From the soulful crooning of traditional gospel to the contemporary rap and hip-hop music of today, black artists play an integral role in shaping the music world. In light of the launch of That Bar's new "Hip-Hop Don't Stop" monthly show series on Jan. 18, The Red & Black has compiled a list of black artists in Athens using their platforms and lyrics to cover complex topics.
Nineteen-year-old rapper Kxng Blanco, also known as Jeffery Blakely, has made strides in the Athens hip-hop scene since debuting his first studio album "Crown" in 2018. Blanco was voted Athens Hip Hop Awards Breakthrough Artist of the Year in 2018. Blanco will also perform at the inaugural Hip-Hop Don't Stop show on Jan. 18.
Led by frontman Eric Keaton, the award-winning tribute band both dresses and acts the part to pay homage to the spirit of Jimi Hendrix. Through the recreation of Jimi Hendrix’s innovative playing style, the cover band has earned multiple Flagpole Athens Music Awards.
An Athens native, the rapper is also the founder of Black Liaison Atlanta, an organization that promotes community service, education and the creation of expressive outlets for Athens youth. Squalle released his latest studio effort "Squalle Shottem II" in 2019.
Originally from Louisville, Linqua Franqa is a hip-hop artist that has been a part of the Athens community since 2015 and the musical project of District 2 Commissioner Mariah Parker. Parker earned her masters in linguistics at the University of Georgia in 2017 and is currently a doctoral student in language and literacy education at UGA.
Hip-hop artist, poet and overall creative Seline Haze uses her lyrics to touch on the subjects of mental health and self-love. Seline Haze won the Athens Best Female Hip Hop artist in 2018. Her latest studio effort "EVOLVE," which she self-engineered and mixed, was released in December 2019. Seline Haze will perform at the inaugural Hip-Hop Don't Stop show on Jan. 18.
Clarification: An earlier version of the article identified Seline Haze as "queer." In accordance with AP Style, The Red & Black used the term "queer" as an umbrella term to describe people who are not heterosexual. Seline Haze does not identify with the term and would instead like to be identified as bisexual.