Black people have created and influenced just about every genre you can think of – jazz, hip hop, pop, rock, gospel, country (which, yes, we invented!) and more.
The U.S. finally took note in 1979 and initiated Black Music Month – also known as African American Music Appreciation Month – a month-long celebration highlighting the achievements and contributions Black musicians have made in the music industry.
As talented as we are, we still have a long way to go when it comes to inclusion within certain genres, most recently seen with Lil Nas X’s massive hit Old Town Road. In case you missed it, the non-melanated crowd didn’t view this song as “country” enough, even though it contains all the elements of a typical country song. Billboard apparently felt the same way, as they removed the song from its Hot Country Songs chart after initially including it upon the song’s release earlier this year. Lil Nas X is getting the final laugh, though, as the song continues to top Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for the eighth straight week!
Still, we spend this month celebrating how far we’ve come – from Black musicians and singers being allowed to only play the Chitlin Circuit during an era of legalized racial segregation, to Beyoncé being the first Black woman to headline Coachella in 2018.
Check out what the aspireTV team is listening to keep you grooving this Black Music Month and all summer long. From trap (no judgment!) to gospel music, this list is vast and only demonstrates that music is and will forever be a fabric of our community.
Let us know who’s on your playlist!
Biz Markie, It’s Spring Again
Anderson Paak, Tints
Down to the Bone, Pure Funk
Jonathan McReynolds. The Life Music Collection
Tasha Cobbs, You Know My Name
Danielle West, Who You Are
Tasha Cobbs, Gracefully Broken
Lil Nas X, Old Town Road
Beyoncé, Homecoming: The ENTIRE Live Album
Chaynler Joie, I Will Not Neglect You
Tracy Chapman, Give Me One Reason
Lizzo, Truth Hurts
Beyoncé, 1 + 1
Nipsey Hussle ft. Kendrick Lamar, Dedication
Kelontae Gavin, No Ordinary Worship
Lionel Richie, All night long
India Arie, Steady Love
Alicia Keys, Raise A Man
Fugees, Killing Me Softly
Mahalia Jackson, How I Got Over
City Girls, Act Up
Blkswn, Wild Irish Roses
Nipsey Hussle, Victory Lap
Megan Thee Stallion, Fever
Kanye West ft. The Game, Crack Music
Beyoncé, Love Drought
Young Thug feat. J. Cole & Travis Scott, The London
CREATIVE SERVICES TEAM
Kaiit, Miss Shiney
Sade, Kiss of Life
Deniece Williams, Free
Enchantment, Where Do We Go From Here?
LL Cool J, Loungin’ (Who Do You Love)
Ghost Town DJs, My Boo
Meagan Thee Stallion, Big Ole Freak
Dazz Band, Let It Whip
The Clark Sisters, You Brought The Sunshine
Beyoncé, Before I Let Go