The Art of Neo Soul – A New Expression of Soul Music
Neo Soul is a genre of music that arose in the 1990s from the experience of R&B/Soul music and is characterized as “bringing freshness to a genre long pronounced dead …” (Phillip Cunningham/Bowling Green State University). As defined by the Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy, “art is modern works that appear to break radically with all traditional art” and this music genre is by definition new and radically different. Considering neo soul in terms of art, I believe that this music is an expression of modern mainstream African American culture, experience, belief, and surely, the root of this ethnicity. Different and more artistically expressed than soul music it brings great aesthetic value to the music scene. Not just music, but a powerful expression of deep rooted feelings through attention-grabbing and talented artist of our day. Neo-Soul is new and innovative in expressing the common culture of African American life and in its refusal to walk the conventional line. In what the Music Said’ an essay by Mark Anthony Neal, this form of music is ‘post-soul’ and is a combination of rhythm and blues, funk, rap and hip-hop and arose out of resistance to, and often times in opposition to, middle class sensibilities of respectability and norms. In Soul, the expression seems disdain and rebellion for the normal societal norms, that have been put in place by the government influences such as Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and Let’s Get it On´ two of his most popular pieces where he is in defiance of the current political agenda and abstinence. Neo, meaning ‘new, or ‘Nu’ brought a different vehicle of expression the experiences of the time. Though there is much debate regarding the terms ‘Neo-soul’ or ‘Neo-classical-soul’ has become, in the 1990s and 2000s, more popular.
Neo Soul is an extension of a culture that has a voice. The African American community in the 1990s as ‘church’ and faith become...
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