Power to the Music: A 50 Song Playlist Of Black Music Spanning Genres and Breaking Barriers

February 23, 2021
Khyra Parker raises her fist during nine minutes of silence during the sixth day of protests in reaction to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. June 2, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)Khyra Parker raises her fist during nine minutes of silence during the sixth day of protests in reaction to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. June 2, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Khyra Parker raises her fist during nine minutes of silence during the sixth day of protests in reaction to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. June 2, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Black musicians have been a source of refuge for myself (and I'm sure for many others) during these really difficult times of loss, injustice, and uncertainty. The music of Black musicians is rich with storytelling and culture and community. Black musicians span genres and are trendsetters in their craft. Music giants like Prince, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Donna Summer, and Jimi Hendrix have inspired generations to explore experimentation in sound, song writing, visuals, and collaborations. Check out a few stand out tracks and their visuals from the 50 song Spotify playlist celebrating Black indie artists from across genres. Don't forget to support Black musicians, here's a list on how you can do so during and outside of Black History Month.

This track from singer-songwriter serpentwithfeet is a gauzy, heartwarming, dedication to friendship. Specifically between Black men, a cultural norm that is being challenged and changing with every generation. "Fellowship" is tribute to platonic love and softness two men can have for each other.

Video Director Emmanuel Adjei told NME "In this audio-visual document we get to witness artists FKA Twigs and Headie One, amongst other Black British influentials, fighting against invisible forces of judgement and oppression. Having the enormous Victorian-inspired fountain ‘Fons Americanus’ by visual artist Kara Walker – depicting the historical, sorrowful story of slavery and colonization...". "Don't Judge Me" is truly a powerful project portraying difficulties Black people deal with daily.

Sexuality and religion are two spheres in which indie singer Moses Sumney blends into larger anxious existential questions on single "Doomed". In an interview with I.D., Sumney explains how he is aromantic: a person who doesn't experience romantic attraction. This atmospherically moody track begs us to examine what romance is and how it affects every aspect of our lives and shows a lesser known side to sexuality.

Talk about a breath of fresh air. I remember when "Put Your Records On" made its way onto MTV in 2006. It's carefree vibe, the lightness of its freeing lyrics. Corinne Bailey Rae truly encapsulated Black Girl Magic as she rode her way into the hearts of many Black girls--telling them to "let their hair down" and enjoy the sunshine. It's truly a song of perseverance and living your days to their fullest.

Listen to the full 50 song Spotify playlist below:

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