Cultural appropriation is hotbed topic of debate as of late. This essay seeks to explore the
relationship between appreciation and appropriation of black culture through music, and what the
implications are surrounding the apparent valuation of black culture and simultaneous
devaluation of black people. The essay first delves into the terms “appreciation” and
“appropriation,” and how the two are not mutually exclusive in terms of white performance of
black music. I then discuss this relationship in tandem with a brief history of both blackface
minstrelsy and rock ‘n’ roll, with the final discussion revolving around the topic of rap music,
particularly focused on the white, female rapper Iggy Azalea, and her controversial music and
success. The phrase “cultural smudging” comes courtesy of a critic of Azalea, black female
rapper Azealia Banks, and this essay discusses the phrase in relation to appreciation and
appropriation. The essay concludes with implications of appropriation and consumption of black
"Cultural Smudging:" Appreciation and Appropriation of Black Culture through Music.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.