shouldn’t they. They’ve been sucking your blood for generations. The music industry like all industries is a business. Wakeup! Don’t you think it’s time to stop begging to eat at your (the music industry-Grammy’s) massas table?

Kevin W. Thorbourne has written a historical/herstorical essay on an important figure Bessie Smith and the music industry. I have included it in my commentary.


Don’t get it twisted ya’ll. The fix was in from the jump. Just look at one of the biggest stars of all-time. In the 1920’s she was signed by Columbia Records and was the companies top seller. She sold more records than anyone in her time. She also appeared in a movie, St. Louis Blues. In her day, Bessie Smith was a huge star, not unlike Whitney Houston. Just before Bessie Smith “blew up”, she married a laborer, (sounds familiar?). She could also pack a house. She was the lead person on the T.O.B.A., a Black owned booking company. She dubbed it tough on black asses. People around her made millions and she got very little. Her demise is one of the most tragic events in our history as a people. She was in a car accident and was taken to a hospital that refused to care for her and when they tried to get her to another health facility, she died. The music business has always been rigged. Sam Cooke and Ray Charles were the first to challenge the status quo, in the early 1960’s. Yes, you may have talent, but there’s a gatekeeper ready to sign you up and sell you dreams. You may get that advance, but later, checkout that chargeback. $2 million sold, but $1.5 charged back! Very few artists get their paper right. And if you think that’s bad, checkout the publishing business! – Kevin W. Thorbourne

©Lorraine Currelley and The Currelley Literary Journal 2012. Unauthorized duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.



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