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21.03.2017

The King Is Dead

Joel

Joel Cousans

Thanks to modern technology and the sheer vastness of opinion out there what Im about to say probably won’t be that original or enlightening but it would be criminal to write a music blog and not acknowledge the passing of Chuck Berry.

The king is dead. His reigned lasted a lot longer than the official king of Rock n’ Roll, and his legacy and influence is far greater than that of Elvis. He was also undoubtedly a legend but you cant help feeling that Berry was cheated. The era that birthed Rock n’ Roll was a time of much clearer lines of segregation where unfortunately black artists seemed to get the shorter end of the stick when it came to sustained careers in pop music. I don’t blame Elvis for this. But rather the model of the music industry at that time.

Berry was still famous and very successful in his own right but I wander how much of the spoils he got compared to some of his peers. Plus taking into account the younger musicians that got stinking rich from emulating his style. Such as the Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin. Of course everything is relative and the idea of stadium rock was incomprehensible back in the 50’s. But only since the emergence of Hip Hop have black artists really been considered up there with the high flyers. The odd artist maybe like Michael Jackson or Prince, but they are special anomalies that can’t be considered in this context.

His musical legacy will live on forever. Remember his music and be aware of all the great artists he influenced. But also remember how he helped change the musical landscape in ways you can’t see on the surface. Through his art he helped create an enviroment in which it was acceptable for artists such as Beyonce to become a global brand or Kanye West to become a fashion designer.

Long live the king.

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