Staying True to Your Roots: Andwan Zonez on Cultural Appropriation in the Music Industry

Andwan Zonez

It’s crucial to be authentic and grounded in your identity, including your skin colour, when pursuing a career in the music industry. Andwan Zonez, a Black rapper and producer, is well aware of this. 

Andwan is a young man from New Orleans’s ghettos who, through his music, tells the tale of overcoming the obstacles he faced on the streets of the city. His music and lyrics are genuine because they are based on his life and culture. 

However, cultural appropriation, in which elements of a culture other than one’s own are appropriated for commercial or artistic purposes without due regard for the original culture’s history or context, has a long and problematic tradition in the music industry. 

Andwan also points out that “There are many in the music industry who appropriate Black art and music without properly attributing their sources. Some will try to copy it and pass it off as their own, which is dishonest.” 

These are valid worries, and he isn’t the only one who has them. Several African-American musicians have addressed the problem of cultural appropriation in the music industry, pointing out that it frequently serves to reinforce negative stereotypes and downplay the contributions of African-American creators. 

So long as Andwan keeps talking, “More people need to talk about the problem of cultural appropriation in the music business. A deeper understanding of the music’s cultural roots is essential. That’s important to keep in mind and respect.” 

Many Black musicians and producers, including Andwan, have risen to prominence in recent years, contributing their distinctive styles and perspectives to the call for greater diversity and inclusion in the music industry. 

Andwan’s accomplishments in his own career, including working with rap legend The Game, performing at the SXSW festival, and releasing his most recent album, “SLIDE4EVER,” are indicative of his talent and hard work, and serve as a reminder that Black musicians have always been at the forefront of shaping the industry. 

To reiterate what Andwan has already mentioned: “So that other young Black musicians can see that success in the music industry is possible without compromising who you are or where you come from, I want to set a good example. I hope to contribute to increasing diversity and inclusion in the workforce.” 

Andwan Zonez is a reminder that it’s important to be authentic in a world where cultural appropriation is still a problem in the music industry. The music industry as a whole can become more welcoming and supportive of all artists by recognising and praising the achievements of Black musicians.

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