In keeping with its trend of appeasing fans who believe God so loved the world he gave us his only begotten son whose name is either Tom Brady or Donald Trump, the National Football League decided to overlook the 1,203,034 musical acts in Atlanta, Ga. and announced that Maroon 5 will perform at halftime of Super Bowl LIII. I don’t even know who Liii is (probably a girl from Atlanta whose real name is Leah but she became a vegan, started listening to Erykah Badu, went on a natural hair journey and changed her name), but Rolling Stone reports that February’s Super Bowl Halftime show in the ATL will be headlined by Maroon 5, the musical act best known for its daring combination of the number of good songs they made with the most boring color on the planet. We must first say that there is nothing wrong with Maroon 5. In fact, Adam Levine has a really good voice and they are perfectly fine. They even let a black guy join the group in 2010. I like their two ditties “Hey … [Read more...] about NFL Picks Maroon 5 For Super Bowl in America’s Biggest Black Music Scene Because… Of Course
Did you know R&B was renamed as “rhythm & blues” from “race music” by Billboard magazine in 1949? The name change reflected upwardly mobile Negroes working diligently to change their social and economic statuses. But, of course, with growth and downright swag comes theft. R&B caught the ears of white audiences, and the rest is a long history of musical theft (ahem, rock ‘n’ roll). R&B music has got to be one of the sexiest genres out there. To let high-note-hitter Luke James tell it: “R&B is just the musical element, content, tone, the feeling. It’s just a title. R&B is a lot of shit. It’s rhythm and blues. I want the music to wrap around your body and take your mind. Then I want the lyrics to hold you.” I don’t know about y’all, but that got my attention. R&B requires souful singing with a strong backbeat. It’s our most popular genre, and, of course, black folks created it. … [Read more...] about Black Music Month: Soul Music; We Make It, They Take It
What is black music? For many, it’s soul, funk, R&B, hip hop and essentially all genres of music reflect roots in blackness. But they don’t hear us though. Music is very much a culture of we make it, they take it. We’ve seen it throughout history in the complete theft of everything we exclusively create within music, from Elvis Presley to Justin Timberlake. Did you know that there’s a such thing as Black Music Month? Well, there is. There’s a month for everything now, seriously. Okra has a month, which also happens to be June, but okra definitely doesn’t deserve it. Smiles, like that thing on your face when you’re happy - that has a month too—well kinda two since it goes from May through April. Impressive. But yes, black music has a month. But what is black music? To Janelle Monáe, there is no definition. You can tell in the way that she moves as an artist. It’s not only her own beat, but it’s her own drum too. To … [Read more...] about Is Black Music the Well Many Artists Drink From and Profit More From Than Black Artists?
It took decades for Josiah Wise to find his voice. This is figuratively true for most developing adults, but for Wise, who performs music under the name serpentwithfeet, it was also literal. The distinct, shivering vibrato he sings with—so strong it sounds like his larynx is seizing almost every time he opens his mouth—was always there, even back when he joined the choir of his family’s Pentecostal church at age 6. But when he began formal training at age 11, in his mostly white, boy choir, his teacher urged him to sing in what’s called pure tone, effectively stifling his vibrato. “It’s almost like for a black person cutting off our legs,” he recalled to me last week at Gotan, a coffee spot in Midtown Manhattan. He said he struggled with it while studying music at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia—to vibrate or not vibrate, that was the question. “My voice was in a weird spot for years,” he recalled. “Once I … [Read more...] about The Very Gay, Very Black Gospel According to serpentwithfeet
Since Cheeto Grease the Tyrant fumblingly assumed office thanks to the Assorted Colonizer Coalition of America at the conclusion of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, something interesting has happened: Black women and occurrences of us prospering have shot through the roof. I mean, one doesn’t have to look too far for examples of this, especially this year. With chosen champions like Lena Waithe, Tiffany Haddish, basically the entire female cast of both Black Panther and Black Lightning and—perennially—King Bey herself, it is very clear that Bast has chosen to smile upon us, especially during this turbulent time. Despite this, there are some who have foolishly chosen to challenge us—I’m talking “Oberyn foolishly not double-tapping the Mountain in his infamously fatal trial-by-combat match” foolish—in these turbulent times. This has mainly been in the form of every Karen who has weaponized potato salad with raisins, every Taylor who has … [Read more...] about The Nonapology Guide: Black Woman Edition