President George W. Bush had a lot of screw-ups during his eight-year term, but he did do a couple things right. One of them was proclaiming June as Black Music Month on May 31, 2002. June is here,* and to celebrate Black Music Month, I'll be featuring one of my favorite artists each day, sharing my first or most personal memory of them, and explain what their accomplishments are and why I felt they should make the Black Music Month Top 30 list. There will be some oldies, some newbies and some artists you may not know of yet.
Black Music Month Heat Factor "Why's this artist hot?": If you've heard "Pissed Off," you know Angie Stone isn't hesitant to share what's on her mind. That song was the most soulful, angry song I'd ever heard since D'Angelo's "Shit. Damn. Motherfucker," D'Angelo's song, who Angie Stone was rumored to have dated. You haven't experienced Angie Stone's talents until you've seen her live. She'll big up everybody from black men to sisterhood to an author whose book she's enjoyed. If it's on her mind, she'll share it unapologetically. Even on "The Michael Baisden Show" where she declared the talk show host a hero, this seemed to be something that was just on her mind so she went ahead and sang it on out. And then she comically sang about how she was going to walk away, and just left the stage to start dancing and singing somewhere else. Angie Stone is creative in the best way and seems completely uninterested in fitting into industry standards, which makes her that much more fun.
First Memory, Most Personal Memory of the Artist: I'd always liked her voice and quite a few of her songs, but last year when I saw her perform at Country Club Hills Theater and the way she interacted with the audience, that made me an even bigger supporter. When she sang "Brotha," she had all the black men in the entire audience stand up, pumping their arms, singing loud (and most were on key), and dancing back and forth. It was like a musical version of the Million Man March, with black men pumping their chests way out to feel appreciated.
"Brotha" may have been geared to black men, but when Angie Stone was singing, I watched sistas everywhere in the audience singing along, staring googly-eyed at whatever guy was with them. She reprimanded us a little bit for being more into the song dedicated to them than the song she sang dedicated to sisterhood and black women, but historically we've always been quick to celebrate the fellas before we celebrate ourselves. Harriet Tubman took a brick to defend her husband. Angie Stone used her voice. Metaphorically it's all a part of womanhood in our community.
Accomplishments from the Artist: Angie Stone has done everything from sing in the choir to singing with hip-hop group Sugarhill Gang and neo-soul icon D'Angelo. But her best work is all her own. Her single "Wish I Didn't Miss You" in 2002 spent 26 weeks on the charts and "I Wanna Thank Ya" were on the charts for 12 weeks. Her albums also stayed on the charts for a respectable amount of weeks, 2004's "Stone Love" for 22 weeks and 2007's "The Art of Love & War" for 37 weeks.
Angie Stone recorded music with D'Angelo.
Angie Stone performed with hip-hop group Sugarhill Gang.
Angie Stone was in an all-female group called Sequence before going solo.
* This entry was originally published on Associated Content in June of 2010. It has been republished with permission from Shamontiel. To find out who the other 29 artists were who were selected in 2010, visit this Pinterest board.
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