I started this project with one basic question in mind: 'What
are the political implications of covering music by a performer
from a different race?' Particularly, I was concerned with the
implications of a performer taking music from another tradition,
re-shaping it, and making a new political statement to suit her
own needs. People have always been playing the music of another
race in a variety of ways and for myriad reasons. We see this cross-racial
covering performed frequently in both jazz and hip-hop. Jazz has
frequently been viewed as point of de-segregation, and of the free
exchange of ideas between white and black Americans. In the early
part of this century, jazz clubs were one of the few places where
whites and blacks could get together in social situation (although
they were still difficulties involved and this de-segregation was
not standard practice). However, much of this idea of jazz as a
center point for racial harmony is simple mythology, as jazz was
also a hotbed for civic protest and the inspiration for much dissidence.
Hip-hop has developed in an almost reverse direction. An art form
that was literally ghettoized in its earliest incarnation, hip-hop
was a means of social criticism and a locus of fervent protest.
As the music grew though, its protestant nature was constricted
as it was incorporated into a big business with a mainstream (meaning
white) audience and large commercial sales. In order to view hip-hop
as dissident, we would need to blind ourselves to its audience
and to its successful commodification. What might sound resistant
may actually be a standard work with broad appeal.
Black artists performing in both genres frequently used music created
or popularized by white composers or musicians. Considering the
problematic politics in both hip-hop and jazz, we might think that
understanding the intentions of these artists is impossible. Some
of them spoke on the topic, but many, like John Coltrane, just
played. A seminal hip-hop group, Public Enemy has been very clear
about its political intentions and it has used costumes, lyrics,
and sampling to develop the context in which its songs are heard.
Determining this context also allows the group to make sure that
the audience gets its political message. Public Enemy has kept
its political focus throughout a career that has spanned hip-hop’s
change from marginal art to mainstream soundtrack. Most artists
have not been so clear on their political views, and only some
of these cross-racial covers have had a noticeable social and political
impact. As I began to negotiate these complications, I realised
a discrepancy between authorial intent and actual impact. In the
end, social and political context, including listener response,
determines a song's politicality more than the composer or performer
This issue first came to my attention with hip-hop artist Jay-Z's
of “Hard Knock Life” (Ghetto Anthem). In this song, he samples the
chorus from the musical Annie's song “Hard Knock Life.” My initial
reading of this performance excited me. I saw a contemporary artist taking an
idea from the white hegemonic past, and re-shaping it to fit his own views. Essentially,
I saw Jay-Z's work suggesting that the original song represented nothing as harsh
as modern life on the streets. While mainstream America was finding an entertaining
pathos in the plight of a cute little orphan, Jay-Z, I assumed, was finding fluff.
How could a little white girl (so white in the comic strips that she doesn't
even have pupils) possibly know what the hard knock life is about? She's going
to get her millionaire foster daddy and she's going to have a nice little life,
while kids in the modern ghetto are facing worse problems that are exacerbated
by the color of their skin. In short, I saw Jay-Z saying, 'Forget you, Annie
[or worse]; here's what a real hard knock life is.'
I looked for Jay-Z's scathing comments on the musical and found:
'I watched the movie and was mesmerized ... They're too strong
to let life bring them down.
That's the ghetto right there.’1 In another interview, he says, 'These kids
sing about the hard knock life, things everyone in the ghetto feels coming up
... That's the ghetto anthem.’2 Jay-Z reacted to the musical in the polar
opposite way from what I had expected. Rather than finding the show to be something
that needed to be shaken up and turned on its head to make a point, he found
it to be something he could relate to. The anti-hegemonic response, I found,
was simply my own (straight out of white, middle-class America). Where I had
envisioned deconstruction, I found reinforcement. Jay-Z may be making a political
and cultural statement with this song, but the statement works across racial
lines, instead of along them.
To recognize that Jay-Z’s statement about the ghetto life works without
regard to races does not mean that Jay-Z has not exploited traditional codes.
Eshun Kudwo, speaking about black high schoolers, explains, ‘Over time,
white music comes to evoke the states of mind that hiphop’s emotional armour
cannot speak: the feelings that dare not speak their name Sensitivity, seriousness,
uncertainty.’3 Male hiphop has a tradition of placing an emphasis on extreme
masculinity. Jay-Z keeps a macho stance throughout the song but the (white) chorus
juxtaposes the sensitivities of a man from the ghetto with the otherwise impenetrable
heart that he has hidden in the verses. The sampled voices wanting kisses over
kicks give depth to Jay-Z’s voice, which is ‘droppin some of the
hottest verses rap has ever heard’ and saying that he wants to “stick
up the world.’4 This interplay allows Jay-Z to express some serious concerns
(‘I flow for chicks wishin / they ain't have to strip to pay tuition’)
while keeping a masculine attitude at the forefront of his style. The sampling
enables not so much a political statement as it does a personal one. Jay-Z uses
the musical codes to get around traditional prohibitions against expressing concern
The 'Intentional Fallacy' warns us against attributing a text's
meaning to the intent of the author. The text, some critics would
argue, should stand alone,
and inquiries into it should be made entirely within its existence as a text.
The author may have failed or succeeded in achieving his or her intentions, but
neither result matters. The meaning of the text itself is what matters5. We don't
need to understand Jay-Z's view of his work to understand the work itself. The
situation remains unsettling. If I could read the song in that way, other people
could as well. In Jay-Z's effort to promote a way of feeling and a tie to an
unusual source, he could very well undermine the very source that he had responded
to so positively. However, in my research I could find no work that concerned
itself with the possible anti-Annie (anti-hegemonic) implications of “Hard
Knock Life”. Most record reviewers were quick to point out the sampling,
but did not argue for any discursive political effects.
Still, these implications exist in popular music. People can turn
the language of the hegemonic group against itself as a common
act of defiance in various
means of expression. For example, the words 'bad,' 'fat/phat,' and, most recently,
'pimp,' have developed positive connotations. The word 'nigger/nigga' can be
used within the African-American community as a proud signification and as a
rejection of an oppressive language imposed on a cultural group. However, a difficulty
remains in sorting through the meaning of songs that play with traditional musical
or verbal language. Where does the political meaning of a song arise?
John Coltrane serves as a prime example for this
analysis. He was decidedly anti-political in interviews, and rarely
took a hard-line
public stance on any political issues,
focusing instead on the music and on his performance. He saw himself as a musician,
and recognised possible spiritual and redemptive qualities in music, but he did
not intend to speak out on political topics. During his career, he covered many
songs previously done by white performers (such as Rodgers
and Hammerstein’s “My
Favorite Things”) simply because he liked the songs, but listeners took
less straightforward approaches to understanding his work. By the latter part
of his life, and especially after his death, some audiences were receiving his
music in extremely politicised ways, creating messages in the music that previously
had not been there.
When he chose, in 1960, to cover “My Favorite Things”, John Coltrane
took a well-known Broadway showtune and played it in a radically different style.
On this track, Coltrane incorporates Eastern musical techniques and modal playing
styles. He also plays the soprano saxophone, which at that time was rarely heard
in jazz. The actual sound of the song, then, changes dramatically from that of
its original incarnation. Live performances, especially, completely overturn
the original version of this song as Coltrane explored new melodic and harmonic
This dramatic change in sound and presentation creates the potential
for revolutionary comment. As one scholar notes about discursive
exchange, 'Any elision, truncation
or convergence of prevailing linguistic and ideological categories can have profoundly
disorienting effects. These deviations briefly expose the arbitrary nature of
the codes which underlie and shape all forms of discourse.'7 Playing with structural
codes is a taboo act, because it disrupts typical thinking and causes general
disorientation. Cultural codes help to orient us in our thinking and our communicating,
and the codes also maintain the status quo by reinscribing themselves in their
own usage. To break through or alter these structural codes shakes the stability
of a system and removes any naturalizing effect that continual adherence to these
codes may have produced. This instability then allows observers to acknowledge
the constructedness of the codes. Coltrane, in “My Favorite Things”,
certainly exposes the unnaturalness of musical coding and traditional Western
structures. By disrupting the codes his audience used to understand songs, he
reveals that these codes are not an eternal, received structure, but rather a
culturally created and reinforced system. He forces the convergence of various
forms of music, and he breaks from tradition in a variety of ways. His playing
on this song is indicative of a new style of jazz forming at this time, and popularised
by players like John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. The song itself maintains
a strong statement in the world of music.
Coltrane affects traditional coding even further by covering a
song by a white composer that had been popularized by white performers.
He doesn't just create
a unique musical sound; he turns around the structural make-up of an already
well-known and well-liked mainstream piece. The act suggests at some level an
inherent flaw or lack in the original version. Coltrane begins a musical dialogue
with the world of Broadway. Fundamental arguments concerning what constitutes
'good' or 'proper' music begin to form. These arguments, importantly, center
on racial constructions of music and cultural origins of form and style. Coltrane's
cross-racial covering creates the possibility for a variety of political statements.
When Coltrane covered this song, however, he did so because he
liked the song and the melody. He does not take an antagonistic
approach to the Broadway tune.
In fact he once said, 'I would have loved to have written it.'8 Coltrane was not
trying to make a political statement, or trying to comment on race relations
or hegemonic forms of music. Simply, he was taking what he thought was a nice
song, and playing it in his own style. “My Favorite Things” has a
pretty melody and Coltrane just wanted to play it. Not only is he not attacking
white musical coding, he completely refuses to make any kind of racial distinction
when it comes to music. He said, 'I don't know the criteria capable of differentiating
between a white musician from a black musician, and besides, I don't believe
that it exists.’9 Coltrane was not attempting to draw a distinction along
racial lines in his music. Instead, he was simply expressing himself in an experimental
However, Coltrane realised that his music could have implications
on the larger society. In an interview with Frank Kofsky, he
explained, 'I think music is an
instrument. It can create the initial thought patterns that can change the thinking
of the people.’10 While he wasn't ostensibly making a political statement
with “My Favorite Things”, Coltrane was well aware of the possibilities
of his music. He does not use structuralist terminology, but he points out the
possible outcomes of disrupting musical codes: people may react socially to what
People did react to Coltrane's music very strongly and very politically.
In particular, black nationalist poets used Coltrane's work as
inspiration. Coltrane never associated
himself directly with the Civil Rights Movement, but many African-American poets
took his work 'as the musical embodiment of black nationalism in the United States.’11 These
poets did not respond to what Coltrane was literally saying in his interviews;
they were responding to what he was playing in his music. More precisely, they
were responding to what they heard in his songs. The new coding, the changing
sounds, and the expressive playing pointed the way to new types of thinking about
society. One scholar explains that black intellectuals of the time were intrigued
by jazz due to its spontaneity (again, think of live versions of “My Favorite
Things”). To these intellectuals, 'spontaneity meant liberation, transcendence,
and a revolt against white commercialism.'12 A simple cover of a pretty song can
be experienced as a call to arms.
These intellectuals responded to Coltrane's music in a variety
of ways. First, writers found the music to be a fundamental establishment
of the race-based condition.
Amiri Baraka writes that artists like Coltrane 'have continued to tell us the
second, minute, hour, day, month, year and epoch of our reality.’13 The music,
although devoid of words, describes the condition of a group of people. A contemporary
critic says that Coltrane's music has an essential racial aspect: 'his music
could explicitly evoke and render something racial in its sound.'14 In his poem
'More Trane Than Art', Baraka expresses this feeling, claiming that rhythms are
life and memory.15 He goes on to say:
the vibrating material self
enthralled by its life in reflection of it and all of what life
The music, first, was a statement of a politicised Blackness.
Many African-American poets like Baraka and Larry Neal used Coltrane’s
music as inspiration for their explicitly political poetry. Neal, for example
finds extreme anger and a call to activism in the music, writing, 'accept nothing
less than the death / of your enemies.’17 This poetry argues for dramatic
resistance against hegemonic oppression. Baraka takes the music even further.
In his poem “I Love Music,”, he writes 'my favorite things / like
sonny / can be... / capitalism dying.’18 Here Baraka attributes a Marxist
commentary to Coltrane's “My Favorite Things”. Coltrane, of course,
is not commenting on capitalism; he is playing the saxophone. Throughout his
work, Baraka imposes his own ideology onto Coltrane's music19. The jazz performer
is not ostensibly interested in doing the same things as the poet. However,
if people see his music as a deconstruction of contemporary America, that deconstructive
meaning is the meaning that the music takes on, regardless of Coltrane’s
Poets responded to the music in one other way: they structured
their poems in the same ways that Coltrane structured his songs,
often beginning with a
simple melody and bursting into a fiery solo20. Interestingly, though, the most
exciting moments--and the ones most dramatically responded to--are not clearly
structured. The poets, then, could not exactly imitate the structure (the way
they could, for example, mimic a blues song with an AAB pattern). The merely
emulated the feel of the songs, trying to incorporate jazz's pacing and flow
into their language. Baraka explains that poetry must be musical to evoke sound
and to be as powerful as possible, to be 'High Speech.' He continues: 'Black
poetry, in the main, from its premise... means to show its musical origins
and resolve as a given.’21 The musical sound and rhythm of a poem can be
vital to its effectiveness. Many of these poets even incorporate replications
of saxophone sounds such as 'SCREEE' into their poetry to create the feel of
the music. To black nationalist poets (and others) Coltrane's compositions
served as a formal paradigm for powerful, effective communication.
If it is true, as I want to argue, that a song's social context
has a dramatic influence on its meaning, it would appear odd
that such political and militant
interpretations would arise out of the jazz scene. Jazz had traditionally been
a focal point of anti-segregationist activities. In this musical scene, white
and black performers frequently played together and interacted even during
times when the rest of society would not generally accept such behavior. In
the late 1940s into the 1950s, the bebop scene (in which Coltrane played) was
particularly integrationist. Although most beboppers were African-American
artists, bands frequently included white musicians. Some scholars consider
this inclusion a deliberate attempt to keep jazz un-segregated22. People in this
setting were not trying to make a distinct statement along racial lines; instead,
they were supporting racial harmony. As trumpeter Clark Terry said, 'A note
don't care who plays it - whether you're black, white, green, brown, or opaque.’23 Furthermore,
jazz, especially avant-garde music like John Coltrane's, was popular among
white audiences. If anything, one would expect this music not to be used by
By the end of the 1950s, though, society was changing, and the
Civil Rights Movement was fully underway. One
'The coincidence of a growing
market for black music and culture among white youth, and the increased media
coverage of civil rights demonstrations, created a uniquely bicultural, or
at least biculturally receptive, generation of young whites.’24 People
of different races began to respond to the new jazz forms in a political context.
While Coltrane and other artists attracted largely white audiences with their
avant-garde or free jazz, national writing by black jazz critics came to prominence.
These two factors 'politicised blackness for white listeners of jazz.’25 Jazz
became further entangled in a racial dialogue.
This entanglement had been developing for sometime. Intellectuals
had already begun to consider bebop in terms of revolution. Baraka
said, 'BeBop was a staging
area for a new sensibility growing to maturity.... [The BeBoppers were] making
change, opening a door, cutting underbrush and heavy vines away to make a path.’26 Baraka
could see the roots of revolution in the newness and the energy of bebop. When
the new styles of jazz developed towards the end of the 1950s, society was
at just a certain point for people to take these new, chaotic sounds as expressive
of the world and the civil rights struggle. The new sound corresponded to urges
people were expressing at that time, and people absorbed that sound into their
experience. Baraka explains that the very nature of new African-American form
of music is subversive. He writes that 'just the fact of [oppressed people's]
being creators of such influential and profound a cultural resource as jazz
would tend to reorient large numbers of people intellectually and politically
by attacking black national stereotypes.’27 The newness of the music and
the scene out of which the music grows contribute to the political implications
its listeners can hear in it.
Later music, too, served to ensnare this music into the political
web. For example, John Coltrane recorded “Alabama” in response to the 15
September 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church in which four African-American
girls were killed. In his song, he used the 'rhythms in Martin Luther King,
Jr.'s eulogy for the girls.’28 Although he had remained politically invisible
before, he now linked his name and work to a dramatic moment in the Civil Rights
Movement. Even if he was just expressing his personal emotion, he created music
that would necessarily be taken in a political way. Someone hearing “Alabama” in
1963 could easily imagine political connotations going back through Coltrane's
music, with “My Favorite Things” being a wonderful example. With
the world and the music changing, listeners in the 1960s couldn't hear jazz
artists as they used to. Now they were compelled to consider the 'racial subjectivity
(of self and other, white and black).’29 The complex of innovative music
and a politically charged world influenced the interpretive readings of the
Cutting-edge or avant-garde movements, however, quickly become
absorbed into what is considered high or mainstream art, and
lose their revolutionary aspects.30
The new codes created with progressive expressions develop into a standard
part of the musical canon. Each successive hearing produces a less shocking,
and less defiant, reading. As musicians continue to work with innovative techniques
and original sounds, the new music develops into a standard. Experiencing John
Coltrane for the first time in 1960 produces a drastically different effect
from hearing him in 2000. The drama and surprise of the sound is gone, and
its provocative points are dulled. While researching this topic, I played “My
Favorite Things” at a dinner party for people with varying degrees of
musical background. The strongest response the music received was, 'Hey, he's
playing that song.' Even as I insisted on Coltrane's original statements, I
could not coax anything more than, 'But it's still basically the same song.'
I find it hard to place Amiri Baraka in this setting.
The political power was lost in the moment because
the societal context has so radically changed in the last forty
years. A song
that was once on the musical
edge of possibilities in a world rife with racial divisiveness has become just
a spruced up version of an old classic. This change stems from two causes.
First, musically, this song does not seem so abstract and unusual. Even people
who aren't jazz aficionados have likely heard songs (maybe Coltrane's later
works) that sound more jarring, disorienting, and bold. Most of us, too, have
heard enough African-Americans covering mainstream white songs in very different
versions (especially in hip-hop) not to be surprised at the sound, or to even
think about political implications. Cross-racial covering is commonplace in
the contemporary musical scene. Removed its musical and social context, “My
Favorite Things” is less stunning. Secondly, our society does not contend
with the same conditions as the society of the middle part of this century
would have. Obviously we still face struggles against racism and new forms
of segregation, but much of society does not view these battles as a daily
drama at the forefront of their thoughts. The likes of Bull Connor rarely grace
the evening news in our times. For most of us, our political consciousness
has been tamed by our lack of engaging our world with marches, sit-ins, or
demonstrations. I suspect, though, that dedicated activists might still hear “My
Favorite Things” with a political perspective, given their personal context.
This idea of the dulling of the cutting edge returns us to Jay-Z
Knock Life”. After 20 years or so of hip-hop, we expect artists to do
the sorts of things Jay-Z does on this track. Talking about ghetto life is
nothing new or shocking. We can go back at least to 1982 to hear the topic
taken up, in “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious
Five. As rap became mainstream (and frequently as source for corporate success), ‘more
overtly political rap lost popularity.’31 Due to shifts in our cultural
thinking, most of us no longer immediately think of protest when we hear someone
rap. Furthermore, African-American hip-hop artists have used mainstream white
music for so long, that this usage has become part of the coding of rap music.
African-American artists have continually utilized what Andrew Bartlett refers
to as ‘performative appropriations of communal knowledge’, taking
musical and other texts and using them to create a new presentation, as in
sampling or even in jazz.32 Hip-hop production has always utilized an accretion
and modification of culturally relevant texts, and by the end of the last century,
most listeners had unconsciously come to understand that sort of coding. When
Jay-Z performs “Hard Knock Life”, he may entertain or inform us,
but he does not disorient us and call our standard thinking into doubt.
We can see this transition in hip-hop at the micro-level by thinking
about the career of Public Enemy. Its 1988 album It Takes
a Nation of Millions to
Hold Us Back and its 1990 record Fear of a Black Planet provided listeners
with a provocative political experience (as the group intended). The public
reacted with a mixture of shock, dismay, and disgust, and the band was caught
in controversy. This controversy stemmed from several causes. First, Public
Enemy’s explicitly political lyrics pushed the limits of what it was
acceptable to say. The group didn't attack white music simply by undermining
its codes, it confronted it directly in songs like “Fight the Power”:
Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant shit to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Mother fuck him ... 33
The lyrics deliberately start debates, including one over the
place of one of white America’s musical heroes.34 Moreover,
though, Public Enemy operates in a specific social context. Its
single “Fight the Power” appeared in Spike Lee's movie
Do the Right Thing, which itself provoked political discussion.
The group also creates the context it needs to spark political
thought. The members and entourage of Public Enemy dress like Black
Panthers, and the group’s 'lyrics turn on a reprise of 1960s
black power and Afrocentrism.’35 They (re)create the social
context necessary for the reception they seek. By creating a politically
charged atmosphere, Public Enemy enables its audience’s ability
to hear and respond to the provocative aspects or their works.
Furthermore, the artists play with traditional musical codes, including
those that were prevalent in hip-hop. The group samples a variety
of sources to create 'the most formidable wall of sound ever heard
in rap,' which suggests the music of John Coltrane (as well as,
oddly, Phil Spector)36. Public Enemy provides a new sound that, by
disrupting the expectations of even a savvy hip-hop audience, forces
a closer examination of the songs. Through is innovations, Public
Enemy created a musical form and social context capable of sparking
Eight years later (roughly the same time as Jay-Z's release of “Hard
Knock Life”), Public Enemy again produced an overtly political record,
the soundtrack to Spike Lee's He Got Game. The work presented Public Enemy’s
typical rage and bombast against society, specifically capitalism and the exploitation
of college athletes. The group also features music by white artists Buffalo
Springfield and the Who. However, the work sparked none of the earlier controversy.
The commentary I could find on this album sometimes mentions its political
nature, but it does not make a large issue or debate over it. By 1998, people
were expecting the sound and the lyrics that they got. Moreover, Stephen Stills
appeared on the album, and the by-now traditional codes of sampling do not
imply that Public Enemy had anything more to say about Pete Townshend's “Won't
Get Fooled Again” than that it could apply in a different setting. This
album, although as angry and political as their earlier work, was received
as a standard hip-hop album (high-quality, maybe, but normative). The societal
and musical context of this release, and the Jay-Z album’s, did not easily
provide for a political reception.
However, one objection still remains. If societal and musical contexts
have the greatest influence on the interpretive meaning of a
song, why would I read “Hard
Knock Life” in the manner that I did? When I look back, I remember that
I first noticed the song while taking a class on the Civil Rights Movement.
At approximately the same time, I was involved in a staging a rally to protest
a hate group that was coming to speaking in my college's town. I was also first
opening up to the musical and lyrical potentials of hip-hop. I had previously
listened to very little rap, and listening to it (as opposed to just hearing
it) broke down ideas I had previously held about musical coding, including
the roles of rhythm and the legitimacy of sampling someone else's work. Although
the general musical and social contexts of the period did not suggest a dramatic
politicality to Jay-Z's work, my personal situation did.
Authorial intent cannot determine the final meaning of a song.
Covering music created by a member of a different racial group
provides no inherent or transcendent
political implications. Social context, musical positionality, and listener
response determine a song's political meanings. We see this idea evidenced
in the work of both John Coltrane and Jay-Z, who had some artistic similarities,
but were received in radically different fashions. The politically charged
atmosphere of the 1960s invited extreme interpretation, but contemporary
society inhibits it. Society also adjusts to and adapts changing
musical codes. A complex
dynamic allows for the creation of different possible meanings for musical
works, whether they are free jazz compositions, or modern rap stylings.
- Michele Orecklin. ‘Next Up: Big Daddy Warbucks.’ Time,
no. 16, 1998, p.129.
- Nick Charles and Cynthia Wang. ‘Street Singer: Jay-Z Makes the Switch
Hustler to Rap Star Look E-Z.’ People Weekly, vol. 51, no.12, 1999, p.161+.
- Kudwo, Eshun, 2002. “N*E*R*D* and the Rise of New Geek Chic.” Available
from: http://www.hyperdub.com/softwar/nerd.cfm [Accessed
25 Oct. 2003].
- Jay-Z. “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem), Vol.
2, Hard Knock Life. Uni/Def Jam, 1998.
- W.K. Wimsatt, Jr. and Monroe
L. Beardsley, ‘The Intentional
Verbal Icon: Studies in the Meaning of Poetry, University of Kentucky
Press, Lexington,1954, pp.3-19.
- See for example, The World According to John Coltrane, Pro.
Toby Byron, Richard Saylor. BMG Video, 1993.
- Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style, Routledge,
New York, 1979, p.91.
- Lewis Porter, John Coltrane: His Life and Music, The University
of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1998, p.182.
p.260. This comment originally appeared in Clouzet, Jean, and
Michel Delorme. 'Entretien avec John
Coltrane.' Les Cahiers du Jazz 8 (1963): 1-14.
translated it for his work.
- Porter, p.162.
- Sascha Feinstein, ‘From “Alabama” to “A
The Evolution of the John Coltrane Poem.’ The Southern
Review, vol. 32, 1996, p.315.
- Gerald Early, ‘Ode to
John Coltrane: A Jazz Musician’s Influence
on African-American Culture,’ The Antioch Review, vol.
57, 1999, p.379.
- Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Amina Baraka.
The Music: Reflections on Jazz and
Blues, William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, 1987, p.244.
- Baraka, p.84.
- Baraka, p.85.
- Feinstein, p.320.
- Baraka, p.47.
- Early, p.381.
- Feinstein, p.320.
- Baraka, p.243.
- Scott Deveaux, Scott, The Birth of Bebop: A Social
and Musical History, University of California Press, Los Angeles,
- Deveaux, p.21.
- Robert K. McMichael, ‘“We Insist—Freedom Now!”:
Black Moral Authority, Jazz, and the Changeable Shape of Whiteness,’ American
Music, vol. 16, 1998, p.380.
- McMichael, p.378.
- Deveaux, p.21.
- Baraka, p.264.
- Feinstein, p.315.
- McMichael, p.403.
- Deveaux, pp.23-24.
- Rachel E. Sullivan, ‘Rap and Race: It’s
Got a Nice Beat but What About the Message?’, Journal of Black
vol. 33, no. 5, 2003, p.607.
- Andrew Bartlett, ‘Airshafts, Loudspeakers, and the Hip Hop Sample:
Contexts and African American Musical Aesthetics’, African American
Review, vol. 28, no. 94, 1994, p.639-652.
- Public Enemy, Fear of a Black Planet, Uni/Def Jam, 1990.
- The concern with Elvis also stems from the white artist’s
appropriation of black musical traditions.
- Gene Santoro, ‘Public Enemy,’ The
Nation, vol. 250, no. 25, 1990, p.902.
- Marshall Berman, ‘Close to the Edge: Reflections on Rap.’ Tikkun,
vol. 8, no. 2, 1993, p.18.