Black History Month Listening Project (Third Annual)

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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 25
Location: Massachusetts
United States

  • #1
  • Posted: 02/01/2020 16:57
  • Post subject: Black History Month Listening Project (Third Annual)
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I'll be listening to exclusively black artists again this February to celebrate Black History Month.

I will post weekly summaries of what I've checked out.

If you want to join me in full or in part, this is the thread for you. Or if you want to simply share discoveries, recommendations, and discussion, this is also the thread for you!
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EyeKanFly




Location: Gotham
United States

  • #2
  • Posted: 02/01/2020 18:54
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This is a great idea, I'll certainly be following for the recommendations.
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 25
Location: Massachusetts
United States

  • #3
  • Posted: 02/09/2020 21:46
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Here's what I heard during week 1 (February 1-7). Albums I've heard in full before = *

Amazing

(For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People - The Chi-Lites*
Reachin' (A New Refutation Of Time And Space) - Digable Planets*
Coffin For Head Of State - Fela Kuti & Africa 70*
Opposite People - Fela Kuti & Africa 70*
Roforofo Fight - Fela Kuti & Africa 70*
Cosmogramma - Flying Lotus*

Great

Mingus At Antibes - Charles Mingus
Black Messiah - D'Angelo And The Vanguard*
Red Clay - Freddie Hubbard
The Jackie Wilson Story - Jackie Wilson
Love Power Peace: Live At The Olympia, Paris, 1971 - James Brown
My Girl: The Very Best Of The Temptations - The Temptations

Quite Good

Between A Rock And A Hard Place - Artifacts
Durand Jones & The Indications - Durand Jones & The Indications
Black Up - Shabazz Palaces
Regulate... G Funk Era - Warren G

Pretty Good

Purple Haze - Cam'ron

~~~~~

Verdict: the three best albums I discovered this week were...

GOLD


Love Power Peace - Live At The Olympia,...ames Brown

baystateoftheart wrote:
A great James Brown live album. He and the J.B.s are at the peak of their powers and bursting with funk energy ... The setlist is very solid, but it could have been stronger. Of course, that's just a minor quibble, as this really is fantastic listening.


SILVER


Mingus At Antibes by Charles Mingus

baystateoftheart wrote:
The combo tears through the majority of these tracks with infectious abandon. When it gets mellower, it stays engaging. And there's even a sense of humor that comes through at times. I think the chemistry with Eric Dolphy is what really makes this all work so well.


BRONZE


Red Clay by Freddie Hubbard

Another great soulful jazz album from Hubbard, accompanied here by strong supporting cast. The bookends are the clear standouts (and it was fun picking up the Tribe sample in the title track), but the middle tracks are no slouch either.
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 25
Location: Massachusetts
United States

  • #4
  • Posted: 02/11/2020 04:17
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Anyone else have some recs you want to share? Particularly interested in your recent discoveries, but music you've loved for a while is cool too.
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babyBlueSedan
Used to be sort of blind, now can sort of see


Gender: Male
United States

  • #5
  • Posted: 02/11/2020 05:09
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Last month I got on an afro-funk kick and found a few great albums. The best one was this one, which is two long funk grooves that make you wish they never end:


Ravissante Baby (Negro Phasing) by Francis The Great

I also really enjoyed these:


This Is Marijata by Marijata


Wake Up Your Mind by Joni Haastrup

Shout out to the users whose charts I found these on. I don't remember all of them but I know the first one came from Meccalecca's.

Other recent discoveries (some of these from late last year) include this post-hip hop post-plunderphonics trip:


Red Burns by Standing On The Corner

This hypnagogic pop gem that I described as F#A# infinity if it were an R&B album:


Skid Row by James Ferraro

And a Billy Woods album that I absolutely should have already heard, because it's very good, but which convinced me that Woods is one of the 3 best hip hop artists of the 2010s:


Known Unknowns by Billy Woods
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Gowi
Idiot Repellent


Gender: Male
Age: 31
Location: Detroit
Poland

  • #6
  • Posted: 02/11/2020 05:21
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Blacks And Blues by Bobbi Humphrey
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Luigii



Gender: Male
Age: 24
United States

  • #7
  • Posted: 02/14/2020 01:56
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Please listen to Bridges from Gil Scott Heron.
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 25
Location: Massachusetts
United States

  • #8
  • Posted: 02/15/2020 19:40
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Here's what I heard during week 2 (February 8-14). Albums I've heard in full before = *

Near-Perfect

To Pimp A Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar*

Amazing

Shakara - Fela Kuti & Africa 70*
Zombie - Fela Kuti & Africa 70*
It's Your World - Gil Scott-Heron And Brian Jackson
Liquid Swords - GZA*
Sextant - Herbie Hancock*
Black Unity - Pharoah Sanders*
It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back - Public Enemy*
Gold - The Supremes

Great

Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman
The Lost Boy - YBN Cordae

Quite Good

Blackheart Man - Bunny Wailer
Mirrorland - EarthGang
Planeta Fome - Elza Soares
Eve - Rapsody

Pretty Good

AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted - Ice Cube

~~~~~

Verdict: the three best albums I discovered this week were...

GOLD


It's Your World by Gil Scott-Heron And Brian Jackson

baystateoftheart wrote:
Scott-Heron is in top form with both his singing and spoken word. I love the jazz-funk instrumentation that Jackson has masterminded, and the band cooks live. Although the instrumentals are also amazing on Scott-Heron's solo work, this feels like a more balanced blend of emphasis between vocals and instrumentals. Essential listening.


SILVER


Tracy Chapman by Tracy Chapman

The rare album in which one track is head and shoulders above the rest (Fast Car, of course), yet everything else is still great. The instrumentals don't always do these songs justice, but Chapman's vocals and songwriting are strong enough to carry the record regardless. After hearing this, I've now heard every album by black artists in the BEA top 500.

BRONZE


The Lost Boy by YBN Cordae

A major label rap debut in 2019 that treads a familiar sonic path is not something I'd expect to love. But Cordae has bars and charisma, the jazzy production is A1, and this is a comfy listen that doesn't overstay its welcome. Worth checking for hip-hop fans.
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 25
Location: Massachusetts
United States

  • #9
  • Posted: 02/15/2020 19:49
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Thanks for the recs, babyBlueSedan, Gowi, and Luigii! I have already added several of them to my library.
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Gowi
Idiot Repellent


Gender: Male
Age: 31
Location: Detroit
Poland

  • #10
  • Posted: 02/15/2020 20:03
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maybe we should turn this to a listening project next year if BEA is still around
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