I think I may be on such a high from actually COMPLETING my May Challenge that I am ready to announce and begin to go after my JUNE CHALLENGE.

For the month of June, I will only listen to music performed by Black Artists. 

If you've been with me since the start (January), you know that this blog was originally started with a focus on my "blackness'. Me exploring it, educating myself about it and calling out the stereotypes about being black in America. The blog was called, "Black As I Wanna Be'. Clever name, right? Can't take credit, it was the brain child of my creative husband to title it that. It got a little limiting though and I was treating life like too much of a book report. So, while I want to expose some of the "we've taken care of this race thing already, why are we still talking about it" mentality, I began to become hyper-focused on this one area of myself and didn't like where it was taking me. Hence the change in the focus of the blog. And the journey into the sea. Of Gigi. I am more than my blackness or any one part of me and wanted to be sure I was being balanced in my approach to learning more about myself and what I'm sharing with all of you.

So, I'm still interested in being black (whew right?) and dispelling myths and stereotypes about it (even the "good ones") and decided that in order to this, I might want to branch out and listen to black music. "Real" black music. So, in this month's challenge, I am planning to listen to a lot of music from many genres and artists; the only requirement? That they be black. 

Let me explain the need. I've.never.listened.to.Tupac. (Breathe)

Researching the plethora of musical genres, it became clear that I must narrow the field and determine more of a focus. So here it is...

I will take any and all recommendations for black musical artists, but will prioritize those that fall into the 22 genres listed below. 22 genres of music. Some of them I've never even heard of and some I'm unsure of whether I will be able to find to meet my quota. Hello?!? European Music?!? Classical?!? Hmmm....I think I just did some stereotyping. The goal will be to listen to at least ten artists in each category and then choose my top three favorites in each genre. I will post about those artists and their best song (in my opinion) and why I chose them.

My motivation to carry out this challenge comes from a couple of things. ONE. I am out of touch. I listen to the same music that I listened to while I was growing up and as a teenager in a suburb outside of Madison, Wisconsin, where at the time I was one of few black teenagers in the city we lived in.. Ahhh, the good old days. I am stuck because I don't really like all of the commercials on the radio, am unwilling to purchase XM/Sirius radio and lean towards the same music that I already like on Pandora. TWO. I am out of touch. (It's so true I had to repeat it.) As the vice-principal in a school where our student population is 100% black, I know nothing about what they listen to and enjoy or even what is inappropriate so that I can call them on it. I want to open myself up to new artists and see what my newly forty year-old self likes. 

Let me just say this. One whole month without Adele is going to be rough, but I think I am up for the challenge. 

Your recommendations are welcome. Enter them here in the comments section or email them to me as you think of them. I will update you once or twice each week with the plan being to submit a finalized list on July 1st.

Here's to fun in the sun and beats in my ears. June...here we go.
  •  Alternative Music
  •  Blues
  • Christian 
  • (Rap) J'Son, LeCrae
  •  Classical Music
  •  Country Music
  •  Dance Music
  •  Easy Listening
  •  Electronic Music
  •  European Music (Folk / Pop)
  •  Hip Hop / Rap
  •  Indie Pop
  •  Inspirational (incl. Gospel)
  • Candice Glover
  •  Asian Pop (J-Pop, K-pop)
  •  Jazz
  • Herbie Hancock
  •  New Age
  •  Opera
  •  Pop (Popular music)
  • Rihanna
  •  R&B / Soul
  • Rihanna
  • Usher
  • Reggae
  • Rihanna (used to - one song on her LOUD album displays her previous genre of music)
  •  Rock
  •  Singer / Songwriter (inc; Folk)
  • Michael Franti
  •  World Music / Beats
Artists - Favorite Song(s)


Candice Glover - I Am Beautiful







J'Son - Making Me Over, Parent Me


LeCrae - Killa, I'm A Saint, Unashamed

Michael Franti - Say Hey, Smell of Sunshine





Rihanna - 95% of her LOUD album



Usher - Something Special






Amy Hoytes
06/09/2013 14:01

Michael Franti !!!!!!!! All
India irie
Bob marley
Tracy Chapman
Candice Glover
Bju Banton

06/09/2013 16:13

Hi Amy!

Thank you so very much for the recommendations. I have Michael Franti on Pandora right now. If you think of any others, send 'em my way.



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