Editor’s note: Every Friday for the month of June, aka African-American Music Appreciation Month, aka Black Music Month, we’ll be creating a Spotify playlist based on the news of the week. Check out the stories behind playlist No. 1 and playlist No. 2.
This week began with Bill Cosby’s legal team delivering a six-minute defense and ended with a deadlocked jury, and a judge ordering jurors to keep deliberating. In between, we had Donald Trump continuing to be Donald Trump, and a senator shot by an apparent Trump-hating Bernie Bro during a congressional baseball practice. What we need is a road trip to get away from it all ...
1. “Dark Times,” by the Weeknd, Featuring Ed Sheeran
The president of the Electoral College of the United States, aka President Twitter Fingas, turned 71 Wednesday. What do you get a man who seems to have everything (except some damn sense)? Why, an investigation for possible obstruction of justice, that’s what. Happy birthday, Mr. President! Not that the Republican-led Congress will do anything about it, though.
2. “Tunnel Vision,” by Kodak Black
Slavery is alive and well in the United States. We just know it by another name: the prison-industrial complex. We were reminded of this fact when an excerpt from Hillary Clinton’s 1996 book, It Takes a Village, went viral. The excerpt included her experiences with free prison labor at the governor’s mansion while she was the first lady of Arkansas. The past always has a way of coming back to haunt you.
3. “Award Tour,” by A Tribe Called Quest
It’s almost summer, and nothing says summer like a road trip! Luckily, our road warrior Lawrence Ross is on the case with an ambitious cross-country road trip guided by the Negro Travelers’ Green Book (also known as the Negro Motorist Green Book), the annual travel guide used by African Americans from the ’30s through the ’60s. The Green Book highlighted all black-owned businesses, which was essential considering that most businesses weren’t rolling out the red carpet for black travelers. You can catch up on the entire series here.
4. “Nuthin,” by Lecrae
It was big news that Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, aka the head Keebler elf, was going to testify publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. But when he sat down before the committee, he proceeded to refuse to answer questions about his conversations with President Agent Orange, appeared to forget every single damn thing he ever did in the past year and, at one point, seemed to wilt like a Southern magnolia flower under the heated questioning of California Sen. Kamala Harris. Speaking of Harris …
5. “Wonder Woman,” by Lion Babe
What is it about a strong black woman that frightens white men? During two different Senate hearings, Harris had her flow interrupted two times while questioning witnesses, while her male colleagues were never bothered with such nonsense.
America, you ain’t ready. But you better get ready.
6. “All Eyez on Me,” by Tupac
Even though it seems like everybody hates the new Tupac biopic, All Eyez on Me, we’ll never forget the impact he had on hip-hop and black culture. And we’ll always have Juice, his debut movie, which turned 25 this year.
7. “Just the Two of Us,” by Will Smith
8. “Daddy,” by Beyoncé
And one more for daddies who inspired their daughters to greatness.
9. Bonus Track: “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” by the Temptations
I grew up in a single-parent household, so my perspective on Father’s Day is not all sweetness and light.