Friday, May 21, 2010

When Hip-Hop Boarded the Soul Train

When I was watching VH1 late Wednesday night, the station aired one of their Rock Docs on "Soul Train" during their "Black to the Future" marathon called "Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America."

"Soul Train" was a television show started in 1970 by Don Cornelius, and was aimed at the general audience to show positive images of the Black community. Essentially, it was a recorded club party! They played the latest music and had different musicians perform (i.e. Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, just to name a few), gave everyone the latest scoop on fashion and showed off the newest dance moves.

One thing "Soul Train" accomplished was to be the first T.V. show to air breakdancing. They cleared the dance floor and allowed a segment just for the poppers and lockers from Los Angeles to do their routine.

Although the dance element of hip-hop is known for being something from the streets, "Soul Train" broke the mold of hip-hop's being something that is only for the streets because of the glamor and positive reputation the show had on its audience.

Whatever was on Soul Train meant nothing but good things; so, when an element of hip-hop appeared in the show, the audience felt hip-hop was a positive thing to embrace. That segment opened so many doors for other hip-hop artists to grace the stage of "Soul Train." It also was the inspiration behind "Yo! MTV Raps", a show dedicated to exploring the culture of hip-hop and to entertaining the general audience with hip-hop music videos.

Basically, "Soul Train" was a stepping stone in making hip-hop approachable to people outside of the community.

No comments:

Post a Comment