BHM Showcase: The History of Black Sound

Taylor Simmons, Staff Writer

This year the theme for the BSU showcase was The Journey Through Black Sound. This is the biggest event for our club and proves to be the best moment every year. The theme also sheds light on a very important aspect of Black culture: music. From slavery to modern-day, music has been used for motivation, bonding, vocalizing Black issues, and building a sense of community. The community’s biggest contribution is Rap, but what about other genres? Our community has been influential in jazz, hip-hop, R&B, funk, country, rock, house, techno, reggae, pop, and many more – this also includes the many sub-genres of music. Black artists also have most of the records for winning awards and chart placements. Beyoncé is the most decorated woman and second all-time Grammy winner with 28 Grammy wins.

Additionally, several music award shows have been deemed racist and biased towards Black artists. The most recent drama involved The Weekend. He decided to boycott the Grammys following his highly controversial shutout at the 2021 ceremony. The R&B superstar was thought to be a strong contender in the Big Four categories, including album of the year for his fourth LP After Hours, which spent four consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, as well as record of the year and song of the year for his blockbuster hit “Blinding Lights,” which broke Billboard chart records a year after its release. But, when the 2021 Grammy Award nominations were revealed, The Weeknd was snubbed. 

However, the most prominent era of Black music was during the 60s and 70s. Berry Gordy’s Hitsville, USA created some of the most successful artists of all time such as The Jackson 5, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, and many more. The Black-owned label was a pioneer in the sound recording industry. The next time you’re on Spotify, Apple Music, or Youtube, give an old-school Black artist a listen. Those people are the ones that inspired your current favorite.