We all know June is Pride Month, but some of you may not know that June is also Black Music Month. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter declared June would be the month of black music, and President Bill Clinton made it official in 2000 with the signing of the African-American Music Bill. In honor of the other reason for the season, we are sharing some books that celebrate black music and the geniuses who create it.
Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove by Ahmir Thompson and Ben Greenman
Questlove reveals the formative experiences that took him from West Philly to co-founding the Roots, aka the last hip hop band on Earth, while injecting some musings on the state of hip hop and music criticism, as well as a plethora of celebrity run-ins.
The Music of Black Americans: A History by Eileen Southern
A chronicle of the black American singers, composers, and players from gospel, blues, jazz, rap, classical, and Broadway.
Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America by Tricia Rose
NYU Professor Tricia Rose examines the salient issues and debates that surround the lyrics, music, culture, themes, and styles of the New York rap scene.
The Rap Yearbook by Shea Serrano
An in-depth take on the most influential genre of music within the last generation. Serrano discusses, debates, and deconstructs the most important rap song of each year since 1979.