Our Statement: As a radio station, the members of WFNP The Edge are dedicated to sharing news, music, and our thoughts with the world. This station would not be where it is now without the voices and hard work of these college students. Keeping that in mind, we want to acknowledge the current state of the world and the injustices committed against Black individuals – people whose lives have been taken away by police brutality, white supremacy, and other heinous acts of racism globally. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Ahmaud Arbery, Atatiana Jefferson, Tony McDade, Sandra Bland, Tamla Horsford, Sean Bell, Shukri Abdi, Trayvon Martin and many other Black people had futures, families, and LIVES. They have not been given the justice they deserve. For far too long, the world has overlooked the outcries of the Black community and has failed to hold the system accountable for the pain that it has caused. At the station, as a part of the larger movement, we are committed to uplifting Black voices, sharing petitions and places to donate, and providing you all with information of Black history in music. Since June is Black music appreciation month, our music djs paid tribute to their favorite artists and contributions to popular culture. Started by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, this month is dedicated to celebrate African American musicians and their creative visions. The power of music that can uplift individuals, express faith through song and convey positive messages from the core soul.
To follow our daily posts on the Black Lives Matter movement, visit our instagram page. We share information in our Instagram stories and have a highlight on our profile labeled as “BLM” for posts you may have missed. We urge you to keep participating, listening, signing, donating, protesting, and doing whatever else you can do to ignite change. Action breeds progress and that progress will save lives.
Check out our collaborative Spotify playlist https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5JCZ43rLtWL8SXHfKaUvMo?si=pADu7M_sR12scXlZE9ElKw
BLACK MUSIC MATTERS
BLACK VOICES MATTER
Resources on Black Artists’ in History and their Impact on Music:
Chess Records & Rock n Roll https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZkf70Zyluk
History of Hip-Hop https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5ZpQ73R_z4&t=49s
Early History of 20th century Black artists https://www.nypl.org/blog/2014/10/21/song-dance-power-black-music
Prince and the Minneapolis Sound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBr6H75DBsU
The Story of Stax Records https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmIzNX0Cr7k
Stevie Wonder at the NMAAHC https://youtu.be/M2wlGbNk8Sc
Our Generation: Motown Records https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D0i6eO5L0I
Soul Train https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gh2VKaJw3I
Electric Lady Studios https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e-Zn1YoSKk
National Museum of African American Music
Social Media Accounts to Consider Following: Afropunk – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, & Website NAACP – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, & Website Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, & Website Black Lives Matter Hudson Valley – Instagram, Facebook & Twitter
Black Student Union at New Paltz – Instagram New Paltz Black Week – Instagram African Women’s Alliance at New Paltz – Instagram African Student Union at New Paltz – Instagram
Article with song suggestions:
Sekou Andrews, spoken word poet. Link to website: https://www.sekouandthestringtheory.com/
Wajeed Black Jazz Consortium Robert Randolf and the Family Band
Spotify Black Lives Matter playlist Spotify We Everywhere playlist
Have you listened to…?
Childish Gambino: “This is America,” “U Don’t Have to Call” – He’s the “modern Renaissance man;” Donald Glover’s rap alter ego pulls from his multiple creative talents to advocate for equity in the Black community, celebrate Black culture and address institutional racism, especially in his works such as STN MTN, Awaken, My Love! and 3.15.20. The music video for “This is America,” directed by Glover, awed millions of viewers when it dropped in May of 2018. The video’s symbolism alluding to the historical and current struggles of the Black community in America created much-needed awareness and spawned conversations the world over.
Slowthai: “Rainbow” “Doorman” – Another British rapper on our list, Slowthai is known for his aggressive and politically charged verses tackling corrupt British government practices, racial conflicts, his troubled Northampton upbringing and embracing the flaws that his critics often point out. His energetic persona and infectious smile makes him a very entertaining figure to follow, and collaborations with big names such as Tyler, The Creator, BROCKHAMPTON, Gorillaz, Skepta and Denzel Curry certainly cement his name in the British rap game.
Loyle Carner: “Looking Back” “Ain’t Nothing Changed” – Carner, a British rapper, delivers clever and chilled out verses regarding his internal conflicts over being mixed, both of his lost fathers, his ADHD and his love for cooking and his mother. Backed by “old-school” beats and collaborating with some of UK’s finest jazz and alternative rap musicians, Carner is certainly one of the most promising figures in the rising British jazz rap scene.
Arthur Lee (Love): One of rock’s most prolific bands from Los Angeles, Love was one of the first racially diverse bands that drew a wide range of genres from folk, psychedelia, mariachi and blues. Their main singer/songwriter Arthur Lee was a voice of his generation. Forever Changes(1967) is a masterpiece that has since received high recognition as one of the greatest music albums of all time. From their debut album and Da Capo, songs like “Little Red Book” “Seven and Seven is” and “She Comes in Colors” can be heard in every Wes Anderson film. Think Jazz experimentation, proto garage and broadway production, that is Love. Though never commercial success, Love is a band with eclectic taste and a devoted fan base.
Prince: In the History of Rock, no one has reached higher recognition than Prince himself. Prince is regarded as one of the most influential, powerful performers/ songwriters of all time. His charismatic energy, combining funk and live performances has changed popular music forever. From Purple Rain, Controversy to his legendary Superbowl performance, Prince dominated the hot billboard charts for over forty years. Growing up from Minneapolis, Prince made his debut at First Avenue and influenced guitarists from St Vincent to Gary Clark Jr.
Al Green: Want a bit of soul or gospel? Al Green is the man. Best known for his recordings of a series of hit singles such as “Let’s Stay Together”, “Love and Happiness” “Take Me to the River” and “I’m still in love with you”, Al Green invented the music of love. His songs just make you smile and always behind him is an incredible band. His raw passion inspired a variety of artists from Talking Heads to the Weekend. Al Green is an artist who speaks to you, leans on you and can sure make you want to dance.
Looking for Black Womxn to Stream?
Janet Jackson: Popular music as we know it stems from this iconic queen. For the past forty five years, the pop icon has been a strong advocate for civil rights. Throughout her career, Janet Jackson has drawn attention to police brutality, women’s rights to HIV/AIDS awareness. In 2019, she became the first black woman to win the Billboard Music Icon Award and MTV’s Global Icon. At a time when the music videos were a new invention, Janet was at the forefront of numerous hits. Known for her army uniform and big earrings, Janet introduced the world to hand and arm sequences and signature choreography. Who can forget her sibling moment
dance with her brother, Micheal Jackson!? But, Rhythm Nation 1814 Janet’s fourth studio album is the most powerful. Rhythm Nation was outlining a plan to unite nations. The album was released in 1989 where there were so many high profile cases from the Miami riots to the Central Park Five. The album addresses social issues such as drugs, crime, homelessness, racism, prejudice, and education with songs like State of The World, Black Cat, Living in a World, Rhythm Nation and The Knowledge. Along with Rhythm Nation, Ms. Jackson’s latest album Unbreakable recognizes the strong messages of freedom. One thing for sure is that without love, life has no soul. Janet contributed to timeless music and dance moves that has inspired so many women in the music industry.
Alicia Keys: The name says it all. Alicia Keys is the girl on a fire. She’s a chart topping, classically trained pianist with a bit of soul. At the age of fifteen she was signed to Columbia Records and has been cited as the “Queen of R&B”. With 20 Grammy Awards, inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Recording Academy honors, she has been unstoppable. Her strong activism for providing services for low income neighborhoods across the US, active participation with the Black Lives Matter Movement and creating a multi-platform media project on empowering women worldwide is so inspiring.
Mereba: A smooth blend of R&B, folk and hip-hop, Mereba’s powerful music is one of a kind! Though her music’s themes are wide, two central themes are individual healing as well as the Black community’s healing. Mereba said on Instagram recently that she will keep writing about the Black story and movements for equity because she believes in, “the power of a pen, a song, a spell, a poem, a cry, a brush stroke, a movement, a prayer made in the moment to connect us back to something bigger or to each other.”
Solange: Solange Piaget Knowles’ discography is partly so encapsulating and legendary because it captures the Black experience not only for all its pain and oppression but simultaneously for all its glory and triumph. One story without the other would not be a complete telling. While some of her songs illuminate assertive truths she relays to a worldwide audience (ex: “Don’t Touch My Hair”), most are maternal messages of empowerment. In Mad she combats the angry Black woman stereotype when she sings “you’ve got the right to be mad”; in Weary she cautions, “be weary of the ways of the world.” The final words of her album A Seat At the Table are from a spoken word interlude by Master P, “Now we came here as slaves, but we’re going out as royalty.”
Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes: Alabama Shakes is an American blues rock band formed in Athens, Georgia led by Brittany Howard. Brittany Howard has been compared to artists like Arthea Franklin, David Bowie to Mavis Staples. Howard’s voice is described as soothing and her music centers a lot on positivity. Since her time with Alabama Shakes and work as a solo artist,
Howard has won five grammys and has been a strong advocate for LGBT rights. Howard has made numerous contributions to music programs in schools and the Center, a community center located in New York City.
Jamila Woods: If any song in 2016 had to capture the experience of being a Black woman in America, Blk Girl Soldier by Jamila Woods would at least be a top contender. In just three minutes and 22 seconds she addresses kidnappings, lynchings, objectification, appropriation (through subtle reference to Sara Baartman), disrespect in media industries and endless societal messaging to hate brown skin. But Chicago-born Woods’ last album, “LEGACY! LEGACY!” continues to do what the end of Blk Girl Soldier does, highlight freedom fighters and how they “taught us how to fight.” In fact, each song on the album is named after a freedom fighter from Eartha Kitt to Zora Neale Hurston to Miles Davis. There has not been a moment in Jamila Woods’s career where she does not creatively tackle a Black experience to be brought to light or story to be told. Part of the allure of her artistry has become, not just her innovation, but the beauty of the visuals that accompany her voice.
Rapsody : Purposeful, humane, skillful. Those are three words that come to mind as the listener’s focus switches from the North Carolinian’s underlying message in each verse to her mesmerizing lyrical prowess. As you listen to Rapsody, it is easy to forget how often women are underrepresented and pinned against each other in hip-hop; her talent is undeniable. However, this rapper is sure to eloquently remind you of the stark injustices faced by black females in all aspects of American society, including the power gap between men and women that is so prevalent in her genre. On her most recent album, Eve, every song is named after an influential black woman. Clever samples echo Rapsody’s sentiment towards these female trailblazers and the role they play in her life. Any one of these songs can be taken out of the tracklisting and put up against any top-tier rapper of today or yesterday, and hold its ground. No question. Some of my favorite tracks to check out are “OooWee,” “Nina,” and “Serena.”
H.E.R.: A young artist who wears oversized sunglasses to cover her face from the camera also puts thousands under her spell in live performances with an effortless sense of cool. This portrayal of calm confidence has not come easy to this 22-year-old R&B performer, however. The album I Used To Know H.E.R. was inspired by, as she described in an interview, “people who knew me in high school, who would push me aside or maybe disregard me and consider me a nobody”. The global following H.E.R. has gathered can partly be attributed to the singer-songwriter’s ability to “pull from the deepest, darkest places…” and make “people feel like they’re not alone”. Before you can finish wondering how one stanza of a song could sums up your own thoughts so well, this all-in-one-musician has wooed you from singing to a funky double bass, an empathetic acoustic or cutting electric guitar, a melodic piano, and back to singing again.The versatility and capability of H.E.R. may unintentionally take a couple of hours out of your day; but rest assured, this will be a trance you will never want to leave. “Carried away” along with her performances of “Focus” and “Lord is coming” are a few worth checking out.
Podcasts to Check Out: https://www.elle.com/culture/movies-tv/g32732684/anti-racism-podcasts/
Poems to Read: https://poets.org/12-poems-read-black-history-month
This link takes you to a list of Black musicians, writers, and visual artists from the Hudson Valley: