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Black women rockers

To be blunt…I love rock music. Rock is portrayed as pretty darn white and male. Hence the inspiration for this post.

Lot of featured artistes located via this discussion at Quirky Black Girl which also has some gorgeous MP3’s in the thread

Felony Melody from the band Objex – Eat This

Carol Thomas

Graph Nobel Fyah

More of her songs here Which are a mix of rock and pop and whatever.

Santi White AKA Santogold With band Stiffed- What you going do?

Gracefully feat. Honeychild Coleman – Inside Trois

Toshi Reagon One More Today

Toshi Reagon “I Hate I Love”

Wicked Wisdom “Something Inside of Me” (jada Pinkett Smith)

Shingai Shoniwa from the Noisettes – HD Never Forget You Live – 2009

Skin from Skunk Anansie – Selling Jesus

Daniella Cotton Make U Move

Fefe Dobson – Take Me Away

Sophia Ramos Torn Down

Betty Davis – They Say I’m Different (1974)

Lisa Kekaula from The Bellrays – Sister Disaster

Straight Line Stitch “Black Veil”

and more in this Bitch Blog post White washed: Black Woman in Rock

21 thoughts on “Black women rockers”

  1. Tim Jones-Yelvington says:

    You should also chekc out — if you don’t already know them — Imani Uzuri and Tamar Kali

  2. unusualmusic says:


  3. yeloson says:

    Res also released, “Black Girls Rock!” as a free download album:

    (Santigold of Stiffed co-wrote a lot of her first album back in the day)

    1. unusualmusic says:

      thank you!!!

  4. stefany says:

    Check out the band Swear On Your Life. The lead singer Militia is one of my favorites.

  5. Moondancer Drake says:

    Now I have some new music artists to check out. Woohoo!!! Thanks! They certainly sound and look better than the white dudes. :P

    1. unusualmusic says:


  6. Synthia says:

    Nikki Lynette, a musician in Chicago did a post just like this on her blog in February called “Black Chicks Rock.”

    Here’s hers:

  7. Tia says:

    Love it. Thank you. I now have some great new music to listen to.

  8. Godheval says:

    You know, there’s a discussion (probably many discussions) that could come out of this, but right now it’s all really abstract in my head, so I’m gonna go all flow of consciousness on you…

    Black artists “moonlighting” as rockers – we’ve got Jada in Wicked Wisdom, Lupe in Japanese Cartoon, and Persia White too. People who are known for one thing, but are – not really secretly, but not being publicized as – participating in a culture that has been marketed as exclusively for white people.

    Questions that come from this are:

    1) Why doesn’t this get more publicity (for the sake of honesty, it may be a matter of musical quality)?

    2) Why are black artists who lead rock/metal bands almost always the only person of color in those bands?

    3) Does #2 suggest either a sort of tokenism or disconnect from “mainstream black culture”? Here I don’t mean to say that rock is “not black”, because that’s obviously false, but I’m asking whether or not these artists for other reasons have felt a disconnect that they needed to turn to rock to express?

    I find this fascinating.

    1. unusualmusic says:

      To answer no.3 first…. I don’t see that one has to have a disconnect in order to sing rock music. I like it, because I like singing and guitars, so if I could sing or play an instrument believe me when I tell you that I would be forming my own band pronto. Poepl like different types of music depending on what their brains react to and I see no reason why they should have to express themselves only in music that is marketed as black. That’s ridiculously limiting.

      Why doesn’t it get more publicity? I think that music television on a whole totally fails playing a whole lot of music at all. Its mostly reality shows. And so a potentially great publicity weapon in gone silent. I have heard that industry figures refuse to publicize shit because they are used to selling albums with a certain image, and think that blacks can only do urban shit. They refuse to take a chance. And radio, another method of potential publicity, doesn’t work out so well either. I am guessing that there may be some animus among the black population as well, based on stories I have heard. But this is speculation.

      No. 2: Because a critical mass of black people aren’t in the genre yet? Maybe because of the lack of publicity and support and the cultural expectation that black people do reggae and r&b and rap. maybe poepl simply haven’t seen themselves as rockers. I had to search out and find these artists, they are not easily found. I would also guess tat racism would also play a factor.

      1. Godheval says:

        I think you may have misunderstood me on #3. I wasn’t saying that black people can only or only should express themselves through so-called black music. Quite the opposite, actually. I was suggesting that a disconnect from “blackness” or “black culture” might mean that they needed a medium for expression usually disassociated with those things. Nor am I saying that blackness or black culture cannot be expressed through those mediums, but it seems that most often they simply aren’t. It’s the reasons behind these two phenomena that I’m interested in discussing.

        Can you tell me that you’ve never felt such a disconnect? I know I have, and I am an avid fan of rock and punk and metal. For me it wasn’t that the disconnect led me to those genres but that for not being so deeply entrenched in what is called blackness that I was open to exposure to other forms.

        1. unusualmusic says:

          Huh. I have had a disconnect with some parts of what may be considered black culture, but there is so much of it that I consider that normal, considering that black American culture is so vast, before we even begin to take on black cultures from all over the world. So…

  9. Ico says:

    This is a really cool post–thanks for this!

  10. Jason says:

    Straight Line Stitch is awesome and I would probably have never heard of them if not for this post. You have my gratitude :)

  11. Heather Ferreira says:

    Spot on post. I’m a black woman who writes and sings her own rock music, too. I stopped about a decade ago, after being told that although they loved it, Warner couldn’t sign my stuff because “we wouldn’t know what section of the store to put your CDs in”. I asked the A&R woman what that meant, and she said, “Well, your music appeals to a white male demographic but your face is black.” I said, “Stock it in the ROCK section” and didn’t add, “you stupid bitch” even though I badly wanted to. After about six labels’ worth of this, I stopped making music altogether. Last night I recorded another song after a decade of silence. Today I stumble across this blog entry. Coincidence? I think not!

    If any of you wants to hear what black female gothic rock sounds like, I exist.

    1. unusualmusic says:

      I wanna know! What’s your stage name?

  12. MissTricky says:

    yeah, that’s what’s up…BLACK WOMEN ROCK!!! Thanks for sharing these material, now i know some more great artists ((:

    and I also found the band Noiseaux
    really wicked as well – it’s worth to have a look

  13. Quietus says:

    What about Poly Styrene of the X-Ray Spex, possibly the greatest punk singer of all time?

    “Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard, but I think…OH BONDAGE! UP YOURS! 1234!”

  14. Estara says:

    I’m not sure if she qualifies in this list, because Mother’s Finest used to be a mixed colour rock act, but I thought of Joyce Kennedy because I finally managed to remember to buy Baby Love as an mp3 ^^.
    And considering the band started in the 70s, I believe, she’s one of the grandmothers of black female rock.

  15. tete says:

    girl u rock

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