Classical pianist Jade Simmons has ventured into a new way style of music: mixing classical music with rap. Jade Simmons is a classical pianist who has been pushing the boundaries of the genre for sometime. She has been known to incorporate jazz, electronic, pop, and experimental music into her live performances. However, the recent addition of rap in her albums seems to be a rather bold move.
From my perspective at least, rap and classical music are polar opposites. I believe that in the contemporary cultural world, society has done its way of distinctly labeling the two genres. Classical music, as perceived by most, is associated with the old, maturity, class, and sophistication, where as rap is often associated with youth, vulgarity, and sometimes rebellion.
While after listening to a few sample tracks of Jade Simmons' classical and rap mash-up I will admit that I did find it too sound odd and lacking in cohesion and natural flow, I believe that this album is on the right track to break down musical stereotypes. By combining these two vastly different genres, Ms. Simmons is opening a pathway for many young classical musicians who are influenced by multiple genres (the irony is that young musicians today do not fit into the musical stereotypes as much as their parents generation do due to the accessibility of media, which is a main source of contemporary music, such as rap). However, who is to say that Ms. Simmons is only helping classical musicians? Young rap musicians can start blending the two genres as well (some rap musicians do use classical music interludes from time to time at the beginning of tracks).
As a young classical musician, I see this blend of genres as a small gain in our field. This can potentially open up a new outlet of performance opportunities for young classical musicians so they are not just limited by the orchestral field.