Tag: black music

‘I Am a Champion for My Brown, Dark Women’: Living Legend Missy Elliot Covers Marie Claire

Screenshot: Micaiah Carter (Marie Claire) Fun, fly fact: Monday marked the 22nd anniversary of Missy Elliott’s debut drop, Supa Dupa Fly. If that anniversary astounds you, it’s likely because aside from the fact that we don’t feel 22 years older (that was legit half my lifetime ago, at this point), the song, “The Rain (Supa […]

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‘I Am a Champion for My Brown, Dark Women’: Living Legend Missy Elliott Covers Marie Claire

Screenshot: Micaiah Carter (Marie Claire) Fun, fly fact: Monday marked the 22nd anniversary of Missy Elliott’s debut drop, Supa Dupa Fly. If that anniversary astounds you, it’s likely because aside from the fact that we don’t feel 22 years older (that was legit half my lifetime ago, at this point), the song, “The Rain (Supa […]

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30 Days of Musical Blackness With VSB, Day 20: Phyllis Hyman, ‘Be Careful (How You Treat My Love)’

Photo: Buddah There’s almost no way I could do a series like this without at least one nod to my second-favorite singer of forever, Phyllis Hyman. Turns out, almost four years ago, before VSB became part of The Root and before we started writing full time, I wrote everything I was going to write today […]

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What Is the Best and Blackest Movie Soundtrack?

Whitney Houston and Lela Rochon in Waiting to Exhale Screenshot: 20th Century Fox (YouTube) It’s African American Music Appreciation Month (lovingly known as Black Music Month) and what better way to celebrate than to honor just how much music affects another celebrated medium? That’s right, we’re talking film. While Bill Cosby and O.J. Simpson were […]

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30 Days of Musical Blackness With VSB, Day 18: The Temptations ‘Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)’

As a child, I grew up hearing The Temptations, but I don’t recall really listening. Of course, I knew of Motown and thus I knew some of their biggest songs, some by heart, even if I wasn’t entirely up on game. “Papa Was A Rolling Stone,” and “My Girl,” and “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” […]

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30 Days of Musical Blackness With VSB, Day 16: Gladys Knight & The Pips ‘Daddy Could Swear, I Declare’

Photo: Motown Happy Father’s Day! You know what’s difficult to find? Positive songs about black fathers. I’m not saying there aren’t any, I’m just saying that the genre, as it were, could stand some more entries. So today, I decided to go with a song by Gladys Knight & The Pips. The song celebrates dads, […]

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30 Days of Musical Blackness With VSB, Day 15: Fela Kuti ‘Lady’

Photo: EMI I’d heard of Fela Kuti before I heard Fela. But when I finally made the discovery of Nigeria’s Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti aka Fela Anikulapo Kuti aka Fela, I was done for. Actually, that’s a little untrue. After being told to check out his music I went out and bought the Best of […]

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30 Days of Musical Blackness With VSB, Day 14: Sister Nancy, ‘Bam Bam’

Photo: Techniques I literally have zero recollection of the first time I heard Sister Nancy’s “Bam Bam.” I don’t remember it at all before college though, so I’ll just go ahead and assume I heard it at the same place I heard so many dope songs during my college tenure: (what we called) “Fashion Fridays” […]

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30 Days of Musical Blackness With VSB, Day 12: Luther Vandross ‘So Amazing’

Photo: Epic I don’t know what you can say about a song already called “So Amazing” that literally lives up to its title, even though the “amazing” being referenced is love. I mean, it really is so amazing to be loved, even following people to the moon and the sky above. Not much has to […]

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30 Days of Musical Blackness With VSB, Day 11: Fresh Start Worship ‘Mention’

Photo: Fresh Start Church I listen to a lot of music, from hip-hop to country to rock ’n roll to even Celtic (seriously, some of that harp work jams…on the 1), but when I need to hear something that digs into my soul, I go straight for gospel, and more specifically, praise and worship. Some […]

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30 Days of Musical Blackness With VSB, Day 10: Geto Boys ‘My Mind’s Playing Tricks On Me’ x Isaac Hayes ‘Hung Up On My Baby’

Image: Rap-A-Lot Records/Stax Records Like many of us, I spent various moments yesterday reading mixed reporting on the status of Bushwick Bill, member of pioneering Houston rap group, Geto Boys. A few weeks ago, we were all met with news that Bill, born Richard Shaw, had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. When the […]

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Raphael Saadiq Is About to Make Your Summer Better With the August Release of His New Album, Jimmy Lee

Photo: Mike Windle (Getty Images for BET) Raphael Saadiq, the most underappreciated R&B artist of all time, is about to bring forth the sound and light with his Aug. 23 release, Jimmy Lee. It will be his first solo release in eight years, following up his 2011 release, Stone Rollin’. This album comes fresh off […]

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30 Days of Musical Blackness With VSB, Day 6: Oddisee ‘That’s Love’

Photo: Mello Music Group Oddisee is one of the hardest working artists in music. And I say music, and not just hip-hop, because his catalog is so expansive that it’s unfair to limit him to the genre he’s most well known for. And that’s if you’re familiar at all. Oddisee seems to live in that […]

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30 Days of Musical Blackness With VSB, Day 5: Letta Mbulu ‘Mahlalela (Lazy Bones)’

Photo: Chisa/Motown Today, we’re going international with our Black Music Month love. As a hip-hop head who also tried his hand at music production, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time crate digging, searching through entire obscure record label catalogs, hoping to come across the perfect sample. Well, that’s how I came across Letta Mbulu’s […]

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30 Days of Musical Blackness With VSB, Day 4: Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, ‘Be Real Black For Me’

Photo: Atlantic Since first discovering Donny Hathaway, he’s been my favorite singer ever. His version of “A Song For You” is one of the few musical compositions to ever bring tears to my eyes and I’ve made it a point to own every ownable composition of his in multiple formats. I’m also a Roberta Flack […]

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30 Days of Musical Blackness With VSB, Days 2 and 3: Tank and The Bangas ‘Spaceships’ + The Roots ‘Act Too (The Love Of My Life)’

Image: Tank and The Bangas ‘Green Balloon’ (Verve Records) / The Roots ‘Things Fall Apart’ (MCA Records You’re getting a twofer today; it’s a celebration, bitches! This weekend I made my way up to Philadelphia for the 12th annual Roots Picnic (whole article comin’) to celebrate my 40th birthday (more on this coming soon, too) […]

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The 10 Biggest Cultural Thefts in Black History

Photo: iStock Netflix’s new documentary, The Lion’s Share, chronicles the history of the song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” how it became a worldwide hit and—most importantly—how media companies including Disney, kept the song’s original creator, South African musician Solomon Linda, from receiving any of the profits. While discussing the film, someone on The Root’s staff […]

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