ZZ Ward: Put the Pretensions Down
ZZ Ward is an up-and-comer (here’s her single “Put the Gun Down“) who is showing up around the glitterati as a musician to admire. Yet she’s the tired and worn-out trope that’s constantly shoveled down the ears of consumers. The homely white girl who tries too hard to be a 1920’s New Orleans Ella Fitzgerald, it’s a trashier version of Adele with a fifth the talent.
Unsurprisingly the New York Times noted “Her energy evokes Tina Turner’s, her chops Aretha Franklin’s and her soul Etta James’s” which is really just code for “she’s singing in a black style as a white woman, but we’re going to give her a pass because she’s a leftist.” For her part Ward claims she’s synthesizing blue and hip-hop, which no doubt means that she’ll be interviewed weekly on NPR for the next decade. Whereas other musicians who don’t successfully thread the appropriate political needles are accused of appropriating black music, stealing styles or other claims against authenticity, Ward gets a free pass to do black music so selfishly.
“I was just really attracted to very strong female voices, and the sincerity of the blues, and then I got into hip hop through my older brother, he was listening to Nas and Jay-Z, I loved hip hop beats, and I loved their stories about just getting out of where they were from and getting more, even though I was, I grew up in Oregon, I wasn’t in the city at all, but I could relate to what they were saying. link“
Can you imagine if someone from the GOP talked about listening to Jay-Z and that they now understood black culture? That now they understood inner-city problems? Yet when the left talks about black culture, they always get a pass, and even when blacks on the right talk about their own culture, they’re ridiculed.