BLACK ROCKERS UNITED

        

Welcome to Black Rockers United Media! We are undeniably proud of Afro-diasporic voices in sociocultural history.

Several artists motivate the BRU crew: rock godmother Sister Rosetta, Charley Patton to Muddy Waters, Nate Oakley (#BRU Founder), Laina Dawes and James Spooner!

Find contemporary Black rock music connections here: our #BRUTalk series, roots sessionspioneer spotlights and genre timelines.

@blackrockersunited “Who were Black people before we left home and crossed the sea?” Gullah Geechee singers, their Fula ancestors, Honeychild Coleman, Rebelmatic and Ethiopia all remind us in this session! ❤️💚🖤🤘🏾🗣 #rock ♬ original sound - Black Rockers United

#BRU MEDIA TEAM

Kim Gill is an accomplished metal journalist who's written for Ghost Cult Magazine! She coordinates interviews for Black Rockers United and her own awesome YouTube channel: Kimetal. Welcome our fellow Media Director.

Nicole Kali works with a D.C.-area metal magazine/non-profit, and #BRU. They're a multimedia art-maker and #BRU Editorial Director!

 

Victor A. Patton is our great co-editor! They have written for the Modesto Bee, Today's Local News and more. You can read their Robert Cray interview here.

ARTICLES


Militia Vox Reveals Real Name And "Origin Story" On Front Page Of The Boston Globe (4-11-22)


New Vaticants Video Features Militia Vox In Orchestral Heavy Rock Anthem "Living For Nothing" (2-25)

INTERVIEWS

2022

FEBRUARY


Fallon Bowman: Synthpop-punk Musician and Actress (2-19)

The Phoebes: North Carolina Blues-Rock Quintet (2-08)

2021

NOVEMBER

BÖNDBREAKR: Austin, TX Metal/Punk Rock Founder and Performer (11-24)

SATE: Toronto Hard Rock Artist/Musician (11-19)

@blackrockersunited We reminisce on SATE’s biggest audiences in England and Switzerland as she just performed for Daughters of Betty! Black women rock! Hear their stories. Did you know SATE’s played for 100,000 people? 🤯🤘🏾🎸 #rock #BRU ♬ original sound - Black Rockers United

Maya G./Sokora: Austin, TX Punk Artist, Sista Grrrl (11-14)

SEPTEMBER

Sheila: D.C. Punk/Rock Trio (9-29)

mynameisblueskye: New England, New Wave Musician (9-22)

2021

FEBRUARY

Powerslide, Nairobi, Kenya Punk/Metalcore Band (2-10)

Militia Vox, New York City Metal Musician (2-01)

JANUARY

Last Year's Tragedy, Nairobi, Kenya Metalcore (1-22)

2020

DECEMBER

Jay Lamal, Louisville, KY Jazz-Soul-Metal (12-23)

Julie Outrage, D.C. Funk-Rock (12-12)

NOVEMBER

Kelvin Kaoz, L.A. Spooky Rock (11-22)

Woven In, Baltimore Darkwave Rock (11-19)

RebelMatic, NYC Rapcore (11-09)

Winter Wolf, Harlem Punk Trio (11-04)

OCTOBER

#BRU Exclusive Spotlight: Robert Cray, Blues Guitarist (10-16)

Chelsea Coronin, Famined Records Label Owner (10-06)

Nate Oakley, Black Rockers United Founder (10-02)

SEPTEMBER

GuitarGabby, The Txlips (9-29)

Buddy Miles, Told By Chealsea Dawn (9-09)

@blackrockersunited

##BRU Thought we’d let ya forget? This Buddy Miles spotlight is near + dear to our heart. He was a special guy!🤘🏾true innovator. BuddyMiles ##rock

♬ original sound - Black Rockers United

Diamond Rowe, Tetrarch Co-Founder/Guitarist (9-07)

AUGUST

Honeychild Coleman, Solo Musician/The 1865 Guitarist (8-30)

Lord Bishop Rocks, Bandleader/Guitarist (8-25)

Juice Aleem, Afroflux Founder (8-24)

Flora Lucini, The 1865 Bassist/Maafa Vocalist (8-19)

Samantha Hollins, The Culture Rock Griot/GhettoSongBird (8-15)

Ryan Bland, Ache Lead Vocalist (8-09)

John Campbell, Are You Experienced? Founder/Guitarist (8-06)

ROUNDTABLES

9-04

PIONEERS

Mildred Achoch | The Culture Rock Griot | Laina Dawes
Kandia Crazy Horse | James Spooner | Greg Tate

Mildred Achoch shows us how it is done! She is a festival/film director, poet and screenwriter, and Rock 'n Roll Film Festival Kenya 's founder in 2007 soon after Black Rockers United! Her short film Room 254 Spinoza Hotel features versatility behind the scenes and also front-and-center.

"The mission of ROFFEKE is to promote rock 'n' roll music in Kenya by dispelling rock 'n' roll myths and misconceptions via the medium of film." (Official Blog)

Mildred's original ROFFEKE coordinated on Elvis' 30th passing anniversary (Medium). Achoch screened Afro-Punk, Elvis' Grave, and hosted heavier bands for a different Kenyan sound...since rock was never mzungu (white man's music) or only noise. And we salute this homeland rocker 100%!

They have written guides on Nairobi and underground poetry entries (Goodreads). Roffeke has also paired with other Kenyan speakers to prioritize mental health, activism and meaningful art.

Happy Birthday @yndubi ! Thanks for all your work to build the Kenyan rock scene and for participating in the #roffekeconference https://t.co/YGGMG4CpA0

— Mildred Achoch (@roffeke) September 2, 2020

2020's conference featured Kanyeki, JoJo of punk band Murfy's Flaw, Heavy and the Beast founder Daniel Kobimbo and writer Yvonne Ndubi, even more!

    

Official ROFFEKE Blog

Arts & Culture in the Time of COVID-19 (Jahazi, 2-21)

ROFFEKE Posts Last Year Tragedy on #PeaceDay (Twitter, 9-21-20)

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The Culture Rock Griot, GhettoSongBird Samantha Hollins embodies Black rock and adopting all styles into your spiritual self.

Her hometown Philadelphia is Sister Rosetta's final resting place, Pure Hell (the first all-Black punk group in 1974), where she heard Jimi Hendrix, Mandrill and more in Grandma's basement!

"It was more freedom, the things they were saying, the LOUDNESS, the aggression, the feeling. And even the fact that they had smoke and all the lights and all that mood/vibe going on with the records"!

GhettoSongBird found her path with other solid rockers, is loved worldwide as a multimedia griot. She has directed horror-rock videos, gone to Botswana on a Culture Rock tour!

"Everyone is enjoying you and you can cheer for each other, no one's trying to get each other out of the way. Botswana was the best vibe I've ever felt." (Rock-Her Roundtable #2) We loved their Black August 2020 #BRUTalk.

Have you seen it yet? Enjoy her incredible story. The Culture Rock Griot is an expansive blog of Black artistic dialogue, African rock-umentary footage, pioneer interviews!

"It wasn't until others pointed out that I didn't belong there [in rock] that I started dealing with issues. But because I already knew what I wanted to do, none of that ever really got in my way.

I try to do whatever I can to help out myself and others to keep that vibe moving forward." (x) Support Black women who rock!

 

Underground Rock Legends: Maya Mother Goddess (3-6-21)

The Culture Rock Hall of Fame Chronicles: Sister Rosetta Tharpe (10-8-20)

#BRUTalk (Rock), The Culture Rock Griot & GhettoSongBird Lead Performer (8-14-20)

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Laina Dawes

They are a luminous, radical author-historian without a doubt. Laina has necessarily revitalized rock journalism and challenged the double standards within it.

Dawes' younger years were Toronto-based, where classically trained relatives and tastes surrounded her. Then KISS changed everything at 11! Dawes found acceptance yet resistance from heavy metal scene-heads.

She appears everywhere: Bitch Media, Black Rock Coalition, #Blkgrlswurld Punk Fest, Knotfest's Electric Theater, Metal Hammer recently and SXSW!

What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman's Life and Liberation... details personal experiences of Black women who throw down throughout their careers!

The 2012 masterful novel featured a foreword and interview from Militia Vox, words of Tamar-kali, Skin Anansie, Alexis Brown (Straight Line Stitch).


Tamar-kali

Dawes changes the game as a relevant rocker in literature/metal, period. "Black women have the right to consume, enjoy and participate in heavy music cultures like everyone else.

I met a few young black people who were afraid to go to shows...I’m hoping that my experiences and the experiences from women musicians and fans in the scene will encourage them to get out there and really participate." (Invisible Oranges, 2012).

Sheila Jackson H (Nice and Rough: Black Women in Rock) archived their conversation eight years ago! (Official Site) "The underground scene in some ways is way more supportive (Rock-Her Roundtable #2).

 "I had been writing about Black women in rock music since 2001 or so, as I was a lifelong fan and wanted to see if there were any other women out there who shared the same observations as me. I grew up in an all-white environment."

Watch this Pit episode with Jason Aalon Butler (Fever 333) and Ethan McCarthy (Primitive Man) about Black metalheads and challenging racism.

"When we go to festivals, when we go to shows, who is on the roster? And people, all the promoters have to take a second look!...Because we have to really stop pacifying nationalist, some NSBM bands because they have a very small listener/following demographic in the States! (Rock-Her Roundtable #2)

That's one of the things that concerns me...There is a lot of conversations to be had about inclusion, and also reporting on bands, not just black metal bands from Eastern Europe.

We need a space to really talk about it, in order to make the underground metal scene a lot better." (The Pit) Today Dawes pursues an Ethnomusicology Ph.D at Columbia University (NYC)! Thanks for seeing our potential like we notice yours.

Her novel's 2020 edition is necessary reading!

 

Backxwash, The Metal-Sampling Rapper, Turns Fury into Forgiveness (NPR, 10-15-20)

How Public Enemy Wrote the Perfect Soundtrack
to a Brutal Year
(Metal Hammer, 10-2-20)

Racism In The Metal Scene: A Discussion With Jason
Aalon Butler, Laina Dawes, & Ethan McCarthy
(The Pit, 6-18-20)

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Kandia Crazy Horse rules: a phenomenal journalist-musician from D.C., Georgia and Virginia. They reaffirm country, rock, bluegrass and folk's Blackness/Afro-Indigeneity.

Kandia performs a distinctly multifaceted style: Native Americana! Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, Kandia, Charley Patton developed rock through life's ancestry and travels.

Rip It Up: The Black Music Experience in Rock 'N Roll electrifies as both fierce autobiography and Black American anthology: how we rock.

"The real point of the book is to serve as a primer on blacks' contributions to rock and serve as a marker for future in-depth study of the subject.

I just could not countenance the fact that I might die any day now without having made a stand on behalf of black rock’s canonization for the Masses to recognize." (Rock Critic Archives). Read Little Richard's, Slash's exclusive interviews!

Little Richard influenced Rip It Up after all. Kandia's been featured in The Village Voice (contributing author), Kansas City (MO)'s culture paper The Pitch, the magazine Creative Loafing (NC), and Reclaiming the Right to Rock: Black Experiences in Rock Music in 2009!

Indiana University's Archives of African-American Music and Culture held this unforgettable two-day conference for Black rock critics, musicians, scholars. Watch Kandia's excerpt below and her longer interview with Reebee Garofalo here!

Kandia, Black Rock Coalition executive director Earl Douglas, Rob Fields (Bold As Love), Tamar-kali, Maureen Mahon (Right to Rock), James Spooner, Greg Tate, Linda Tillery, Ike Willis were co-panelists on Reclaiming the Right to Rock.

Kandia also instructed at Princeton University in American Studies! And she created, even performed in a country-rock symposium there: De Dirty South Brokedown! Stampede was a bonafide soundscape of Black America, one country step at a time. Kandia is a beautiful Black rocker united.

Kandia Crazy Horse

Kandia Crazy Horse 

The Village Voice

Country Soul Songbook Summit 2020

Rip It Up: The Black Experience In Rock 'N Roll (Palgrave, 1-03-2004)

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James Spooner is a Black rock vanguard! Get to know James with #BRU. They are a Caribbean-American tattooist-artist.

He owns Monocle Tattoo in L.A.,a proficient vegan-trained studio where all shades rock and can be tattooed well. Young Black James was looking for unity. He felt alienated from local California punks who presented a real problem: racism.

Spooner listened to Bushmon (Ache #BRUTalk), and met Ryan at his second NYC show! New Jersey and Massachusetts were two stops on a journey for more real punk. St. Lucia solidified many diasporic "tings" when the youth visited Dad there.

He produced AND directed the 2003 film Afro-Punk: The Rock 'n Roll Nigger Experience. Then Spooner collaboratively curated Afropunk Festival as well! Afro-Punk captured exclusive moments with 24-7 Spyz, Candiria and Fishbone members, D.H. Peligro, our scene in OUR eyes.

The Liberation Sessions rocked New York City's Lower East Side (The Delancey). Beautiful line-ups ensued as acts attended ASAP. Honeychild Coleman performed with Apollo Heights! Saul Williams, Tamar-kali, Kimya, DJ Spooner, Living Colour made their musical appearances. And a monumental community found each other...

He directed White Lies, Black Sheep in 2007: a Black rocker on a personal quest through the cold city. And remember Reclaiming the Right to Rock for sure at Indiana University!

James Spooner parted ways with Afropunk (The Guardian). Break Free Fest, Decolonise Fest, Black and Punk Brown Fest, maybe a future #BRUFest will re-center the original scene! Spooner continues something real at Razorcake Magazine.

Spooner's No Fun

James Spooner - IMDb

Razorcake 118 featuring Soul Glo... (Razorcake Magazine, 9-22-20)

We Still Need to Be Seen': Behind the Rise
of Black Punk Culture
(The Guardian, 8-15-19)

Gentrifying Afropunk (The New Yorker, 8-27-15)

Interview with James Spooner (AAAMC, 11-13-09)

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Greg Tate, prolific, prophetic. Black Rockers United pays due homage in our last media pioneer spotlight! Dayton, Ohio is his hometown.

They're a Black Rock Coalition co-founder with Vernon Reid and Konda Mason too! Tate penned their manifesto plus three trail-blazing books over thirty years.

"The BRC was created in the fall of 1985 in New York City with the purpose of creating an atmosphere conducive to the maximum development, exposure and acceptance of Black alternative music." (Black Rock Coalition Manifesto)

Tate performed with BRC-associated Women In Love by the way! He was guitarist and co-leader. This birthed their experimental jazz band, Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber. Greg Tate and Vernon Reid organically began Black Rock Coalition during art gallery meetings.

@blackrockersunited

Greg Tate—prolific, prophetic. We will miss him and are sorry for this loss so soon. He was a wonderful soul! Rockers unite. 🙏🏾🥺 ##BRC ##BRU

♬ original sound - Black Rockers United

 

Linda Goode Bryant was Jams director then and vital as an initial brainstormer/curator. Mason met Tate through Craig Street. DIY scene-building flourishes Black innovation. Flyboy in the Buttermilk delves underneath '90's America in an Afro-liberatory analysis, political prose on Amiri Baraka, Basquiat, classism and being a Village Voice editor.

Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience (2003) elegantly combines kinfolk's anecdotes to guide through a Hendrixian world. Everything But the Burden debuted in 2003 too: an ever-applicable read about appropriation. Flyboy 2 is their latest writing, very well done (Google Books Preview).

Today the Black Rock Coalition's first 1985 compilation material (thanks, LaRonda Davis ) rests in D.C.'s National Museum of African-American History and Culture! Reid attended the 2016 grand opening! The history of our future is Black rock!

Greg Tate - Burnt Sugar Arkestra

The Village Voice

Hip Hop's Afrofuturistic Hive Mind (Hyperallergic, 10-11-20)

Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader (Greg Tate, 8-04-16)

Everything but the Burden: What White People
Are Taking From Black Culture
(Greg Tate, 9-09-03)


                

HOME  Contact us!  Artists' Hub  Mid-Atlantic Metal Shows

COLLECTED MEDIA

#BRU Media

Dallas Coyle (God Forbid/Dalley )

Keep It Metal with Kim Gill

Nicole Kali

Sound Frontier (Ali Bishop)

Sub Negro (Nate Oakley)

Mildred Achoch

Mildred Achoch's Books - Goodread

Rock 'n Roll Film Festival Kenya (Medium, 6-19-15)

ROFFEKE Journal

The Culture Rock Griot (Official Site)

Scotty Ledgerwood Sets the Crown Straight On Grunge Queen Tina Bell (Bam Bam) (2-6-21)

Laina Dawes (Official Site)

How Pallbearer Reinvented Doom in 2020 (Louder Than Sound, 12-23-20)

What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman's Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal (Bazillion Points, 9-20)

Kandia Crazy Horse (Official Site)

Cactus Rose 

Interview with Kandia Crazy Horse (AAAMC, 11-13-09)

Rip It Up: The Black Music Experience in Rock 'n Roll (Palgrave, 1-03-04)

James Spooner (Official Site)

Time Decorated: The Musical Influences of Jean-Michel Basquiat Part II (The Broad)

Razorcake 118, featuring Soul Glo, One Punk’s Guide to Black Musicians,
Sweet Reaper, Tim Kinsella, and Penelope Houston
(Razorcake Magazine, 9-22-20)

The Process: James Spooner, The Afropunk Festival (Believer Magazine, 8-20-19)

Greg Tate (Official Site)

Hip Hop's Afrofuturistic Hive Mind (Hyperallergic, 10-11-20)

Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader (Duke Press, 8-4-16)

Everything but the Burden: What White People Are Taking From Black Culture (Greg Tate, 9-09-03)

Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America (Henry Louis Gates, Simon & Schuster, 4-92)

Other Creators

Kenya Nelson

Kenya is a prolific author who wrote her first novel by 15 years old and didn't stop there. She knows how Blackness and rock intersect as a long-time alternative presence in the U.S. Ungrateful caught our eye immediately.

It has a main character who is a Black female rock artist who reaches stardom. The theme is very timely, as it focuses on #MeToo and the war against child sex trafficking in the elite circles and entertainment industry!