#BlackLivesMatter: Podcasts & Music Albums

This is a guide with resources to educate about systemic racism and how to take steps forward to eradicate it. You will find books, film, podcasts, seminal music albums, and websites that will help you in your anti-racism journey.

Podcasts

Music Albums

Nina Simone- Nina Simone in Concert (1964) "is an album by jazz singer Nina Simone. It was her first album for the record label Philips and consisted of three live recordings made at Carnegie Hall, New York City, in March and April 1964. She recorded Nina Simone at Carnegie Hall in 1963 for Colpix. This album marked the beginning of "Nina Simone, the Civil Rights singer" in her recording career; she had already incorporated the civil rights message in her performances. Included on the album are political songs, such as "Mississippi Goddam", released as a single at the time."

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Kendrick Lamar- To Pimp a Butterfly (2015) "incorporates a variety of styles from traditional African-American music, including jazz, funk, soul, spoken word, and avant-garde. Lyrically, it features political commentary and personal themes concerning African-American culture, racial inequality, depression, and institutional discrimination. This thematic direction was inspired by Lamar's tour of historic sites during his visit to South Africa, such as Nelson Mandela's jail cell on Robben Island."

TLC-CrazySexyCool (1994) "was met with critical acclaim and commercial success, peaking at number three on the Billboard 200, where it spent over two years. It has been certified 12-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), making TLC the first girl group in history to be awarded diamond status. CrazySexyCool has since sold over 14 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling album by an American girl group."

Missy Elliott- Supa Dupa Fly (1997) "brings together elements of hip hop, dance, R&B, electronic music, and soul. Music critic Garry Mulholland described Timbaland's production as "eschewing samples for a bump 'n' grind electronica, strongly influenced by the digital rhythms of dancehall reggae, but rounder, fuller, fatter." Elliott's raps were described as “full of hilariously surreal free associations that fit the off-kilter sensibility of the music to a tee.” According to author Mickey Hess, the album's lyrical content "reveals Elliott's complex, creative, and challenging discussion about womanhood; her demand for respect, respect for her personal voice and her desire for fulfilling intimacy with lovers and friends."

Miles Davis- Kind of Blue (1959) "has been regarded by many critics as the greatest jazz record, Davis's masterpiece, and one of the best albums of all time. Its influence on music, including jazz, rock, and classical genres, has led writers to also deem it one of the most influential albums ever recorded. The album was one of fifty recordings chosen in 2002 by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry, and in 2003 it was ranked number 12 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time."

Stevie Wonder- Songs in the Key of Life (1976) "is the eighteenth album by American singer, songwriter and musician Stevie Wonder. It was released on September 28, 1976 by Tamla Records, a division of Motown. The double album has been regarded by music journalists as the culmination of Wonder's "classic period" of recording. The album was recorded primarily at Crystal Sound studio in Hollywood, with some sessions recorded at the Record Plant in Hollywood, the Record Plant in Sausalito, and The Hit Factory in New York City; final mixing was conducted at Crystal Sound."

Lauryn Hill- The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)- "Critics generally praised The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill for Hill's presentation of a woman's view on life and love, along with her artistic range. At the 41st Annual Grammy Awards, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill earned 10 nominations, winning five awards, making Hill the first woman to receive that many nominations and awards in one night. The album's success propelled Hill to international superstardom, and contributed to bringing hip hop and neo soul to the forefront of popular music."

Nas- Illmatic (1994)- "since its initial reception, Illmatic has been recognized by writers and music critics as a landmark album in East Coast hip hop. Its influence on subsequent hip hop artists has been attributed to the album's production and Nas' lyricism. It also contributed to the revival of the New York City rap scene, introducing a number of stylistic trends to the region. The album is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential albums of all time, appearing on numerous best album lists by critics and publications."

Public Enemy- It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988) "has been cited by critics and publications as one of the greatest and most influential recordings of all time. Upon the album's remastered reissue in 1995, Q hailed it "the greatest rap album of all time, a landmark and classic". Melody Maker called the album "bloody essential" and commented that "I hadn't believed it could get harder [than Yo! Bum Rush the Show]. Or better". NME dubbed it "the greatest hip-hop album ever" at the time, stating "this wasn't merely a sonic triumph. This was also where Chuck wrote a fistful of lyrics that promoted him to the position of foremost commentator/documentor of life in the underbelly of the USA".

Kendrick Lamar- Damn (2017) "received widespread critical acclaim and topped the US Billboard 200 with 603,000 album-equivalent units earned in its first week. It also topped the chart of Canada while reaching number two in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. It was supported by three official singles: "Humble", "Loyalty", and "Love", the first of which became Lamar's first number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 as a lead artist. Damn was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in May 2018 and was also the Billboard Year-End number one album of 2017."

Aretha Franklin- Young, Gifted & Black (1972) "is the eighteenth studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin, Released on January 24, 1972, by Atlantic Records. The album is Top 10 Gold-certified. The album won Franklin a 1972 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance of the year. It takes its title from the Nina Simone song "To Be Young, Gifted and Black", which was originally recorded and released by Simone in 1969. In 2003, the TV network VH1 named it the 76th greatest album of all time.

  • Last Updated: Dec 13, 2020 4:18 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.gvsu.edu/c.php?g=1052755