Afrofuturism in Rap music

When I think of examples of Afro-futurism that I see today I immediately think of my favorite rapper, Vince Staples. Through his last album I feel he embodied the very sound and idea of Afro- Futurism, even landing himself a song on the Kendrick Lamar produced Black Panther album. Vince described his album Big Fish Theory as afro futurism half jokingly but it still shows connecting elements. “We making future music. It’s Afro-futurism. This is my Afro-futurism. There’s no other kind…This is Afro-futurism y’all can keep the other sh*t. We’re trying to get in the MoMA not your Camry”.  Rapping about his former gang lifestyle and what it’s like to be Black in America over futuristic, upbeat EDM beats. I feel like this connects to the idea of repetition especially because Vince himself challenged the idea that these beats are new or different because the EDM, electronic beats we think of today as outside of black culture actually originated in Detroit house music. Dance music, like almost every other kind of music to come out of America in the past century, is black music. Although he  doesn’t speak about Afro-futurism in the conventional sense of the word, even bristling at the term himself, Vince speaks about societal problems and black issues over beats that sound the same as decades of black American music, tlike Sun Ra and Parliament-Funkadelic.

2 Replies to “Afrofuturism in Rap music”

  1. I agree with you when you said that most of the music genres in America are black music. I can definitely see Vince Staples’ Big Fish Theory album as being afrofuturistic. I like how you compared it to Sun Ra because that’s someone who is known to have had afrofuturistic themes in his music. I would love to look more into this topic of afrofuturism in music.

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