All Articles Tagged "black music month"
As we move through June, we continue to celebrate Black Music Month. If you’re anything like me as an R&B/soul music fan, when you are introduced to an artist who you think is amazing, you want them to succeed. But then again, you don’t want them to blow up so much for fear that the music will change or become watered down. Today, we take a look at some of today’s best and brightest in soul who’ve received lots of attention but haven’t really allowed the music to suffer in the process. Who’s your favorite R&B/soul artist of today?
Note: This list certainly is not the sum of all the artists we love because as an R&B lover, I could go on for days. This is just a “to wet your appetite” list and this could be never ending. That’s why we want you to add your favorites in the comments. Enjoy!
There are two artists I might end a friendship over if you speak ill of them, and Jill Scott is one of them. For years, Jill has proven herself as a musical force to be reckoned with – there are few who can match that voice and those songwriting abilities. She sings in different languages, she sings her songs in operatic tone, and her range is amazing. We’re always ready for new music from Jilly from Philly.
Recording a masterful opus requires various elements upon completion including producers, songwriters, and musicians just to name a few. Not to mention an artist and a photographer to help showcase and convey the album’s visual concept for its front cover.
In celebration of Black Music Month, we gathered a vast collection of memorable album covers through the years, ranging from Jimi Hendrix’s “Electric Ladyland” to Nas’ 1994 debut hip-hop classic “Illmatic.”
See which albums made the cut at BlackVoices.com
More on Madame Noire!
- Jay Electronica: The Homewrecking Other Man?
- Where Are They Now? 10 Black Actresses Who Should Have Blown Up Big…
- Sun Sets: 6 Summer Must-Have Accessories
- Get A Little Closer: Romantic Movies To See With Your Summer Boo
- MN Exclusive: Malinda Williams On Her Most Challenging Role
- Kanye I Want You To Take Your Own Advice: Drive Slow Homie
- What About Ciara? Knicks Star Amar’e Stoudemire Proposes To Mother of His Children
In case you may not have known, June is Black Music Month and people, we’re in a musical crisis: Where are today’s legends? Though many of us grew up on our parents’ music (Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Earth Wind & Fire, etc…) and some of us in the 80s were blessed with Michael, Whitney, New Edition and Prince, the 90s and beyond have presented a challenge. I’ve come up with a list; you may or may not agree, but we need to talk about this! Who is an all-around legend to you?
There’s nothing like the feeling of riding through the city streets, bumping your favorite jam. As we know there is no better time to do this than the summer. With this extended weekend coming up, AOL’s Black Voices compiled a list of our favorite joints that sound good all year long, but even funkier in the summer. You’ll be sure to find something you love on this list of 27 songs.
Check it out and go ahead and make that CD.
As the fader slides toward silence and Black Music Month nears its end, The Atlanta Post has decided to turn up the volume. Instead of celebrating typical artists and albums we’ve reached out to several music experts to compile a list of seven of the most misunderstood, underrated and unsung albums of all time. Whether it was bold sexuality, fearless experimentation or the scandal of troubled personal lives, each of the following compilations faced challenges in securing respect and acclaim. Some of the entries are now considered underground or mainstream classics, while a few of them are still waiting to be understood and appreciated by the masses.
Common may enjoy his status today, as one of black music’s most acclaimed and visible talents, but in 2002 no one knew quite what to make of his hip-hop fusion album, “Electric Circus”. “It was a complete musical departure from not only anything Common had ever recorded, but from anything mainstream rappers were doing. It’s arguably one of the most musically eclectic hip-hop albums ever. There’s electronic, R&B, boom bap, jazz, big band and African beats all mixed in without any clear order,” said Yahoo! Music’s senior editor, Billy Johnson.
In addition to stepping outside of musical limits, Common lyrically pushed the envelope by tackling weighty subject matter such as homophobia, sexual abuse and mortality. While such experimentation failed to deliver commercial success, Johnson believes that there is still value to this overlooked entry in the rapper’s catalogue. “It is still relevant today because it’s no longer uncommon to hear raps over such diverse beats. Many hip-hop fans might still shy away from this album, but fans of electronic, rock, and underground rap music would absolutely embrace it.”
Listen to: “Star 69 (PS With Love)”
The month of June means several things to many people, not least of during which is the official start of the summer equinox. But the long, warm days also usher in Black Music Month as well – no doubt a concoction to help drive sales, the annual commemoration is nice one nonetheless, as it provides the perfect backdrop for a variety of events and performances celebrating the genre. This year it seems as though there are a few who are taking advantage of Black Music Month to connect a few business dots and leverage it into enhanced visibility and discussion.
In fact, I’ve just been invited to a rather hush-hush evening which will take place right at the end of the month’s festivities. This gathering should prove to be an interesting one indeed, for it spotlights an area which is certainly undergoing a powerful convergence at the moment: the integration of cross-cultural lifestyle/entertainment, emerging tech platforms and the advertising sector.
The dynamics taking place are so profound, that the landscape will certainly never look the same again. But whether this disruption will yield large benefit or titanic losses will simply depend upon the manner in which the major players in the game choose to move the chess pieces.
The event in discussion is that from DraftFCB (an advertising agency whose clients include such brands well-known to the urban community as MillerCoors, KFC, Kmart and Sony). DraftFCB has tapped R&B recording artist Ryan Leslie to discuss the implications of digital media, fittingly, during Black Music Month. Most readers here will already be well-familiar with the fact that Leslie was an early pioneer in utilizing social media to leverage his musical talents and document his journey to obtaining a record label deal.
It is this and more which he will discuss with power players in the industry at a the offices of one of the most powerful tech players in the world. And if the moment is truly seized properly, the event should lead to a much-needed dialogue regarding the present business opportunities within this convergence as well as those on the horizon.
First, it is no secret that African-Americans and Latinos out-index within the digital media space. Whether examining mobile expenditures and feature usage, to population percentage represented on Twitter to largest growth market for on-line usage and ownership of Smartphones; analysts such as myself consistently discover that it is people of color who create the greatest percentages (and I have no doubt that once Cloud services and 3D phone ramp up, this same demographic will continue this phenomenon).
In terms of product consumption, respected research group Target Market News has consistently demonstrated the powerful buying power of African-Americans. This same demographic also leads in entertainment trends, helping to influence digital sales charts and popular culture on a global level. And it is not surprising that one of the most significant insights about our demographic’s youth segment is that entertainment affirms the segment’s lifestyle due in large part to the fact that it’s one of the few areas (including sports) where we’ve have seen the consistent ability to excel on one’s own terms.
Did you remember that June is Black Music Month? If you didn’t Black Voices has a friendly reminder for you. They’re featuring some black artists that have left their mark in the industry. (A daunting task, right?) Recently they highlighted rap duo Salt-N-Pepa.
Here some fun facts you may not have known about the “Push It” women. Check it out.
- Salt-N-Pepa holds the title for the biggest selling female rap group
- They’re from Queens, NY.
- Cheryl and Sandy (Salt and Pep) worked at Sears as customer service representatives while they were taking classes at Queens Community College
- Their debut album Hot, Cool, & Vicious went platinum in 1988.
To read the full story about Salt-N-Pepa check out AOL’s Black Voices.
AOL’s Black Voices shadowed musical legend Raphael Saadiq, following him around for the day. In between the action they asked the former Tony! Toni! Toné! member about his latest album and why people are responding so positively to it. They even caught him performing a few of his hit songs.
You can watch the videos here.
Now is this holiday really necessary for us? Probably not. We need no excuse at all to pump up the volume, open up our iTunes or cruise through the streets riding to our favorite jams.
Whether it’s a soul-stirring spiritual from Mahalia Jackson, a moon-walk inducing hit from Michael Jackson, a soulful ballad from Anthony Hamilton or a thought provoking joint from Duke Ellington, we can take pride in knowing that some of the best contributions to the art of sound have come from black people.
Since you celebrate the genius of black music everyday take this month to introduce a co-worker, younger sibling or grandparent to some stuff they ain’t never heard before. Enrich their life with the gift of music. It’s timeless.
(The Fresh Xpress) — As Black Music Month winds down, theFreshXpress.com chose to highlight twenty of the most groundbreaking, influential, or just plain memorable videos from the King of Pop in celebration of his death. We’ve polled our contributors and come up with a list, which we’re sure you’ll debate. Chime in with your thoughts, tell us why these videos were significant to you, or just tell us what we missed!