The Black Aesthetic Archive
Scarface, a former member of Houston's Geto Boys, has never shied away from politically charged songs. Instead of submitting to the power structure, Scarface seems to be saying, you should empower yourself, learning Black history to create a sense of self-awareness.
Jacob Banks’ latest EP The Boy Who Cried Freedom explores redemption and rescue.
SZA’s debut studio album, Ctrl, impresses fans with her lyrical honesty. In a lengthy and confessional letter to Drew Barrymore, SZA wrote how Drew’s movies Poison Ivy and Never Been Kissed shaped her and eased her anxiety “about being awkward and having crooked teeth.”
Forty-seven years ago, in the month of September, the legendary blues rock singer Jimi Hendrix died. When Hendrix passed away suddenly from an unintentional drug overdose at the age of twenty-seven, he was at the peak of his musical career.
Jay-Z’s latest album 4.44 rejects racial transcendence, while promoting Black business ingenuity. Although Jay-Z acknowledges America’s capitalistic history of enslavement and the tragic stories associated with Black celebrity, he promotes Black ownership as the dominant means for authentic financial freedom in America.
Kendrick Lamar’s latest album Damn maintains his position as the most profound rap lyricist alive. With songs such as “DNA” Kendrick asserts his Black male dominance despite the media’s emphasis on Black male inferiority.
In his latest album Us or Else: Letter to the System, T.I. exposes America's obsession with guns, questions the senseless killings of African American men by both blacks and whites, and the imminent need for social retribution.
When Prince Rogers Nelson died on April 21, 2016, his fans were shook by his untimely death. Many wondered if Prince himself foresaw the specter of death in his midst. The black and white movie Under the Cherry Moon (1986), directed by Prince, may have foreshadowed his April death.
When Beyoncé dropped her masterpiece Lemonade last year, the world was abuzz. In her groundbreaking visual album, images of black femaleness manifest as not only sexually pleasing to imagine, but empowering to behold.
Lay back as you listen to Awaken, My Love! by Childish Gambino, and thoughts of social turmoil will disturb your rest. Amid his poetic verses are allusions to metaphorical monsters that call to mind police violence, marches, and riots.