Black History Month is on the horizon and there are many ways to celebrate the unmatched contributions the Black community has gifted the world. Today, we’re going to focus on one of the best—music!
Despite the mainstream industry’s constant attempt at erasure and appropriation, there is no doubt that Black folks are the architects and pioneers of everyone’s fave music trends. We built this shit.
That’s why The Root is excited to exclusively announce that Rhino Records will be celebrating Black History Month this year by releasing a series of high-profile vinyl reissues (in limited edition colors) and first-ever digital releases, “recognizing the undeniable impact of Black music on over a century of artistry throughout popular culture.” The releases will drop every Friday of the month, beginning with Donny Hathaway’s A Donny Hathaway Collection, The Jungle Brothers’ Done by the Forces of Nature (Deluxe Edition) and George Benson’s Breezin’ on Feb. 5. Hathaway’s release is especially fitting because this year marks the 50th anniversary of the late soul singer’s “A Song or You.”
Further upcoming releases will include legends in the game, such as Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Lil’ Kim, Adina Howard, Tevin Campbell and more.
Per the official press release sent to The Root:
Rhino will be working with Black-owned independent record stores throughout the U.S. to offer prints of alternative covers for each of the limited edition vinyl releases reimagined by a young artist of color. These prints will be offered as a gift with purchase for each of the 9 vinyl titles that are part of the campaign. Throughout the month, fans can visit rhino.com for a list of these stores and testimonials from each visual artist about the way these albums influence their life, art and outlook.
So, here’s the deets so you can mark your calendars, accordingly:
George Benson – Breezin’ (1 LP Blue/Beige Vinyl)
Donny Hathaway – A Donny Hathaway Collection (2 LP Purple Vinyl)
Curtis Mayfield – Roots (1 LP Orange Vinyl)
Curtis Mayfield – There’s No Place Like America Today (North America Only) (1LP Blue Vinyl)
Sheila E. - …The Glamorous Life (1 LP Teal Vinyl)
Ray Charles - The Best of Ray Charles: The Atlantic Years (2 LP Blue Vinyl)
Chaka Khan – Epiphany: The Best of Chaka Khan, Vol 1. (1 LP Burgundy Vinyl)
Lil’ Kim – The Notorious K.I.M. (2 LP Pink/Black Vinyl)
Aretha Franklin – Young, Gifted, and Black (1 LP Burnt Orange Vinyl)
The Jungle Brothers – Done By The Forces of Nature (Deluxe Edition)
Baby Huey – The Baby Huey Story: Living Legend (Expanded Edition)
Tevin Campbell – I’m Ready (Expanded Edition)
Pete Rock & CL Smooth – Mecca and the Soul Brother (Deluxe Edition)
Jimmy & Vella – Jimmy & Vella
Rahsaan Roland Kirk – The Case Of The Three Sided Dream In Audio Color
Nina Simone – Folksy Nina + Blackbird (Deluxe Edition)
Adina Howard - Welcome To Fantasy Island
Donny Hathaway - Live at the Bitter End