What Kind of Music Do We Need to Create Change?

In order to create change, a soundscape based in talent, experimentation, and compassion must undergird, motivate, and reflect social movements. Creating change is a long process with many steps along the way, but timeless and exciting music is absolutely helpful in changing ideology and then policy. The music and ideology of Erykah Badu, Ric Wilson, Slauson Malone, and Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah provide a high … Continue reading What Kind of Music Do We Need to Create Change?

“Kersaia” by Matana Roberts: An Abstract Black Protest Song

Matana Roberts is an avant garde jazz musician and composer, a conceptual artist that focuses on creating narratives and stories that represent her experience and those of lived experiences of Black folks in the anthropocene. Her song, “Kersaia,” is the third song on the first installment of her Coin Coin series: Coin Coin Chapter 1: Gens de Couleur Libres. It’s a winding, shifting song with … Continue reading “Kersaia” by Matana Roberts: An Abstract Black Protest Song

Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddam,” Paved a Way for Contemporary Black Protest Music

Producing a song about racism and society’s unwillingness to see it is a difficult task, but Nina Simone did so with her song “Mississippi Goddam,” taking it to the biggest music stages in America. The song is one of her biggest bouts of protest, a loud, passionate song reacting to senseless violence against Black folks. It specifically comes right after the politically motivated assassination of … Continue reading Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddam,” Paved a Way for Contemporary Black Protest Music

From 90’s Hip-Hop to the Neo-Soul: A Black Power Playlist Over the Years

Music has often been a sphere of Black empowerment, with artists like James Brown and Nina Simone, amongst many others, bringing Black experience and pride to millions of listeners. This playlist ranges from hip-shaking to solemn and quiet within just a few songs, a small display of the many sounds and feelings of music dedicated to Black Power. Solange — F.U.B.U. Off Solange’s 2015 album, A … Continue reading From 90’s Hip-Hop to the Neo-Soul: A Black Power Playlist Over the Years

The DMV’s Top 5 Albums of 2020

The D.C. region is a hotbed of talented musicians. And while the region hasn’t quite received the recognition it deserves, the time is now to see the culture as it is: gushing with creative and eccentric musicians. From established stars to up-and-coming talents, these are five of the best albums from DMV born or raised artists in 2020. Wale — The Imperfect Storm Only eight months … Continue reading The DMV’s Top 5 Albums of 2020

“Freeze Tag” Brings Together Tenets of Black Protest Music

“Freeze Tag,” Dinner Party’s lead single from their 2020 album Dinner Party, is a song steeped in signature elements of Black protest music. Featuring vocal performances from Phoelix on the original song, and Cordae on the song’s remix, the track is a melodic, melancholy song that speaks on police violence with clarity. Released amidst a year that saw a greater focus on Black protest music … Continue reading “Freeze Tag” Brings Together Tenets of Black Protest Music

Louis Armstrong’s “Go Down, Moses” is a Protest Song

Louis Armstrong’s 1956 recording and release of the song, “Go Down, Moses” builds upon hundreds of years of Black protest. Standing up to the racist and often limiting strategies of white elites, whether in government or music, releasing this song was a seminal moment in the Black protest music canon. Negro spirituals are religious songs sung by Black folks, combining the spiritual and religious themes … Continue reading Louis Armstrong’s “Go Down, Moses” is a Protest Song

“Salt on My Tongue,” an Invigorating Introduction to Hyde [Exclusive Interview]

Hyde and Gonzo are here to expel all bad energy this cold season with an energetic, soaring track, the first off Hyde’s upcoming project. The pair link up smoothly for a romantic yet somber single, “Salt on My Tongue,” a release that’ll have you waiting to hear more from the pair.  And while Gonzo’s signature heartbreak lyrics are in full effect on the song, Hyde’s … Continue reading “Salt on My Tongue,” an Invigorating Introduction to Hyde [Exclusive Interview]

How “Alright” Became an Anthem for BLM Protests

Black protest music is one of the oldest genres we can conceive of. Building on African rhythms that have been impacted and empowered by life in Africa as well as the trauma of slavery, colonialism, and all of their consequences, Black protest music has been an avenue for Black folks to represent themselves and push back against the oppressive forces that have tried to eradicate … Continue reading How “Alright” Became an Anthem for BLM Protests

O-Slice: A Creative Spark for the DMV Region [Interview]

Bucking global trends and staying true to her DMV and Nigerian roots, O-Slice made waves in 2020 and is well-positioned to make 2021 a breakout year for herself and her team. She’s an uber-talented rapper with an All Star work ethic and clear vision for her future. There’s no telling how high she can reach.  She sees herself in the same lane as Aminé and … Continue reading O-Slice: A Creative Spark for the DMV Region [Interview]