For those who might be unaware, February is Black History Month, which is also observed in Canada at this time, while the United Kingdom celebrates the month in October. What began in 1926 as “Negro History Week” by American historian Carter G. Woodson would come to expand into an entire month by 1976, allowing for a larger spotlight to shine upon the African diaspora and their contributions in the histories of the United States, Canada and the U.K.
Whether you’re into blues, R&B, electronic music, even metal, there is something for everyone in this playlist. Make the jump to see and hear what I’ve chosen for this edition of Music Monday.
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“They Want EFX” – Das EFX: From New York by way of Virginia, emcees Skoob and Dray introduced several elements to hip hop in the early 1990s, including fast-paced flows and stream-of-consciousness lyrics The lead single from their debut “Dead Serious” turned up at the tops of Billboard’s Hot 100, U.S. R&B and Hot Rap Tracks charts.
“New Life” – Octave One: The Burden Brothers emerged within the second generation of Detroit techno, adding their own signature to the genre. Octave One are still touring the world, playing live sets with a rig consisting of mixing boards, samplers, drum machines and sequencers instead of laptops and ACID Pro loops.
“CAFO” – Animals as Leaders: Tosin Abasi’s first “solo” effort, the progressive metal project features Abasi’s skill with the 8-string guitar. The project’s latest album is due in 2013, while the guitarist also works on his newest project T.R.A.M., featuring members of Suicidal Tendencies and The Mars Volta.
“Rollin’ and Tumblin’” – R.L. Burnside: Though most likely known from “The Sopranos,” the late bluesman spent most of his life in and around Holly Springs, Miss. under the radar, crafting his brand of hill country blues. Only in the 1990s did the spotlight come his way, due in part to alt-blues performer Jon Spencer working with Burnside on a number of works.
“End of Time” – Beyoncé: Finally, as last night’s Super Bowl featured an explosive halftime show by the Houston, Texas native, it would only be fitting to feature one of the songs Beyoncé performed in her 13-minute set. Backing her up is guitarist Bibi McGill, who also teaches yoga and sells kale chips in her spare time.
Photo: Flickr/Phil Wight.