How Beethoven Continues to Inspire Rapper Drumma Boy

Beethoven and Bach remain big influences on hip-hop star Drumma Boy.(Photo: visial.dichotomy (Flickr))
Beethoven and Bach remain big influences on hip-hop star Drumma Boy.(Photo: visial.dichotomy (Flickr))

Christopher James Gholson, aka Drumma Boy, has made a name for himself as one of today’s most popular hip-hop artists. In a recent story in the Huffington Post, he told the world that his own musical style remains influenced equally powerfully by classical music and by the African-American culture of his native Memphis, Tenn.

From a family of professional classical musicians, Drumma Boy grew up experiencing the music of Beethoven – “I find my true, kindred spirit,” he says, “lives within the music of Ludwig van Beethoven” – and other European classical composers and playing the clarinet in his youth orchestra, while also drinking in soul, funk, rap and hip-hop. The result, as Drumma Boy suggests, is an aesthetic that assimilates the best qualities of multiple traditions:

If people were a little more like Beethoven, closed their ears and actually listened, the relationship between two genres that, on the surface, seem polar opposites, wouldn’t be such a far-fetched idea.

Read more: From Classical to Hip-Hop: Why Beethoven Still Inspires Me (HP)

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