For the start of Black Music Month, theGrio Insider sat down with Kyle Harvey, theGrio.com’s music editor, to discuss his lifelong love of music, his assessment of the current talent field, and what’s on his iPod.
TheGrio Insider: Hey Kyle!
KAH: What’s good?
TheGrio Insider: It’s Black Music Month. But with people listening to multiple genres more than ever, is there such a thing as “black music” anymore?
KAH: I believe so, but now the term ‘black’ can be applied to so many genres. Blacks have been innovators in different types of music, so to lose the term, “black music” would be a disservice to the people who created it.
You cover all genres of music at theGrio, but you’re definitely a big fan of hip-hop. So who would you say is the top hip-hop artist out there today, lyrically?
Lyrically? That’s always tough to grade because it can be a matter of taste, but I think Pusha-T is hot right now. His last few tracks have been vicious, and each verse is sharp.
What do you think is more important for a music artist, in terms of longevity: sales or critical acclaim?
Critical acclaim should be more important. Your craft is about how you gather a strong fan base or street buzz, and then the sales — meaning the money — should follow.
Growing up, who were your favorite music artists?
Growing up I listened to whatever my parents had on the radio (laughs.) so Michael Jackson, Boyz II Men and R.Kelly were some of my favorites. In terms of hip hop, I was really into LL Cool J, Bone Thugs N Harmony and The Fugees.
What’s in your iPod right now?
I try to listen to everything, but a few artists who don’t leave my iPod are Kanye, Hov, Beanie Sigel and Frank Ocean.