Pressure, Dirt, and The Decaying Diamond: How What The Beatles Became Ended What The Beatles Began As

The Beatles were subjected to a level of fame that had seldom, if ever, been seen in the world of mass culture before them. Not only did they sell out stadiums and arenas and perform for thousands upon thousands of screaming fans (some conscious, some blacked out with excitement and fervor), but their private life in public spaces was essentially non-existent. This hyper-popularity, as well … Continue reading Pressure, Dirt, and The Decaying Diamond: How What The Beatles Became Ended What The Beatles Began As

Erykah Badu’s Legendary Impact Part 4: But You Caint Use My Phone Keeps Badu Boundary-less

This is part four of a four-part series on Erykah Badu’s massive role in communicating and normalizing Black feminism in contemporary discourses. Check out parts one, two and three. Badu’s most recent project, But You Caint Use My Phone, is a fascinating case study and provides plenty to discuss from black feminist and afrofuturist perspectives. The cover art is comparable to The New Amerykah, Pt. … Continue reading Erykah Badu’s Legendary Impact Part 4: But You Caint Use My Phone Keeps Badu Boundary-less

Erykah Badu’s Legendary Impact, Part 3: The “New Amerykah” Series Promotes Afro-Futurist Thought

This is part three of a four-part series on Erykah Badu’s massive role in communicating and normalizing Black feminism and Afro-futurism in contemporary discourses. Check out parts one, two, and four. At this point in her career, Erykah Badu had cemented herself as one of the all-time greats in music. Not only had she released three timeless albums, her work collaborating with members of the … Continue reading Erykah Badu’s Legendary Impact, Part 3: The “New Amerykah” Series Promotes Afro-Futurist Thought

Erykah Badu’s Legendary Impact, Part 2: “Mama’s Gun” & “Worldwide Underground” Cement Legacy

This is part two of a four-part series on Erykah Badu’s massive role in communicating and normalizing Black feminism and Afro-futurism in contemporary discourses. Check out parts one, three, and four. Erykah Badu set a strong foundation in 1997 with Baduizm and “Tyrone.” Each track introduced listeners to her afro-centric ideology and penchant for empathetic and intellectual lyricism, a rare mix in pop culture. She … Continue reading Erykah Badu’s Legendary Impact, Part 2: “Mama’s Gun” & “Worldwide Underground” Cement Legacy

Erykah Badu’s Legendary Impact Part 1: “Baduizm” & “Tyrone” Set the Foundation

This is part four of a four-part series on Erykah Badu’s massive role in communicating and normalizing Black feminism and Afro-futurism in contemporary discourses. Check out parts two, three, and four. From her debut in 1997, Erykah Badu and her music have empowered people across intersections of race, gender, ethnicity, and class. ‘Baduizm,’ her personal philosophy, is based in empathy and honesty and impacts the … Continue reading Erykah Badu’s Legendary Impact Part 1: “Baduizm” & “Tyrone” Set the Foundation

Griselda’s Dominant 2020: A Meta-Analysis

Pre-2020 criticisms of Griselda were founded in monotonous flows, stale production, and overly-hypebeast attitude. But with seven stellar albums this year from Westside Gunn, Conway the Machine, Armani Caesar, and Benny the Butcher, not to mention a wonderful project from fellow Buffalo resident Billie Essco, Griselda has proven that Buffalo is here to stay. Stamping Griselda on the map for many casual listeners in 2020 … Continue reading Griselda’s Dominant 2020: A Meta-Analysis

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

“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