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Janelle Monae & Alicia Keys: It’s All About The ‘Do


A mainstream artist picks up on a style trend started by our favorite cybergirl back in 2007!

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The Grammys Nix The Urban/Alternative Category


Black alt artists are now completely shut out of “music’s biggest night”.

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Death at Lincoln Center

Hackney pic_balka

Death highlighted last weekend’s Detroit Breakdown at Lincoln Center. Check out the NY Times review of their performance.

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Jimi Hendrix's "Valleys of Neptune" drops March 9

Hendrix in the studio in 1968 (credit: Eddie Kramer Archives) The Hendrix estate–in conjunction with Sony Legacy Recordings–will be releasing the guitar legend's Valleys of Neptune on Tuesday.  According to the NY Times, it's "the first album of previously unreleased studio recordings by Hendrix in more than a decade."  Perhaps there's be more we can […]

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Lil Wayne's "Rebirth", black rock, and modern music

by Marcus Dowling If he could, Chuck Berry would slap DeWayne Carter in the face with his dingaling for this one. It "leaked." And it damn sure doesn't make me think of Lenny Kravitz. Or Jimi Hendrix. Or Rick James. Maybe it made me think of Eddie Murphy. But "Party All the Time" even laps […]

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Rock in the black consciousness: Chris Brown's "Grafitti"

No, I’m not going to make this post about Chris Brown.  Except to say that it’s interesting to note when R&B singers start clutching guitars on album covers, it’s a sign that rock–that bad four-letter word to black folks–is seeping into our consciousness. Nah, Chris Brown is just actin’ white, right? Have you taken the […]

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My upcoming interview on Afronerd Radio–Sunday, 11/1

Thanks to Dburt over at Afronerd for reaching out and inviting me to join him on Sunday for a discussion about the state of black rock.  From the looks of his write-up, I guess I'll have a chance to expand on my comments on The BlakRoc Project. So, the show will be airing live this […]

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Now on The Huffington Dash's Blakroc disses black rock

  Mos Def (l) and The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach Yes, it took me a few weeks, but I finally collected my thoughts on project.  The result is my first piece on The Huffington Post.  For me, it comes down to this question: How can you call something “BlakRoc” when the black folks on the […]

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Noisettes profiled in the New York Times

The Noisettes (l to r): Dan Smith, Shingai Shoniwa, Jamie Morrison From today's Arts & Leisure section: The band’s rapidly growing audience has a special significance for Ms. Shoniwa, who said her father wanted her to be an ambassador. “My private achievement is when I look out at the crowd and see a rainbow tribe, […]

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On The Rise of the Black Hipster

The trend spotted by the NY Times in 2007 has finally gone mainstream Remember back when the NY Times published the now (in)famous "blipster" article?  Folks in Black rock circles took it as a pejorative, partially because the tone of Jessica Pressler's article was kinda like, "OMG! Black people like indie rock!".  Fast forward to […]

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