Black History Month Playlist

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This playlist is all about Black History Month. We are traveling through the decades of classic black artists to see how far we’ve come in music. This diverse playlist displays a variety of music for each generation to enjoy.

“Respect” by Aretha Franklin (1967)
Aretha Franklin is known as the “Queen of Soul” and this song only emphasizes her talent. “Respect” was originally written and released by Otis Redding. Franklin decided to rewrite it and gave the tune a new message. The song is a source of female empowerment as she asks for respect from her husband.

“ABC” by The Jackson 5 (1970)
Before Michael Jackson started his own career, he was a part of The Jackson 5. The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and was one of the first songs they performed on television. Its 50th anniversary is on February 24.

“Before I Let Go” by Maze feat. Frankie Beverly (1981)
This R&B hit is famous for being heard at any family gathering you attend. “Before I Let Go” reached number 13 on Billboard’s R&B Singles list.

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston (1987)
Whitney Houston provides joyful bops that anyone can dance to; hopefully with somebody you love. Currently, this hit song has 168 million views on YouTube. Her artistic impact has inspired other singers.

“If It Isn’t Love” by New Edition (1988)
Towards the end of the eighties, this New Edition song was one of the top hits from their album “Heart Break”. The song tells the story of a man that can’t describe his feelings for a girl he’s in love with. The group has been on and off since their first breakup in 1990.

“Mo Money Mo Problems” by The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Mase and Diddy (1997)
Many people know The Notorious B.I.G as one of the “greatest rappers of all time”. Sadly, he was killed a few months later after Tupac’s murder. This song was released posthumously, resulting in his “Life After Death” album to achieve diamond status.

“Work It” by Missy Elliot (2002)
Missy Elliot decided to break away from R&B groups and paved the way for future female rappers to achieve success in the music industry. She is the first female rapper to be voted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

“Moment 4 Life” by Nicki Minaj feat. Drake (2010)
Born, Onika Tanya Maraj, rapper Nicki Minaj has achieved notoriety as an outspoken artist who isn’t ashamed of her journey. The rapper’s origin story started with her birth in the Caribbean before moving to Queens, New York as a child for a better life. She quickly rose to fame as some people call her the “Queen of Rap”. This song describes how grateful she is for all the success she’s acquired over the course of her career..

“HUMBLE.” by Kendrick Lamar (2017)
Kendrick Lamar’s voice resonates with the black community. “Humble” achieved platinum status and became his first number one hit. The song talks about him challenging his competition while using different religious imagery.

“BROWN SKIN GIRL” by Beyoncé, SAINt JHN and WizKid feat. Blue Ivy (2019)
Lastly, we have an anthem voicing appreciation for black women. Beyoncé has always been a role model for black girls and women alike. She created this song with her daughter in mind and even included her in the single.