Black Music Month kicks off this month and it includes reissues of classics by some of the world’s greatest artists, including Charles Mingus, Curtis Mayfield, Milt Jackson & Ray Charles, Zapp & Roger, The Drifters, The Time, and previously unreleased music from Miles Davis and Roberta Flack.
The influential black artists paved the musical highways for generations to come – leading to cultural, social, and political revolutions that still ring true in 2021. In June and July, Rhino will celebrate these legendary artists who continue to influence and inspire today’s music. The full release schedule is listed below, and physical titles are available for pre-order now.
Doo-wop music was popularized by African-American youth in the East Coast cities of Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York, moving through the steel factories of Pittsburgh and Cincinnati heading west sweeping through the Windy City, Chicago, before traveling the airwaves and reaching the Pacific Ocean in Los Angeles, California. Hip-Hop took a similar trajectory by amplifying the rhythmic voices of Black youth. This art form originated in New York City and ignited a firestorm of creativity that took the world by storm in the late ’70s and early ’80s and continues to dominate popular music today.
The Drifters melodic harmonies burst onto the music scene in the 1950s, starting in barbershops and street corners before dominating the charts. Over the next decade, the group had created numerous hits and multiple number 1’s on the Billboard charts. Their two iconic hits “Under the Boardwalk” and “This Magic Moment” cemented their legacy and place in music history by being honored with their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The essay then follows the transition of the doo-wop style to soul and funk, eventually landing on hip-hop’s inclusion of the earlier styles to create something wholly original. For example, legendary group, Zapp and Roger’s mega-hit “More Bounce to the Ounce” has been sampled over 300 times since its release in 1980.
The re-release of Lupe Fiasco’s” Food & Liquor” album showcases the harmonic influences of doo-wop throughout “Daydreamin’” ft. Jill Scott, which won a Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance in 2008. This album will remind fans of Lupe’s clever, witty, and intelligent wordplay that solidified him as one of hip Hop’s greatest lyricist and most important voices.