This year, Juneteenth is both a reminder of necessary change and a celebration of the newfound collective social consciousness of racial injustice and historic inequality and brutality. In honor of this year’s celebration, this week’s picks celebrate people of color and the art they’ve created for the occasion.
Single(s) of the Week:
“Lockdown” – Anderson .Paak
Anderson .Paak’s ability to shape piercing lyrics around a foot tapping groove is what makes him so incredible. In “Lockdown,” his lyricism instantly captivates while the backing production forces the listener to move with the beat. Discussing the ongoing movement, “Lockdown” is an excellent statement of protest, expertly executed.
For fans of: J. Cole, 6LACK, Mac Miller
“My People” – Amber Mark
Borrowing the aesthetics of her immaculate 3:33am, Amber Mark’s cover of Eddie Kendricks’ “My People” is an emotionally resonant, hopeful piece surrounding the Black Live Matter movement. Speaking directly to her community, Mark bears her soul and offers a piece of hope, the refrain exclaiming “My people! Hold on.”
For fans of: Snoh Alegra, Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé
“Experience (with Khalid & SG Lewis)” – Victoria Monét
Victoria Monét never sleeps. After lending her writing talents to the bulk of 2019’s biggest pop album in Ariana Grande’s thank u, next, Monét has dropped several soul pop bangers throughout the last year. Featuring Khalid and SG Lewis, Monét drops her catchiest and strongest single yet. It’s just so fucking fun.
For fans of: Ariana Grande, Normani, Chloe x Halle
“BLACK PARADE” – Beyoncé
At this point in her historic career, it would be more surprising for Beyoncé to announce a new release prior to its drop. “BLACK PARADE” is an instant success, a more rap-influenced celebration of black excellence from the queen herself. A marathon of strength, the epic song is a well timed and passionate anthem.
For fans of: Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Rihanna