All Articles Tagged "black music"
I usually never watch the Grammys and honestly wasn’t planning on doing so last night. But when my friend asked me if I was going to participate in the festivities at brunch, I decided since I was avoiding the cold, to check it out. The show itself had high and low moments. It wasn’t fabulous but it certainly wasn’t the most boring thing I’ve seen. So, whether you missed it or want to relive it, check out the most memorable moments. The asterisks represent high points of the night.
I’m sure black musicians get into the game wishing and hoping for that crossover money. It’s one thing to have a hit in the black community, but when your songs go mainstream, that’s a wider audience and even more money. Whether these artists wrote these songs knowing they would go over well with all audiences, we can’t tell. What we do know though, is that after a while, this songs became just as, if not even more popular with white folk. Now you’re more likely to hear these songs at your company Christmas party than in the…more racially homogenous clubs some black people frequent.
No Diggity- Blackstreet
For a while I was surprised when I’d hear white people sing all the lyrics to this song, considering much of Blackstreet’s fan base was primarily black. But back in the ’90′s black groups had the pop radio stations on lock. And this song was in heavy rotation. It’s no wonder it became something of an anthem, a karaoke classic. The song is still popular with white folk, as I just recently heard it the the new movie, Pitch Perfect.
Christmas was just yesterday and hopefully Santa has already visited your house; but we’re still in the mood for Christmas music, so we chose Eartha Kitt’s slightly sultry, definitely demanding wish list for Mr. Claus. It’s one of our favorites. Is this your song too?
Every Christmas folks are running around like chickens with their heads cut off looking for that perfect gift to buy their loved ones. But on his Christmas album, which is everything, Luther told his lover, his boo thang that spending money won’t be necessary, he just wants a kiss for Christmas. Very sweet. If you’re not familiar with this one, check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
Though love songs these days don’t quite sound like they used to, it doesn’t mean the genre has died altogether. In fact, 2012 was a good year for love songs; check out some of our favorites and let us know if you agree.
You & I
Avant & KeKe Wyatt
The Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell duo for the millennium reunited for their first collaboration since “Nothing In This World,” which was released and “Six Questions,” a song from 2006 which appeared on one of KeKe’s shelved albums. And though both KeKe and Avant have gotten older, it’s clear that they’ve still got it. This duet, despite the lackluster video, is exactly what the game has been missing, since they stopped singing together.
A couple of months ago, I was watching an interview with Michaela Angela Davis. In it, she discussed the images of black women and how black women specifically, but black people in general advance the culture–as in pop culture. When you look at the history of American music, you need look no further than Jazz and then Hip Hop to see that this is true. But aside from music, blacks have contributed to the national lexicon as well. If you don’t believe me, check out the following words.
This word, referring to the way light hits flashy, often gaudy, jewelry, was first made popular in 1999 when BG and the Cash Money Millionaires released a song by the name of “Bling Bling.” When you think about it, that’s pretty clever. This ideophone, a word or sound(s) that describes a complete idea, undoubtedly led to the word’s popularity and staying power. Before you knew it every other rapper was using the phrase and then it really took off when mainstream artists started saying it. Eventually it was added to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary in 2002 and the Merriam Webster dictionary in 2006. Politician and two-time presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney even used it in 2008, at a campaign event.
In researching this story, I actually forgot how great “Bling Bling” was, so just in case you need a refresher course as well, here’s the video that started it all.
It doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while you’ll play the first chords of a record and you know immediately that this piece of art is going to become a part of you. Not just something you listen to as background music, not something you dance, absentmindedly in the club, but something you internalize. You find yourself recalling the lyrics to songs and applying them to the real life situations you face. We all have these gems. So let’s dig in with the masterpieces that I carry with me.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – Lauryn Hill
No need to beat around the bush. Quite a few black people born after 1970 would include this national treasure on their list. Lauryn was preaching in her first solo album. The Miseducation is the perfect combination of righteous and real. It always amazes me how perspective-changing art makes it’s way into our lives. A friend of my mother’s gifted me with this album for a random occasion and for months it never left my discman. I was only a fifth grader when this album hit the streets but even as a youngster I knew it was profound. I can’t tell you how many hours I sat, in my room, in my back yard, on the school bus, absorbing the knowledge Lauryn was dropping. The album made me laugh, cry, dance and think. It was perfection.
Music is important to all people; but this fact becomes particularly pertinent when you’re talking about black people. As a “race” who have had to endure some of life’s worst hardships, many times, creating, listening to or dancing to music has been our only escape. I’m convinced that without music, quite a few of us wouldn’t be able to cope. Music is therapeutic. So in honor of uplifting and inspiring ourselves, here’s a list of songs that do just that. This list is in no way exhaustive. In fact it’s a continuation of a list I created last year about this time. Check out the original list and be sure to add your suggestions in the comments section below.
1. “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now”- McFadden and Whitehead
I know we’ve got a long long way to go, yeah
And where we’ll end up
I don’t know
But we won’t let nothing hold us back
We gonna get ourselves together
We gonna polish up our act, yeah
And if you’ve ever been held down before
I know that you refuse to be held down any more…
Last year, one of our readers suggested I include this song on the list. They were so right, I can’t believe I forgot it. I mean, this song was so popular and so moving that people began to refer to it as the new “Black National Anthem.” There’s so much passion and hopefulness behind the delivery, that you can’t help but be encouraged.
The ladies will be in full effect for the annual Essence Music Festival in New Orleans this year.
The star studded lineup includes Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Fantasia, Estelle, Stephanie Mills, Keyshia Cole, SWV and plenty more.
While the ladies will dominate there are some exciting male acts too.
Head over to Black Voices.com to see the full lineup.
Are you going to New Orleans for EMF this year?
More on Madame Noire!
Do you remember Video Music Box with DJ Ralph McDaniels or Yo! MTV Raps back in the early ’90s? Remember when Donnie Simpson and Sherry Carter from BET would play all the hits on their Friday night countdown show, Video Soul? I can’t be the only one who reminisces about sitting in front of the TV jamming to music that I was really too young to understand.
If you were coming of age in the 90′s you were jamming to some good music, unlike today where the radio is filled with nonsense. Not too many of the hit makers from that time are still around today and for those who are, the music doesn’t always add up. Whatever happened to Changing Faces, Brownstone, Pebbles and CeCe Peniston? Take a trip down memory lane with me as I reminisce on some folks you probably forgot about.