For those of us with more than a handful of stamps on our passports, we know how travel broadens our perspective and makes us question many of the ways we are socialized. This in turn begins to change and shape what we deem our likes and dislikes, most prominently in the areas such as food and most namely – music.
Summer 2022 music artists have taken notice of the droves of melanated people traveling abroad. If you’ve ever “broke night” on the Amalfi Coast, or traded shots with Australian backpackers at the O Beach day party in Ibiza then Drake’s album “Honestly Nevermind,” definitely transports your mind to a golden afternoon, drink in one hand, blowing shisha with the other.
Hip hop’s most famous “rap-crooner,” caused an unsettling wave of confusion on social media, as long- time fans of Drake were disappointed that after one year since “Certified Lover Boy,” their anticipation led to “ouuut ouuut” beats vs the pop trap sounds they were used to. However any world traveler listening intently immediately knew this wasn’t Drake pandering to Aubrey aficionados, it was him creating music for the clubs, day parties, and events that make up world travel. “Honestly Nevermind,” serves as representation for the Black Traveler who knows what’s up in these international streets.
And if that first dose of world music wasn’t enough, we were blessed with the creative sounds of the incomparably iconic Beyonce who also is trending for her newfound ode to dance music. The Queen released her seventh studio album “Renaissance”, comprised of high- energy elements like house, afrobeats, hyper pop, and drum & base. Although Beyonce’s project has a grungier feel versus Drake’s melodic frequency catering to an atmosphere similar to underground bars in Montreal, Rome, or Paris as red and blue lights flicker in sequences and a Chinese-French DJ spins in a fitted Brazil jersey. The music moves you, and speaks to the hearts of travelers world wide, reminding us of the places we’ve been and the destinations we’re about to go to.
Both artists have developed a creative reflection of the times we live in. As future generations are more and more open to exploration outside of the United States, and start to value experiences over short- lived gratification, music has to keep up with were the people are going to consume it. Artists realized this concept when streaming music online became more popular than buying an album, and now they will have to do it again as Black tourism continues to grow. Artists that are usually pigeonholed should now feel freer to experiment with different sounds, because thanks to travels consumer’s tastes are evolving. Business 101 states if the demand is there give the people what they want, and the other who aren’t hip to yet what they need. The fact that Drake and Beyonce can submerge themselves in the dance genre and succeed is a representation of the freedom we have to be ourselves.
As travelers we still carry where we come from wherever we go, but as continue to open our minds and implement new perspectives, as we discover what the world has to offer and not just what’s given to us.