Top 40, K-Pop, Latin Pop, West African (“Afrobeats”), and more.
Origins: Early 1950s.
- The Power of Black Music: Interpreting Its History from Africa to the United States by Samuel A. Floyd Jr., 1996. ︎
- What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture by Mark Anthony Neal, 1998.
- Out of Sight: The Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895 by Doug Seroff and Lynn Abbott, 2002.
- The Black and White of American Popular Music by Vera Lee, 2007.
- Footsteps in the Dark: The Hidden Histories of Popular Music by George Lipsitz, 2007. ︎
- How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ’n’ Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music by Elijah Wald, 2009.
- Prince and Popular Music : Critical Perspectives on an Interdisciplinary Life ed. by Mike Alleyne and Kirsty Fairclough, 2020.
Janet Jackson's The Velvet Rope by Ayanna Dozier, 2020.
- Shine Bright: A Personal History of Black Women in Pop by Danyel Smith, 2021.
FILMS & SERIES
FILMS & SERIES
- Sign o’ the Times, dir. Prince, 1987. 1h 25m. ︎
- 20 Feet from Stardom, dir. Morgan Neville, 2013. 1h 31m. ︎
PODCASTS & RADIO
- “Music's Greatest Feuds: Michael Jackson vs. Prince: Who's Bad?” by Rivals, 49 mins.
- “Episode 3: The Birth of American Music,” with Wesley Morris in New York Times’ 1619 Project, September 2019. ︎
- “Rhythm Nation was the sound of the future—and a hit machine” on Janet Jackson by Chris Molanhy, Slate, September 2019. 1h 15m.
- “Teddy Riley’s New Jack Swing: Harlem Gangsters Raise a Genius” by Barry Michael Cooper, Village Voice, October 1987.
- “Madonna: Plantation Mistress or Soul Sister?" by bell hooks, Black Looks: Race and Representation, 1992.
- “Michael Jackson Agonistes: The Final Act of an American Pop'era” by Barry Michael Cooper, September 2009.
- “I’m Every Woman: Whitney Houston, the Voice of the Post–Civil Rights Era” by Daphne A. Brooks, The Nation, February 2012.
- “‘Calling All Stars’: Janelle Monae's Black Feminist Futures” by Emily J. Lordi, The Feminist Wire, September 2013.
- “Pop Music's Nigerian Future” by David Drake, The FADER, August 2014. ︎
- “The Nation That Janet Jackson Built” by Joseph Vogel, The Atlantic, September 2014.
- “YouTube, Twerking & You: Context Collapse and the Handheld Co-Presence of Black Girls and Miley Cyrus” by Kyra D. Gaunt, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Volume 27, Issue 3, September 2015.
- “How Social Justice Became Cool” by Rawiya Kameir, The Fader, November 2015.
- “One Night in Lasgidi: Clubbing in Lagos” by Teju Cole, The Paris Review, July 2015. ︎
- “Up the Anti: how Rihanna rewrote the rules of pop” by Peter Robinson, The Guardian, January 2016.
- “How Whitney Houston Remade “The Star-Spangled Banner”” by Cinque Henderson, The New Yorker, January 2016.
- “Beyoncé in 'Formation': Entertainer, Activist, Both?” by Jon Caramanica, Wesley Morris & Jenna Wortham, February 2016.
- “The Story of Whitney Houston's Epic National Anthem Performance at the 1991 Super Bowl” by Danyel Smith, ESPN Magazine, February 2016. ︎
- “Beywatch: Beyoncé's “Lemonade”” by Hilton Als, New Yorker, May 2016.
- “Afrobeat(s): The Difference a Letter Makes” by Robin Scher, Huffpost, August 2016.
- “The hopeful message hidden in Drake's “One Dance”” by Jason King, Slate, December 2016.
- “The sound(s) of subjection: Constructing American popular music and racial identity through Blacksound” by Matthew D. Morrison, Women & Performance, Volume 27, Issue 1, 2017.
- “For a Black Artist to Win Album of the Year, They Have to Make an Album of the Decade” by Rembert Browne, Vulture, February 2017.
- “The Very White Ways of the Top 40” by Kelsey McKinney, The Outline, February 2017. ︎
- “We Need to Hold K-Pop Idols Accountable For Their Racist Actions” by Sandra Song, Teen Vogue, March 2017. ︎
- “A timeline of afrobeats” by Themba Kriger, RBMA, August 2017.
- “Kehlani, And R&B's Women Of Color, Struggle To Be Heard In Pop Market” by Mosi Reeves, NPR, August 2017.
- “A Conversation with the Queen of Afrobeats: Tiwa Savage” by Ahmad Khan, Huffpost, September 2017.
- “Quincy Jones interview: the kingmaker of pop” by Dylan Jones, GQ, February 2018.
- “How Beyoncé Called Out Coachella's Whiteness” by Tomi Obaro, Buzzfeed, April 2018.
- “Why African and Caribbean sounds are dominating British music right now” by Kemi Alemoru, DAZED, May 2018. ︎
- “How American R&B Songwriters Found a New Home in K-Pop” by Elias Leight, Rolling Stone, May 2018.
- “The Power and Paradox of Beyoncé and Jay-Z Taking Over the Louvre” by Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, June 2018.
- “The evolution of Afropop: A history of the music scene” by Jessica Kariisa, Red Bull, September 2018.
“Santigold” by DJ Lynnée Denise, inWomen Who Rock: Bessie to Beyonce. Girl Groups to Riot Grrrl, ed. by Evelyn McDonell, Black Dog & Leventhal, October, 2018.
- “Pazz & Jop: This Is Black Genius?” by Tirhakah Love, Village Voice, February 2019.
- “Call Us by Our Name: Stop Using "Afrobeats"” by Korede Akinsete, OkayAfrica, February 2019.
- “Did Ariana Grande Copy '7 Rings'?” by Wayne Marshall, Vulture, April 2019.
- “What It's Like Listening To Michael Jackson Now” by Ann Powers, NPR, May 2019.
- “20 Years Ago, Ricky Martin Ushered in a Latin Pop Explosion, But Couldn't Escape the "Crossover" Curse” by Nuria Net, Remezcla, May 2019. ︎
- Curator’s Note: It’s briefly noted in the piece, but it’s worth thinking deeply about how Ricky Martin’s palatable whiteness allowed his ‘crossover’ in the first place.
- “Why Janet Jackson is pop’s most underrated legend” by Nick Levine, BBC, June 2019.
- “On Summer Crushing” (Whitney Houston) by Hanif Abdurraqib, The Paris Review, June 2019.︎
- “Burna Boy Doesn't Care About Crossing Over, But It's Happening Anyway” by Elias Leight, Rolling Stone, July 2019.
- “Inside Beyoncé’s Bold Bet to Get Americans to Listen to African Music” by Elias Leight, Rolling Stone, July 2019.
- “Why Is Everyone Always Stealing Black Music?” by Wesley Morris, New York Times Magazine, August 2019. ︎
- “How Afrobeats Is Influencing American Pop Music, According to Producer P2J” by Kemet High, Complex, August 2019. ︎
- “Normani and the Work of the Pop Princess” by Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, September 2019.
- “Burna Boy’s Grammy Loss Highlights The Issues With The World Music Category” by Ivie Ani, Uproxx, January 2020. ︎
- Re: Billie Eilish's Comments on Rap: “The Tide Has Rapidly Turned on Billie Eilish” by Craig Jenkins, Vulture, February 2020.
“This Is Why “Saving Pop Music” Is An Anti-Black Sentiment.” by Kylie Denis, Black Boy Bulletin, May 2020.
- “Can Pop Stars Be Political Organizers?” by Jason King, Pitchfork, June 2020.
- “Why K-Pop Stars Must Keep Speaking Up About Supporting Black Lives Matter” by Natasha Mulenga, Teen Vogue, June 2020. ︎
- “Before NKOTB, It Was Black and Brown Boy Bands That Paved the Way” by Maria Sherman, Rolling Stone, July 2020. ︎
- “For Black Pop Stans, the Bare Minimum Is No Longer Enough” by Brittany Spanos, Rolling Stone, August 2020.
- “How Beyoncé’s ‘Black Is King’ Honors the Black Experience” by Taylor Crumpton, WSJ, August 2020.
- “The Whitewashing of Black Music on TikTok” by Sheldon Pearce, The New Yorker, September 2020.
- “From Prince to Whitney to Nicki: The Plight of the Black Pop Star” by Briana Younger, VICE, October 2020.
- “This 1996 Law Was Meant to Save Radio. Instead, It Decimated Popular Black Music” by Brian Josephs, VICE, October 2020.
“The Voices Of Black Women Were Essential To Phil Spector's Wall Of Sound” by Maureen Mahon, NPR, January 2021.