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 sessions,
pioneer spotlights and genre timelines.
Calvin Simon, rest in peace.
#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!
Nicole Kali works with a D.C.-area
metal magazine/non-profit, and #BRU.
I'm a multimedia artivist you probably see around!
Victor A. Patton is our great co-editor!
SATE's Hair-Raising Single 'Nobody' Is Out Today (10-08)
BÖNDBREAKR: Austin, TX Metal/Punk Rock Founder and Performer (11-24)
SATE: Toronto Hard Rock Artist/Musician (11-19)
Maya G./Sokora: Austin, TX Punk Artist, Sista Grrrl (11-14)
Sheila: D.C. Punk/Rock Trio (9-29)
mynameisblueskye: New England, New Wave Musician (9-22)
Powerslide, Nairobi, Kenya Punk/Metalcore Band (2-10)
Militia Vox, New York City Metal Musician (2-1)
Last Year's Tragedy, Nairobi, Kenya Metalcore (1-22)
Jay Lamal, Louisville, KY Jazz-Soul-Metal (12-23)
Julie Outrage, D.C. Funk-Rock (12-12)
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)
#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)
GuitarGabby, The Txlips (9-29)
Buddy Miles, Told By Chealsea Dawn (9-09)
##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)
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)
Mildred Achoch |
The Culture Rock Griot |
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.
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)
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
iin 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)
They are a luminous and 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).
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)
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)
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 epically
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 today (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)
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.
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
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.
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 a contextually 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
See their success since 1985!
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
Dallas Coyle (God Forbid/Dalley )
Keep It Metal with Kim Gill
Sound Frontier (Ali Bishop)
Sub Negro (Nate Oakley)
Mildred Achoch's Books - Goodread
Rock 'n Roll Film Festival Kenya (Medium, 6-19-15)
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)
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)