A Mixx 4 Ya Mind | Black History Month

February 28, 2019

Hi music lovers! Say it loud! I'm Black and I'm proud! On this month's collaboration each contributor featured a album that represents black history. See reviews below:

T // Views From The Chixx

If I could pick one album that represents the importance of black history, I would pick Jay-z’s recent studio album 4.44. As many of you know.. Jay-z is a numbers guy. Therefore, it was only fitting that his 13th studio album is his most "unapologetically black" album. Hence,the 13th amendment which represents the abolishment of slavery… Think about it? This album touches on black stereotypes, racism, relationships and family life.The song “Family Feud” is a call to action against separation among the black community,and “Legacy” promotes black capitalism. In my opinion, this album is a musical pamphlet that encourages the black community to go against all stereotypes inflicted by “White America”. Not to mention,Jay-z is one of the top voices within the black community and you cannot talk about black history without mentioning Hip Hop’s influence.So, I leave you with one question. “What better than one billionaire? Two. Especially if they’re from the same hue as you”.

Joey // Views From The Chixx

Black On Both Sides is the debut album by one of the greatest to ever do it, Mos Def aka Yasiin Bey. Although the album came out in ‘99 it wasn’t until college that I really took a deep dive into it. To me this album helped change the trajectory of hip hop. He didn’t talk about the typical things like money and girls the way his peers did. Mos used his voice to elevate, educate, and motivate. He focused on the conscious mind and encouraged people, especially black people, to know and understand their self-worth. The Fela Kuti sampled track “Fear Not of Men” delved into that specifically and as the opening track it set the entire backdrop of the album. He openly acknowledged God and faith in a way that we didn’t see too often in hip hop which I think is important to note. He also talked about hope and pushing through despite our circumstances. One of my absolute favs would have to be “Umi Says”. I swear I’m going to get shine your light for the world to see tattooed somewhere one day (who’s coming?!). Such a simple line yet necessary. Bogged down by the world and our own inner demons sometimes that’s all you need to hear to reassure you and help you push through. “Rock N Roll” is an ode to important black figures in music who don’t get enough credit for being the pioneers of rock music. Honestly that’s the first time I ever heard of Chuck Berry which prompted me to do more research on the matter. Black On Both Sides is an album that will never get old. Even now when I listen back the takeaway is different each time. It’s crazy because even though nearly 20 years have passed since its release, it’s underlying messages still resonates with our community today. It says a lot about how far we’ve come and how much further we still have to go.

Quana // Views From The Chixx

Solange’s 3rd album released in 2016 is a staple in my historic Black History albums. From the beginning to the end, Solange laid out perfectly in beautiful melodic tunes how it feels to live and exist in today’s world as a black person. Her song Weary illustrates the frustration of always having to explain your blackness and defend your place in the world. Don’t touch my Hair is every black woman’s anthem to all who like to reach out and touch our Crowns without permission. She gives us so much material to think about, cry over, and sing along to. She helps us embrace our anger and frustration by singing “You got the right to be mad” on her song Mad feat. Lil Wayne and vocals by Tweet. F.U.B.U. is a favorite of mine. Solange takes the widely know acronym and lets every black person in the world know “This shit is for us” reminding us all that we cannot be held down or stopped. A Seat At The table is not only music with a message, the jazzy funk and soul sounds are so easy to listen to. This album will always be in rotation whether it’s Black History Month or not.

Drew // Generation Mastermind

To Pimp A Butterfly is the Harlem Renaissance meets the Black Panther Party with a splash of the modern Black Lives Matter movement all in one. Kendrick is masterful in his approach to storytelling as he takes us on a trip down memory lane discussing critical moments in Black History as well as issues that we were facing at the time such as racism and police brutality (which are still issues we face as a community today). The iconic album graphic of the "homies" drinking 40oz on the White House lawn over the body of a seemingly deceased judge is indicative of the times we were in. On one hand, it shows that we were no longer dependent upon the law to serve justice but one could also interpret it as an ode to 44, Barack Obama, and his Historic tenure as President of the United States. With hits such as "King Kunta" and "Alright", Kendrick solidified his place as the Black Superhero while successfully juggling his newfound celebrity status he earned from his 2012 classic Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. Not to mention his efforts earned him the Grammy for Best Rap album so it's safe to say his message was well received by the masses.   

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