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Selma, Alabama, 1965

Well, the moment has come, the one that will start the process of revealing whether we are on are way out of the nightmare of the past four years or if we will have to further draw upon the strength of our ancestors to navigate another challenging period. I’m not sure what will happen. But there are a few things I do know and believe in: the power of the word and the power of music. That’s why I’ll be playing these songs during this time of waiting. Consider it pre-gaming for a new day.

  1. Ray Charles — “Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin’ (Live on Sesame…

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Culture Club saved my life — or at least helped me make sense of it, which is often the same thing. When Boy George and the gang hit the U.S. shores in 1983, I was 13 years old. The boners that I got looking at the band’s often shirtless drummer Jon Moss convinced me that I liked guys.


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There’s a moment in the audiobook for Mariah Carey’s illuminating memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey (co-written by the ever-insightful Michaela Angela Davis) where she talks about listening to New York City radio in the mid-’80s. Suddenly, she starts singing two of the era’s biggest hits: Jocelyn Brown’s “Somebody Else’s Guy” and Gwen Guthrie’s “Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent.” These songs were smashes both on the airwaves and in the clubs. …


Last week I shared my 50 favorite albums in response to Rolling Stone’s list of “500 Greatest Albums.” This week, I decided to compile my 100 Favorite Singles based on 50+ Black, gay years of listening to music and more than two decades of writing about it. (Check tha resume.)

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One caveat: I only included singles that were available on Spotify, so Aaliyah and some of my most beloved club divas (Vikki Love, Kechia Jenkins, Chanelle, etc…) are missing. Nevertheless, this list represents my personal — sometimes painful, often joyous — journey through life as represented by the songs I love. …


Recently, Rolling Stone queried 300 artists, producers, music industry executives, and journalists about their 50 favorite albums in order to compile a list of the “500 Greatest Albums.” They ain’t ask my Black, gay ass, so I decided to create my own ranking based on a lifetime of listening to R&B, Soul, Hip-Hop, Funk, Club Music, and Jazz and more than two decades of writing about these genres professionally. (Check tha resume.)

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Craig Seymour’s 50 Favorite Albums


The single barely cracked the Top 40, but more than a dozen years later continues to ring off—a legacy fueled by the fandom of Black gay men

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Photo: Al Pereira/WireImage

Eve wanted back on the charts. It had been five years since the Philly rapper’s third album, Eve-Olution, topped Billboard’s R&B/hip-hop category. In the meantime, the multiplatinum music star — born Eve Jihan Jeffers — had taken an acting detour, doing a three-year bid on a self-titled sitcom and representing for apple juice fiends everywhere in the 2002 movie Barbershop.

But by 2007, she was itching to reclaim her place as hip-hop’s much-beloved “pitbull in a skirt.” When she linked up with longtime producer/friend Swizz Beatz for the album’s first single “Tambourine,” the result combined big-time boasts (“E-V-E come through in the Masera(ti)/ Doing it big like I live in the Taj Mahal”) with an urgent track that sampled “Blow Your Whistle,” a 1974 hit by the Soul Searchers, led by go-go legend Chuck Brown. …


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It’s 9 a.m. in Los Angeles, and Cher is awake. This is surprising because it’s hard to imagine a groggy Cher rolling out of bed at such a workaday hour, slipping her feet into bunny slippers, revving up the Waterpik, pouring a bowl of bran flakes. It all feels too, well, human.

But the star has good reason to be up talking on the phone to me at this un-Cher-ly hour. It’s March 2002, and she’s stumping for her new album Living Proof. …


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Initially Grace Jones’ memoir was not what I expected, as it begins with an exhaustive cultural history of her homeland Jamaica. But fortunately, Grace soon proceeds to chronicle a life that’s been lived as an unrestrained adventure, from her early days as a go-go dancer to becoming a model and best friends with her sister ’70s cover girls Jerry Hall and Jessica Lange to developing into an iconoclastic musical game-changer.

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Craig Seymour

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