AAMAM: The End Is For The Grown And Sexy! Part 30 of 30

Ok people we have come to the end of African American Music Appreciation Month or some of you may know it as Black Music Month (check out part 1 of 30 for more info). It’s been great. We started it off with James Brown and the relevance of his voice in a new era, listened to Milles Davis’ greatest recording ever, acknowledged the death of Ornette Coleman and how he change the sound of jazz, celebrated the life of BB King and my experience with him, we dedicated “We Shall Overcome” to the citizens of Charleston and the tragedy that took place there, and we jammed to the greatest hip hop group ever, the Fugees “Mona Lisa can I get a date on Friday and if you’re busy I wouldn’t mine taking Saturdaaaay aaaay  aaay  round up the posse fugee coming round the way . . .!” That was just to name a few of the great music experienced over the past 29 days. It’s ok to go back and check out what you missed.

AAMAM is a great time to celebrate the power of black music and the swaying force it has in black culture. It’s also a great time to remember those unique and soulful artist who created it and listen to their messages they addressed in American life as black artist.

So in the end, lets just listen to some thing nice and sweet! No troubling issues about society or a cultural point to be made. Just a nice and easy up tempo contemporary song about enduring love. Justsoulyouknow dedicates this song to AAMAM!chrisette-michele41

kem

Take a listen to soul crooner Kem and my girl Chrisette Michele work it out on the duet “If It’s Love.” Grab your significant other, pick a part and sing along. Careful, this is for the grown and sexy! Ha!

Peace!

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AAMAM: When The Glory Comes! Part 29 of 30

gloryGlory, the theme song to the 2014 film Selma, about the march for voting rights that began in Selma, Alabama and ended in the state capital of Montgomery. The song, written by rapper Common and singer John Legend, which garnered and Oscar, recalled images of the march and reminded the listener of the struggles that happened not too long ago. Glory also, sadly, sent a message that those struggles long ago still exist today as it made reference to Ferguson, Missouri.

Moreover, Glory continues to speak to the struggles of our time. New verses that include Baltimore and Charleston can easily find their place in between the choruses of this song.

The struggle continues.

Remember. Step up. Press on.

“Now the war is not over

Victory isn’t won

But we’ll fight on to the finish

Then when it’s all done

We’ll cry Glory!

We’ll cry Glory!”

AAMAM is glorious!

 

 

AAMAM: Screamin’ The Gospel! Part 28 of 30

blind

Archie Brownlee is on the far right. (1936-1960)

The Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi were no doubt one of the greatest, if not THE greatest singing group in gospel music.  Noted for their strong harmonies and hard gospel singing style the group delivered deeply emotional and spiritual Christian messages in song. Helping to catapult the group, which had its beginnings in the Piney Woods School for the blind near Jackson, Mississippi, was lead vocalist Archie Brownlee.  His vocal presence was commanding and felt immensely in every song.  Brownlee became famous for his ability to release an intense guttural scream in song.  In a spiritual sense he was attempting to connect with the Angels and God in heaven.

Vocals like Brownlee’s were, for the most part, unprecedented in recorded gospel music of the era, rather, vocals like his were most familiar within the walls of the Black church.  Many of Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi’s contemporaries heavily borrowed from their hard gospel harmonic singing style and the guttural screams of Brownlee.  Pop artist such as James Brown, Little Richard, and Sam Cooke, who have their roots in gospel music, cited The Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi and Archie Brown as influential in their craft.

Take a listen to the Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi and the screams of Archie Brownlee.

Enjoy AAMAM!

AAMAM: Public Enemy’s Rhetoric! Part 27 of 30

pe“1989 the number another summer

Sound of the funky drummer . . . ”

If you know the rest of these lyrics to this song then you are the an esteemed hip hop head or you were there when legendary rap group Public Enemy dropped the song that summer of ’89 on the soundtrack to director Spike Lee’s controversial film Do The Right Thing (also released almost a year later on the album Fear Of A Black Planet).

Public Enemy wrote the song to unify Black urban youth and to encourage them to speak out against oppression and the injustices that mirrored the inequities of the Civil Rights Movement, a little more than 20 years earlier.  Rapper Chuck D’s voice is hard to ignore—it demanded attention as he enlightened his listening audience on then current cultural and political situation of Black urban youth while he also encouraged them to resist oppressive powers in the summer of 1989.

To a certain extent Fight The Power is apropos in its message of encouragement today. Constant encouragement to fight an oppressive power structure is a good thing and required not just for Black urban youth but for all Americans.

AAMAM fights the power!

AAMAM: The Marvelous Voice Of Luther Vandross. Part 26 of 30

lutherWhen celebrating African American Music Appreciation Month we must marvel at the Black voice in song.  It has a wonderful vibrato and tone filled with hope everlasting.  It can gracefully reach a brutal yet angelic fortissimo then in an instant render into a peaceful pianississimo whisper.  It can bounce around in a most staccato way and still lull a baby to sleep amid the bright lights and big city.  It tells stories of the Black experience past, present, and future.  It seeps into our memories and keeps us warm at night and calm in the midst of a storm. And it certainly can fill us with an abundance of joy!

Singers who have mastered the art, temperament, and technical requirements of the Black voice such as Billie Holiday, Nat Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Minnie Riperton, Teddy Pendergrass, Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Rachelle Farrell, Lalah Hathaway, Jose James, Ledisi, and Gregory Porter, just to name but a few, have delivered various musical motifs to global life.

Only select singers can be singled out to be examined for their abilities, cultural merits and social achievements and their motif of love. In this case, there is one singular Black voice, among few, who is known almost exclusively for the vocal ability to croon about love. Luther Vandross can be counted among those who have mastered the art, temperament, and technical requirements of the Black voice. Known at times as the “heavy weight of soul,” Vandross, with his voice, carved out a place for lovers to dwell. His voice smooth and alluring signaled both men and women to come hither (I’m having fun with this).  With a seemingly effortless glissando from a low holler to a righteous scream through several octaves, Vandross’ voice formed to cupid’s function.

Luther Vandross has many songs that can be used as examples to show how his voice, in all its power and ability, can set the tone in the mind and hearts of any listener. However, this post will use his 1983 release “Make Me A Believer” and that quintessential love motive. With its smooth glossy 80’s feel it tells of one lover’s desire to hold another in full belief that love will never end all the while Vandross’ voice is marvelous in tale.

AAMAM has a voice for lovers!

AAMAM: Michael Jackson Six Years Removed. Part 25 of 30

a mikeSix years ago today Michael Jackson (1958-2009) shocked the world when he died of an overdose in his home. The world was left with an unfillable void.

Listen to everything Michael!

Continue to rest R.I.P. Legend. Icon. King of Pop!

AAMAM appreciates Michael!

Check out “Smooth Criminal” Live!

AAMAM: The Fugees! Part 24 of 30

fugeesFugees! Straight up, no filter, one of the baddest hip hop groups on the planet. Yeah, I said it!

The Fugees (Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, and Pras Michel) exploded on onto the hip hop scene in the early ‘90s. They gave us two albums Blunted On Reality and The Score and hit after hit after hit! Their lyrical style infused intelligently packed and quick witted word play with streams of sung vocals all set to music with Caribbean undertones, which spoke volumes in terms of empowerment to youth culture like no other. And just like (snap) they were gone! The group disbanded in ’97. They left a welcomed stain on hip hop culture.

It’s a good thing there is Youtube so we all can be reminded of the how great the Fugees were

Check out one of their early supper hits “Nappy Heads.”

AAMAM has a date for Friday!