Listen to The Sounds of Blackness: A musical journey from doo-wop to hip-hop, reggae to rock and beyond - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

What does Blackness sound like? To me, Black music is so broad that it’s hard to give a definitive answer. Black music can sound like the emotion of gospel and blues. It can sound like the energy of rock, and funk. Black music can sound smooth and soothing like reggae, jazz and R&B.

The rhythms of Black music can make you want to dance, like dancehall, Afrobeat, and house. It can also sound like a musical experiment of mixing genres together like hip hop and alternative R&B.  Black music sounds like eclectic impact, because it comes in so many styles and always leaves a mark in history, whether it gets noticed or not. 

Though four hours isn’t enough time to show how diverse black music is, I want to celebrate that diversity with a program called Sounds of Blackness. For Juneteenth, I played a personal selection songs by Black artists from different genres from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. I take pride in the range that Black music has when it comes to genres, so I’m excited to celebrate that feeling on Black Music Month. 

Below, take a listen to the show, and check out the playlist.

The Sounds of Blackness
The Sounds of Blackness – “Optimistic”
Stevie Wonder – “Superstition”
Sade – “Kiss Of Life”
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince – “Summertime”
OutKast – “ATLiens”
Anita Baker – “Sweet Love”
Luther Vandross – “Never Too Much”
Marvin Gaye – “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”
The Isley Brothers – “Voyage To Atlantis”
Gladys Knight and The Pips – “Neither One Of Us Wants To Say Goodbye”
Dr. Dre – “Nuthin’ But A G Thang”
Arthur Thomas and the Funkitorium – “Fried Chicken”
James Brown – “Super Bad”
Prince – “I Wanna Be Your Lover”
Anderson .Paak – “Am I Wrong”
Whitney Houston – “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”
Little Richard – “Tutti Frutti”
Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers – “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?”
Janet Jackson – “That’s The Way Love Goes”
Michael Jackson – “Off The Wall”
Erykah Badu – “Didn’t Cha Know”
B.B. King – “The Thrill Is Gone”
New Edition – “Can You Stand The Rain”
Missy Elliott – “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)”
Amythyst Kiah – “Black Myself”
Wu-Tang Clan – “C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)”
Isaac Hayes – “The Look Of Love”
Bob Marley & The Wailers – “Jamming”
Nas – “If I Ruled The World”
Earth Wind & Fire – “Fantasy”
Rick James – “Give It To Me Baby”
Puff Daddy & The Family – “All About The Benjamins”
Janelle Monae – “Cold War”
Frank Ocean – “Pink + White”
TLC – “What About Your Friends?”
Coolio – “Gangsta’s Paradise”
Method Man and Mary J. Blige – “I’ll Be There For You”
Curtis Mayfield – “The Makings Of You”
Maze ft. Frankie Beverly – “Before I Let Go”
Teddy Pendergrass – “Love TKO”
Boyz II Men – “End of the Road”
Bill Withers – “Grandma’s Hands”
Nina Simone – “Don’t Let Me Be”
Nat King Cole – “Unforgettable”
Kendrick Lamar – “King Kunta”
Mark Morrison – “Return of the Mack”
Patrice Rushen – “Forget Me Nots”
Solange – “Cranes in The Sky”
Thundercat – “Them Changes”
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – “Ooh Baby Baby”
Soul II Soul – “Back To Life”
The Temptations – “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”
The Whispers – “Rock Steady”
The Notorious B.I.G. – “Big Poppa”
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram – “662”
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