2 Black, 2 Strong, 2 Playlists
As June winds down, there's still time to celebrate African-American Music Appreciation Month, formerly known in its original inception back in 1979 as Black Music Month.
At the prompting of legendary Philadelphia writer-producer Kenny Gamble, Cleveland radio DJ Ed Wright and New York music industry pioneer Dyana Williams, then-President Jimmy Carter decreed on June 7 of that year that the month would celebrate the contribution of black musicians and songwriters to the enrichment of the U.S. culture.
This month has seen the release of two Spotify playlists that exemplify all that is good and great about black music. California Senator Kamala Harris curated a 45-song public playlist that spans the then and now, from Billie Holiday to SZA. She told the Huffington Post that “Our nation has an indelible soundtrack, songs that have become anthems recognized across the world. Much of that soundtrack is inspired and informed by the vast
contributions of African-American artists in jazz, R&B, rap,
hip-hop, and beyond.” It's an inspired mix and accessible through the above link in bold.
If you consider Sen. Harris' contribution as an appetizer, what Chicago master mashup artists The Hood Internet have put together is a gigantic buffet spread with 40 Years of Hip Hop. As described on their YouTube post, it's over 150 songs from more than 100 artists in a deft 4-minute mix. "It’s not a chronological history of hip
hop. It’s rappers from different eras finishing each others' rhymes over
intersecting beats, all woven together to make one song." As one commenter put it, this incredible mashup is "SAAVAGE!!!!!"
And, to top it off, the Hood Internet themselves compiled a humongous 9-hour, 125-song playlist that nearly encompasses all of the songs they used in bits and pieces. It's available in all of its glory via this link. Enjoy!