This Black History Month, I find myself in search of music that encapsulates the experiences of Black people. Whether that be through lyrics that speak distinctly about living in the world as a Black person or through the sounds that have been moulded by the culture, it’s important for the music of Black people to be celebrated – not only right now during Black History Month, but also throughout the entire year.
This is my compiled list of 5 songs to listen to this Black History Month. Cheers to more music by Black artists that shed light upon the various nuances and hardships of living in this world as a Black person.
“Charcoal Baby” by Blood Orange
Devonte Hynes, who performs under the name Blood Orange is a British artist known for making experimental pop music. You can hear the diversity of Black, British and American influences within Blood Orange’s music. In “Charcoal Baby”, Blood Orange sings about the journey of finding community.
“Where This Flower Blooms” by Tyler, The Creator
On this track, Tyler, The Creator raps about growing into himself. This song encourages listeners to reach their potential and bloom into the flowers they are through lines like “let these Black kids be who they are.
“Scales” by Solange
In “Scales”, Solange sings about the complexities of growing up as a black person with goals that seem out of reach, especially when society’s perception of Black people is deeply rooted in its culture and difficult to break out of.
“Saint” by Blood Orange
Off the album “Negro Swan”, Devonte Hynes sheds light upon the realities of how society exploits Black culture for entertainment.
“Nafeken” by Gigi
This jazz and the trip-hop-influenced track are sung by an Ethiopian artist, Gigi Shibabaw. She sings beautifully about her childhood, overtops lush instrumentals that are reminiscent of the waterfalls she grew up around.