Does Black music need to “get its house in order?”

A new event aims to get to the heart of music scholarship and how ever-evolving genres of Black music are researched, engaged with, and social significance discussed We find ourselves in a bizarre cultural moment, again. Black music, and specifically this digitally-mediated, largely homegrown and magnetic form which draws influence from across the diaspora, has… Read More

Why Janelle Monaé’s Grammy loss was unsurprising yet significant

Janelle Monaé’s critically acclaimed Dirty Computer lost out on Album of Year award at this year’s Grammy awards. Ayika Tshimanga revisits the album and its significance to marginalised people  At the Grammy Awards ceremony on February 10th, Janelle Monaé lost the coveted Album of the Year award to Kacey Musgraves. And so, the Recording Academy… Read More

The co-opting of Black culture in the South Asian diaspora, hip hop and the n-word

In the third of his articles discussing anti-Blackness in South Asian communities, Dhruva Balram discusses how South Asian people often gravitate towards Black culture and music, and how use of the n-word became an issue.   Moving to Canada from India at the cusp of adolescence, I instantly felt different, out of place – ‘othered’. Within… Read More

The Weeknd’s lyrics are the tip of a queerphobic iceberg

The Weeknd’s new hit “Lost In The Fire” unfortunately contains queerphobic lyrics, in 2019. Shivani Dave writes how a seemingly throwaway line reinforces a violent reality for many queer and trans women. Content note: This article contains discussion of sexual assault. Lost in the Fire was supposed to be The Weeknd”s hot track with French… Read More

R. Kelly is a free man because we’re “disgusted” yet complicit

With the recent documentary series, Surviving R. Kelly, many are asking why the self-styled “Pied piper of R&B” has got away with it for so long. Angelo Irving asks if our disgust really translates into action. Content Note: This article contains explicit reference to acts of child sexual abuse, please read on with caution. Editor’s… Read More

Opinion: Why Ms Dynamite should have said Thank U, No to the MBE | DIASPORA TALES

MOBO and Brit award-winning musician Ms. Dynamite was at Buckingham Palace yesterday to accept her MBE. She defended her decision as honouring her Windrush generation grandparents, but with the Windrush scandal still ongoing, author Vanessa Walters asks whether now is the time for nostalgia. The decision to accept or reject an MBE is personal and… Read More

Is Drill Music Killing Teenagers In London?

The recent moral panic about the deaths of teenagers in London being blamed on Drill music has led to groups being banned from making music, and appearing in a video can lead to a listing in the Metropolitan police’s notorious gangs matrix. Angelo Irving asks where the blame really lies. At the start of the… Read More

How we study music: navigating the whitewash

Dr Hannah Marie Robbins discusses how the teaching of music can be white-washed, and how teachers and researchers can disrupt the all too familiar narratives I was raised in North-West London in the 1990s, not so far from Wembley Stadium and minutes from the Notting Hill Carnival, which meant that “music” was part of the… Read More