Does "Rock music is evil / of the devil" have racist roots?

As a Christian most of the circles I’m around are pretty chill…no stone-cold fundamentalists. But I have been around people (and even had family members) who are 100% convinced that rock music is evil and will lead people to engage in witchcraft and draw pentagrams all over their home.

The root of the belief is that rock music uses drums, which are used by voodoo tribes in Africa to entrance people.

Along a different track of thinking, from where did rock music originate? Slaves. They created the guitar because slave-owners didn’t allow them to make music with drums.

So then is “rock music is evil” sort of an echo of that attitude?

hal_5700X,
@hal_5700X@lemmy.world avatar

No. Seeing how “Rock music is evil.” thing started with Elvis Presley. Then in the 70’s you had people going for rock bands like the Rolling Stones for singing about sex and drugs. They moved to metal bands in the 80’s. Marilyn Manson was the big name target in the mid-late 90’s.

lvxferre,
@lvxferre@lemmy.ml avatar

[some are] convinced that rock music is evil and will lead people to engage in witchcraft and draw pentagrams all over their home.

I think that it’s pretty safe to say that at least some people around you are stone-cold fundamentalists. This sort of discourse doesn’t come from non-fundamentalists.

That said as stupid as “rock is [from the d]evil” claim is, I don’t think that it’s rooted in racism. Instead I think that it’s because some values often followed by rock bands, singers and fans clash directly with some values of Christianity.

Note that some sort of percussion pops up in almost every musical style, across the eras.

Slaves. They created the guitar

This was already addressed, but… come on, acoustic guitars are from Middle Ages Iberia, and they backtrack all the way into the lutes of the Ancient Egypt and Anatolia. (Probably. It’s so old that the origins are hard to determine.)

TheBananaKing,

I don’t think so, at least not for everyone.

My grandfather (born round the start of the first world war) was hideously racist, not overtly religious, but neither of those seemed to figure into his horrified disgust and moral panic at “rock and roll”. Seriously, he’d be less shocked at someone wiping their ass with a slice of bread and eating it, than he would be at them playing rock music in the house. If it featured on a TV ad, or came in the window from someone driving past, it was like he was under siege.

Part of it was the sex-and-drugs angle, I’m sure, but I think even that was a small part of the whole.

I think the biggest part was that it was a symbol of counterculture, of men growing their hair long and rejecting the order and authority of the world he was born into. He experienced a fuckton of social change in his lifetime, he couldn’t navigate the culture any more, and this left him lost, angry and afraid. There were these people pissing on all the symbols he understood, and waving around a bunch he didn’t, while rejecting all the values he’d been taught - and dancing about it, like (from his perspective) a horde of crackheads ransacking a library and smearing shit on everything for lulz.

I mean, I wince and block channels with any kind of ‘reaction videos’, and I’m only genX. I get it, to a degree - though I’m trying at least to ensure that when I get irretrievably stuck in the past, it’s at least from this century. But the change I’ve been through only stretches from Kojak to Skibidi Toilet whatever the fuck that is. His stretched from before cars or refrigeration to the internet itself. I don’t think I’ll see as big a transformation as he did in his time; I hope I cope a shitload better than he did with what I do see, but who knows?

rottingleaf,

Along a different track of thinking, from where did rock music originate? Slaves. They created the guitar because slave-owners didn’t allow them to make music with drums.

What the flying fuck? The guitar is one of the oldest mediterranean instruments. Naturally it evolved from antiquity, but just how did you think that?

That attitude stems, naturally, from association with sex, drugs and pacifist rebellion with rock music. Organized religion often supports sexual morality, is suspicious of drugs (when it doesn’t incorporate their usage), and considers the social hierarchies to be of divine root, thus going to war would be the right thing to do and pacifism would be the opposite.

Da_Boom,
@Da_Boom@iusearchlinux.fyi avatar

Look up the satanic panic

theKalash,

Show them some Christian Rock and watch their heads explode.

leraje,
@leraje@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar
infreq,

Funny how just the first few lines of your post clearly establishes that you are from the US

Kolanaki,
@Kolanaki@yiffit.net avatar

I only recall seeing rock n roll start receiving hate after Elvis Presley became big because prudish Christians didn’t like the way he gyrated his hips in most of the things I’ve seen covering the history of rock.

Nemo,

Short answer: Yes.

the_q,

Short wrong answer.

XTL,

There is an answer to any question that is simple, quick, and wrong.

somebody

SeeMinusMinus,
@SeeMinusMinus@lemmy.world avatar

Some blues guitarist back in the day sold his soul to the devil to become the greatest guitar player of his time and with his powers he wrote a album and invented rock n’ roll. He died at age 27 and since then lots of great rock stars have died at age 27. Its called the 27 club. Personally I think that’s fucking cool and it makes me like rock n’ roll even more 🎸

theKalash,

Some blues guitarist back in the day sold his soul to the devil to become the greatest guitar player of his time and with his powers he wrote a album and invented rock n’ roll.

That sounds like it would make a great movie setup.

maegul,
@maegul@lemmy.ml avatar

Bob Dylan certainly thinks so: medium.com/…/like-it-is-bob-dylan-explains-what-r…

His take is that Rock n Roll was bringing white and black people together and so the establishment sought to shut it down.

Riccosuave, (edited )
@Riccosuave@lemmy.world avatar

The core of Abrahamic religion is based around an in-group / out-group ideology. When you dove-tail off that premise it is clear that Abrahamic religion uses labelism such as “evil” or “from the devil” in order to obfuscate their suppression and opression of the out-group.

radix,
@radix@lemmy.world avatar

Tangential to the question, but Elvis was famously censored from the waist down in an early TV appearance for being too sexy. Then, of course, lots and lots of rock in the ‘free love’ 60s and 70s was explicitly about drugs.

Going from ‘sex and drugs’ to ‘of the devil’ is a pretty short line to draw for some people.

ivanafterall,
@ivanafterall@kbin.social avatar

I'm liking the sound of this devil fellow.

Noel_Skum,

Would it be true to say that perhaps you have some Sympathy For The Devil?

jjjalljs,

I’ve never heard anyone blame the drums before. Usually it’s thinly veiled “rock is blues, blues is black, black is bad”

Also sometimes “too left wing. Damn commies”, sometimes.

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