littleblackmaps – Black Musicians In Alternative Music


Black Musicians In Alternative Music 

[part one]

In honor of Black History month, let’s take a look at some Black musicians in alternative music. These groups take pieces from all genres- hip-hop, rock, R&B, blues, punk (things Black artists have had a hand in creating since the inception of the respective genres)- and in turn create something new, fresh and absolutely wonderful.

(from top to bottom)


Fronted by the daughter of rocker Lenny Kravitz and The Cosby Show’s Lisa Bonet, LOLAWOLF is a trio that features Zoe Kravitz, Jimmy Giannopoulos and James Levy. Their sound is all over the place and yet oddly specific: the group dabbles in rock, electronic, hip- hop and R&B. Downright electric and eclectic, you can check out their debut LP “Calm Down” on Spotify & purchase it on iTunes.


Radkey is a garage punk band from St. Joseph, Missouri that is made up of three brothers: Dee, the lead guitarist and vocalist; Isaiah on bass; and Solomon, the drummer and youngest brother. Formed in 2010, they’ve played SXSW, Afropunk and are set to play at this year’s Coachella. They have released two EPs since then, 2012’s Cat & Mouse and  2013’s Devil Fruit. Listen to their music on their website.

The Noisettes

Hardly a new name in music, The Noisettes are an indie rock band from London currently composed of singer and bassist Shingai Shoniwa and guitarist Dan Smith. Formed in 2003, this high energy group has released three albums- 2007’s What’s The Time Mr. Wolf; 2009’s Wild Young Hearts; and 2012’s Contact. Their fashion is crazy amazing, their sound manages to be retro and modern at the same damn time, and honestly Shingai’s melanin is something truly magical. Check out their awesome website and listen to their music. (Also, they did a cover of The Killers’ “When You Were Young“ that puts the original to shame.)

TV On The Radio

Formed in 2001, TV On The Radio is an indie rock band from Brooklyn, NY. With five albums under their belt, the band features Tunde Adebimpe, David Sitek, Kyp Malone, and Jaleel Bunton. While Tunde and Kyp do most of the vocals, the whole group functions like a well-oiled machine, all multitasking on different instruments to create a sound that is unique, haunting and spectacular. Like other groups on the list, this band easily ties different sounds into their music: their latest singles “Happy Idiot” and “Careful You” from the 2014 release Seeds feature pop, hip-hop and rock sounds. Check out their music and website here. (Also hear the group do a dope cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes” in the season 5 Game of Thrones trailer.)

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