Think of a summer day. Now think of the song “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince or the song “Hot Fun In the Summertime” by Sly and the Family Stone. Isn’t there something about those songs that makes a great summer day even better? That’s the essence of black music. If you’ve fallen in love, or fallen out of love, then you know the power of a great song to transform. Even in these times, when technology and gossip seems to overshadow the music as an art form, there’s still somebody out there making music and performing for the love of it. There are more live televised singing competitions than ever before and more legendary artists performing their hits on those shows.
This year, Jennifer Holiday and “American Idol” runner-up Jessica Sanchez put on a singing duel on the show’s season finale that led viewers to contend that it was the greatest live performance in the show’s history.
This past week featured Hot 97’s famous Summer Jam concert in New York, The Roots’ annual picnic in Philadelphia and the “Watch The Throne” tour with Kanye West and Jay-Z in Paris all going on at the same time. The weekend before, Beyonce performed in Atlantic City and so did New Edition. Frankie Beverly and Maze are still touring after four decades and in a month, the Essence Festival, one of the biggest summer showcases of Black music, will be heading into its 17th year this 4th of July weekend. The “Marley” documentary, an intimate look at the late reggae phenomenon’s life and music, was released to critical acclaim in April. Nas and Usher, two artists who began their careers as teenagers and seen them have last through their adulthoods, both release brand new albums this month.
Black music has gone through many incarnations, but it remains the powerful soundtrack to our lives. From the song stylings of the doo-wop groups of the 50’s to Motown to the street testimony of hip-hop’s great poets, black music has evolved into so many different forms and genres and influenced so many. Rock ‘n roll would not exist without the blues. Rhythm and blues would not exist without gospel. Hip-hop would not exist without reggae and roots music. The storytelling in country music is reflected in both R&B and hip-hop. Today’s pop music is now heavily dominated by acts based in hip-hop.
Pop sensation Adele, a white woman from the United Kingdom, and teenage superstar Justin Bieber (discovered and mentored by Usher) have sold more albums than just about anyone else as of late and both are heavily influenced by R&B. Even Lady Gaga can claim a connection to black music – she was discovered by producer (and Tamar Braxton’s husband) Vincent Herbert and signed through Akon’s label.
Black music is not going anywhere anytime soon. It will continue to evolve and grow and astonish it’s listeners with its many incarnations and the amazing talents of its artists. No matter how much the world changes and no matter whether we listen to music on a cell phone, a computer, a tablet or through the speakers in a club or on a stage, black music will continue to be the first choice at the backyard barbeque, the wedding the graduation party and all of the celebratory gatherings of our lives.
As the O’Jays once sang:
I love music
Any kind of music
Long as it's swinging
All the joy that it's bringing
We love music and we know you do, too. Join us as we celebrate the history and legacy of black music this month.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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