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November 08, 2018

This Is a Thing: Young Black People Listening to Old White Rock Music For the First Time

This is a big YouTube genre, believe it or not. It's slightly addicting.

Here are some quick observations:

1, most of these channels of black people listening to white rock songs feature them listening to the whitest, really, of rock songs. They love Queen, for example. And Rush. And they really really love Pink Floyd.

2, some of these guys are very honest about whether or not they'e actually heard these songs before or if this is truly a First Time listening. The guys from Lost in Vegas, for example, are scrupulous about letting you know if they've heard this song in a commercial or something, or telling you, 30 seconds into listening, "Yeah, I've heard this before, I just didn't know what it was called."

Other people aren't quite as scrupulous about this. I kind of don't believe some of these guys that they've never heard Bohemian Rhapsody before, given that it was big in Wayne's World, or, if they're too young for that (and many are), was ubiquitous in the Suicide Squad ads. Certainly they must have heard at least part of it during that period.

3, sometimes I think these guys be playin', pretending they like the songs more than they do, because they'll get more clicks for liking a song. Again, I like the guys who seem more honest, sometimes really liking a song, sometimes saying "it's a'right," sometimes saying "Eh I didn't love that."

Below, some of my favorite Black People Listening to White Rock videos.


This was the first guy in this genre I listened to. He's got great reactions, and my God, does he love Pink Floyd and Queen more than any suburban white kid.

Sometimes I think this guy might be laying it on a bit thick, but I think he's mostly genuine.

I think he was born the wrong color. Man, is he a freak for Pink Floyd. He would later listen to every track in The Wall, which inspired me to listen to it front-to-back again myself a few times.

Here are the Lost in Vegas guys listening to Motorhead's Ace of Spades. They show a trope of this type of video, where they try to analyze the lyrics, usually thinking there's some metaphor to be found, before realizing, "Oh, there's no metaphor at all, he's literally just saying he needs the Ace of Spades to win the hand."

I love this one from the Lost in Vegas guys: Led Zeppelin's When the Levee Breaks.

The funny thing is, they keep saying -- apologetically, not wanting to piss off their white viewers -- "Guys, this is actually a blues song, it's not just pure rock and roll, we don't want to upset you, but this is black blues song."

Meanwhile, we white Zeppelin fans are thinking: Yeah, we know it's a black blues song, there's a legal judgment declaring that it's a black blues song -- Led Zeppelin were sued for cribbing the lyrics for this one from an old bluesman.

But they're really apologetic about letting their white fans know this is black blues. It's kind of cute.

This is a great one because Man, do they love this one when they start hearing the drums and blues harmonica.

Lost In Vegas guys listen to Rush 2112. I mostly listened to this to see if they could get me to like 2112, which I don't like and don't get. They didn't. They try to like it, but I'm not sure they really do. Which is pretty much my take, too.

I think this one is my favorite.

This is an example of a guy who is really expressive when he's listening to a song, which is fun, and seems honest, not just pretending.

He's listening to Bohemian Rhapsody. All black-guys-listening-to-white-rock youtubers must listen to Bohemian Rhapsody. Usually it's their entry into the field.

But here's why it's great: Can you remember the first time you heard this song, and it started to get really really silly, and you were like, "What the fuck is this stupid bullshit?"

Well, I think this is really this guy's first listen, because in the beginning he's digging it, and then the song starts to get, well, out there, and his reaction is honest, or else he's just a great actor.

What I think he's thinking is: ,"Are you White People putting me on with this nonsense?! "

BTW, he accidentally has picked a video where they just play the song twice in a row, which he doesn't know at first. Point is, once you hear the song once, that's really it, because the rest of the video is him just listening to a copy of what he just heard.

If you watch just one of these, watch this one. When he gets to The Part.


Anyway, if you like those, your YouTube sidebar should be quickly populated by the hundreds of other videos in this genre. The Lost in Vegas guys, by the way, are the most wide-ranging in their sampling, and don't just stick to British progressive rock; they also listen to country (including Jolene, for example, and of course Johnny Cash) and super-hard metal, like Gojira. (They're where I heard that Gojira song for the first time.)

digg this
posted by Ace of Spades at 07:01 PM

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