In the final installment of our “Roots of Hip Hop” series I saved the best for last. In the last chapter We talked about when the “Funk” brought back the culture in Black music but it wouldn’t be nothing without the “SOUL!” According to musicologist Barry Hansen (and of course backed by the words of my grandmother, a Former Ohio night club singer) Soul Music roots lies in traditional Black gospel music and Rhythm and Blues (R&B)
Back in the day some would even argue that Soul Music was the “Commercialization” of the R&B sound. Now this “R&B” is much different than the “Rhythm & Blues” that we hear today. This modern version is in fact a commercialization of “Soul Music” mixed of course with the music of Hip Hop today sometimes known as “Hip Hop Soul” (Early 90’s)
Non the less the term “Soul” refers to the spirit of Black Pride over gospel style rhythms with “secular” lyrics. Words cannot really express what “Soul Music” is, as it is a feeling. A feeling of Black confidence, musical skill, freedom, and self expression. The music gives the expression of a free and powerful nation and reflects the struggles and triumphs we face in America, and not just as African Americans but of Americans of all ethnic backgrounds, just like Hip Hop Music.
And that’s why “SOUL” is the most sampled genre of music in Hip Hop. If you’re African American or what I like to call “BLACK” (Created as a word of ethnic Pride by the musicians of SOUL) Somewhere in your parents or grandparents attic or basements are collections of the greatest and most “SOULful!” music of America. Make no mistake, it is good old fashioned Classic Style, “American SOUL Music” and it is “THE ROOT OF HIP HOP!!!”