Please, don’t categorize Hall and Oates this way: ‘It’s a racist term’

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For years, maybe from the beginning, the music of Hall and Oates has been described by the same musical term — and Daryl Hall despises it. They are not, he forcefully argues, playing so-called “blue-eyed soul.”

“I fucking hate it; it’s a racist term,” Hall tells VH1. “It assumes I’m coming from the outside. There’s always been that thing in America, where if you’re a white guy and you’re singing or playing in a black idiom, it’s like: ‘Why is he doing that? Is he from the outside, looking in? Is he copying? What’s the point of it?’ C’mon, it’s music! It’s music.”

That frustration grows out of Daryl Hall’s unique history, something which informed everything that Hall and Oates did through a barrier-jumping run of six chart-topping singles, six platinum or multi-platinum albums, and some half dozen more Top 10 hit songs.

Daryl Hall emerged from an integrated experience — both in life and in art — as a child of Philadelphia, and that deeply impacted him forever. Hall grew up among both races, and ultimately failed to accept the common distinctions drawn between so-called black and white music. His professional life began around the Temptations, and around Thom Bell, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff of Sound of Philadelphia fame.

A key piece of the Hall and Oates sound was in place, long before they began a march toward both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters halls of fame. “I don’t believe in destiny, but I don’t believe I had a whole lot of choice in the matter,” Daryl Hall concludes. “I was given a certain gift, I was put in a certain place — with both family and region. So, it was the natural path.”

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