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Mercury & West

Rock and rap music have been a major genre of music for decades. These are forms of music that are therefore considered "generational." Despite the fact that these are two completely different types of music, there is a lingering connection within the music's qualities.                                                                                                                                                                

Many artists that have arisen from each of these genres have each established a unique type of style different from the rest. Yet, all of these musicians have been influenced by past performers, making their music more recognizable to just about any type of audience. The British rock band Queen, with lead singer Freddie Mercury, Brian May on guitar, John Deacon on bass, and Roger Taylor on drums, has affected the rock and roll industry unbelievably.  

The band lost a few of its members but still kept the name till 2009. Through Queen, the takeoff of Freddy Mercury's career began. Rap artist Kanye West, is a critically acclaimed solo artist and has become a more famous figure in recent years for his work. Who not only set the standard in entertainment history for the new generation but was figuratively shaped by the influence of Freddie Mercury in Queen. Freddy Mercury, well known for his singing, songwriting, and flamboyant personality, is recognized for his operatic masterpiece Bohemian Rhapsody. Beginning in London during the 1970s, Queen’s music has reached fans of all ages globally.  

 Best known for their songs, We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions, which have set records and can be considered celebratory anthems. Some of which continue to make appearances in films and television shows to this day. Adapting a fusion of hard rock and glam rock, Queen hit the British music charts in the late 70s after multiple hit releases. Freddie's four-octave vocal range, due to his extra set of teeth in the back of his mouth, has become a well-admired sound by most of the rock and roll audience.  

Mercury's costumes and entertainment during shows showed an approach that had not been seen before, in a way to always keep his fans on their feet. He set a standard for artists to come and influenced a wide range of musical upbringing in today’s era, like Kanye West. Kanye West has impacted the music industry incredibly in his attempts to change the idea of rap music. West incorporates lyrics that just about anyone can relate to, making him one of the most well-known artists of our time. Kanye holds a signature diversity in his music that can vary from soul to classical with different electrical pitches and sound waves that were not frequently used in music during the beginning of his career.          

His record-breaking albums such as "808 Heartbreak" and "Life of Pablo" evoke different sets of musical themes and lyrical messages, appealing to any sort of audience. West, also widely admired for his performances, tends to always keep his audience captivated with his presentation and style of singing. Using his style just like Mercury as a way to engage his fans through his representation. He embodies the values of a rap artist in a way that has not been seen before.  

However, his so-called "different" appeal began with the inspiration of Freddie Mercury. Kanye West has spoken about Freddie Mercury's influence on him through Queen. Not only for Mercury’s out of the ordinary stage performances, but for his sense of style when approaching his listeners. As well as Kanye’s fame through his producing and music, he has created a sense of style that is alluring. His brands, including Yeezy, have become some of the top-selling items on the fashion market. Songs such as Power, Flashing Lights, Heartless, etc. are all upbeat sounding pieces just like Queen's "We Rock You,""We Are The Champions,""Another One Bites The Dust," etc. During the 2015 Glastonbury Festival, Kanye performed a tribute to Mercury.    

His performance was in recognition of Bohemian Rhapsody, part of which he covered in his headlining opening, as stated in the "10 Artist Freddie Mercury Inspired" article on Mercury’s influence on rappers, "During his 2015 Glastonbury Festival headlining performance, which received mixed reviews globally." Kanye uses Queen's electronic style of sounds incorporated through his own music, as well as stagnant form of singing in his range of tunes, which can be identified similar to Mecury’s.    As Kanye builds off pieces of Freddie in Queen, he establishes his own image. Just like Kanye who is one of the very few black Americans in the rock and roll industry, Mercury brings his own persona to the table. With these similar tendencies between each of these musicians, they have collected a number of fans across the world. In spite of these two performers being from different genres, they have adapted values that mimic each other.    

 Like many artists who do the same, it was more apparent to see the similarities between Kanye and Freddie. A timeless artist is one who contributes more than just music. From their fashion, performances, songs, and background, it is clear that this twain has done everything possible to make them memorable for future generations.

Edited by Chloe Mansola

Image: 'Freddy Mercury' by MASSTROSS21 licensed by CC BY 4.0 DEED

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