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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Top 10 of black music

Tupac All Eyez on Me
Tupac All Eyez on Me

By Alex Muhindura/reporter

In honor of Black History Month, The Collegian will examine the best aspects of black culture in a four-part series. This first installment focuses on the best black musicians and the impact they left on society. While it is nearly impossible to whittle down a small group from the endless pool of talented artists, we will foolishly attempt it anyway. Here are the top 10 black musicians along with a few that could not be left off the list.

Curtis Mayfield Roots
Curtis Mayfield Roots

Curtis Mayfield Roots
The mastermind made beautiful soul music that was the soundtrack to the civil rights movement and its aftermath. While Curtis Mayfield’s soft-spoken voice would have been enough to sell records, he played a plethora of instruments that laid down a rich, layered foundation for his songs. His music also had deep social messages.

Key track: “Keep On Keeping On ”

Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers
Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers

Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers
Without Robert Johnson, no blues, rock, soul or rap would exist. His emotional grief-stricken ballads embody the meaning of the blues. While he recorded only a handful of songs, his legend lives on in the work of Led Zeppelin and Cream, who sampled many of his classics.

Key track: “Crossroad Blues”

 

James Brown Sex Machine (live)
James Brown Sex Machine (live)

James Brown Sex Machine (live)
The “Godfather of Soul” is arguably the most prolific artist of all time. What set James Brown apart, though, was his unrelenting energy. He gave everything in his performances and would let out primal screams like a man possessed. He also ushered soul and funk music into the mainstream.

Key track: “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man ’s World”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aretha Franklin I Never Loved a Man the Way That I Love You
Aretha Franklin I Never Loved a Man the Way That I Love You

Aretha Franklin I Never Loved a Man the Way That I Love You

Aretha Franklin burst onto the scene with this soulful, intense masterpiece. Her voice takes over, grabs listeners and makes them listen. When it comes to singing, there is Franklin and everyone else.

Key track: “Respect”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tupac All Eyez on Me
Tupac All Eyez on Me

Tupac All Eyez on Me

The monumental epic perfectly captured the contradictory personality of Tupac. His brash, straightforward style still serves as a soundtrack for the streets. The son of Black Panthers also infused poignant social commentary in his music.

Key track: “Ambitionz Az a Ridah”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life
Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life

Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life
Stevie Wonder’s soaring majestic compositions on this album touched on every aspect of the human experience. His jubilant voice and bouncing rhythms fill any room where played. The sprawling, ambitious project highlighted the genius at his apex.

Key track: “Sir Duke”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bob Marley Natty Dread
Bob Marley Natty Dread

Bob Marley Natty Dread
Bob Marley was the first Jamaican musician to receive international acclaim. His songs about the struggles of his impoverished countrymen over hypnotizing instrumentals resonated in all parts of the world.

Key track: “No Woman No Cry”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland
Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland

Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland
Jimi Hendrix forever changed the way guitar is played. He went to places no one has been before or since, and he did it his way. His unpredictable psychedelic way of making unheard noises jump out of the speaker remains untouched.

Key track: “All Along the Watchtower”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billie Holiday Lady Sings the Blues
Billie Holiday Lady Sings the Blues

Billie Holiday Lady Sings the Blues

Billie Holiday’s blend of jazz and blues is still the standard for all the singers who followed her. Her emotional songs give listeners a glimpse into her world and still cause goose bumps. She was the first to sing about racial issues with her anti-lynching song “Strange Fruit.”

Key track: “Strange Fruit”

 

 

 

 

 

Marvin Gaye What’s Going On
Marvin Gaye What’s Going On

Marvin Gaye What’s Going On
Marvin Gaye masterfully captured the plight of urban America in the post-civil rights era. His smooth, powerful voice glided over the issues that still plague the poor.

Key track: “What’s Going On”

 

 

 

Honorable mention:

Outkast Aquemini
The futuristic, funky and synthesizer-drenched sound touched on many social topics and put Southern rap on the map. Key track: “Rosa Parks”

Prince Purple Rain
This album bridged many genres when it was released in 1984. The timeless songs still resonate today. Key Track: “When Doves Cry”

Ray Charles Ray Charles Anthology
A pioneer of soul, Ray Charles shined by molding gospel and his raw emotion to create a sound that had yet to be heard. Key track: “I Got a Woman”

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