Happy Black Music Month
2019 is Stonewall 50 celebrating 50 Years of Progress, Protest, and PRIDE!
Week 1: Intro to the Black Music genre of HOUSE MUSIC and the legends who created it!
Black culture tends to focus on genres like the Blues, Spirituals, Gospel, Jazz, Rock n Roll, R & B, Soul, and Hip Hop, however, when it comes to enriching the economy, dance music has made an incredible economic impact. The original name of this genre comes from the underground parties held in warehouses like in the underground music scene of Chicago, ILL; the birthplace of Dance Music we call House. As the Godfather of House music famed DJ Frankie Knuckles carved out this masterful sound of Black Music, while others followed like the legend himself Larry Levan of the famed nightclub Paradise Garage.
Radio stations blasted out hot mixes on Saturday nite; it was the battle of the DJ’s. Segments like the Hot Traffic Jam and the Saturday Nite mix with DJ Tony Humphries were hot tickets, you would be glued to the radio to record your favorite dance mix with a fresh TDK and Memorex cassette tape.
This music is music’s only bi-genre child, a mix of Disco and a pounding kick drum and hi-hat all thumping the African drum beat on the 4/4 count. We call it the Hallelujah tempo. House music is literally liberation music. Its beat and tempo intoxicates you, it demands your truth, it allows your emotional-self to your dance, you dance with an expression you thought you never had.
I wanted to focus this year’s Black Music Month 2019 on this genre for two reasons, one being the enormous contributions of the many DJ’s who contributed to the world of music and the other is how much this music contributed to the LGBTQ community’s movement of liberation. It’s not by accident that the message in this genre was and still is about liberation, self-love, and freedom of expression. I believe it’s the ultimate soundtrack of a people, a culture vying for acceptance, equality, and LOVE.
Enjoy a new segment of this series each week,
The San Diego Monitor-News has been serving Black San Diego since 1986