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, June 2020.
- Shine Bright: A Personal History of Black Women in Pop by Danyel Smith, forthcoming February 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.
- “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.
- “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.