You know that auntie who you were nervous to bring your young male friends around back in the day because she might proposition them in the kitchen when nobody was looking? Or the auntie liable to cuss out a family member or two after dinner for something that happened 12 years ago? The one that women in your family whispered about, warning not to leave men around alone? Who your mama didn’t want you to spend too much time with, but you were always excited to see because she was entertaining and was gonna slip you a little pocket change?
We Usually Celebrate Our Groundbreaking and Game-changing Black Artists in June. On the 40th Anniversary, I Turned Towards the People Who Created the Culture and Shaped the Business I love #BlackMusicMonth for obvious reasons, as a music and culture lover, as a former Black Music executive and as music journalist. However, I’ve learned over the yearsContinue reading “The Real Purpose of Black Music Month”
10PM — 2AM USED TO BE LIT How many of y’all have memories of cakin’ on the phone with your little boyfriend/girlfriend while you listened to the Quiet Storm? How many of us fell asleep to slow jams for the majority of our formative years? Through every change in urban music and urban radio — new formats, satellite, streaming, conglomeration — TheContinue reading “Soft & Warm…”
ON TEDDY RILEY’S BIRTHDAY, WE REFLECT ON SOME OF HIS ENDURING HITS. New Jack Swing technically turned 30 last year; that was the anniversary of the Village Voice article on then 20-year-old Teddy Riley in which Barry Michael Cooper (New Jack City, Above the Rim & Sugar Hill) coined the phrase (he told Riley, “You haveContinue reading “CELEBRATING THE KING OF NEW JACK SWING”
We need to talk about Uptown Records, because the legacy is worthy, but doesn’t get nearly enough love. Uptown was founded in 1986 by Andre Harrell, formerly of the rap group Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and it took a couple of years to find its groove. The original label kicked off with female rap duoContinue reading “UPTOWN! UPTOWN!”
. Lauryn and Missy weren’t the first to switch it up between spitting and singing, Lauryn wasn’t the first conscious female rapper with knowledge of self, and Kim and Foxy weren’t the first to take ownership of their sexuality, or come as hard as the boys. That was all happening as hip-hop was coming of age, in the ’80s, and the originals are long overdue for their props. MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, and Salt-N-Pepa were early champions of feminism and equality, girl power (before it was a buzz phrase), sisterhood and agency.
The original #MusicSermon Thread I fell down a rabbit hole of 90s videos, and it inspired me to present…WE DANCED HARD AS F*CK IN THE 90s: A REVIEW This started with a friend posting a clip of Mary J Blige’s “Real Love” video in honor of What’s the 411’s 25th anniversary. Knee pads, ball capsContinue reading “WE DANCED HARD AF IN THE 90s”