Black, LGBTQ, and Proud

Celebrate Black Music Appreciation Month By Listening To These Black LGBTQ Artists

June is when celebrations of Pride Month and Black Music Appreciation Month combine. Popularly known as Black Music Month, the time is for celebrating the rich musical contributions of Black artists in the U.S. from all genres. With Pride Month and Black Music Appreciation Month aligning, it’s the perfect time to highlight Black LGBTQ artists you should know. Some you may be familiar with and others may be new to you. Either way, take a look at their discography and get lost in their music. 

Victoria Monét (bisexual | she/her)

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From Chloe x Halle to Ariana Grande, Victoria Monét has penned some of Pop and R&B’s greatest hits of the past few years. With several EPs under her belt, the 2020 released album Jaguar cemented her status as one of R&Bs most profound artists. With slick production, her famous lyrical gymnastics, and 70s style-inspired visuals, Monét covers topics of sex, romance, and self-love with impeccable style.

Big Freedia (gay | pronoun flexible)

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Renowned for popularizing New Orleans’ bounce music, Big Freedia is a musical force to be reckoned with. The Queen of Bounce has been making music for decades and aside from her steady stream of work, Freedia’s vocals can be recognized on some of the biggest hits of Drake and Beyoncé. 

Michaela Jaé (transgender | she/her)

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You may know her from Pose, but Golden Globe winner Michaela Jaé Rodriguez is also a powerhouse vocalist. Videos of her singing have graced the internet, but she was also able to show off her vocals in Pose next in a duet with co-star Billy Porter. She released her first single “Something to Say” ahead of her upcoming debut EP. 

Janelle Monaé (pansexual & non-binary | they/she)

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Look up the definition of superstar and you’ll find Janelle Monaé’s name there. The singer, rapper, songwriter, producer, actor, and writer continues to break records, push boundaries, and leave their creative imprint on everything that they touch. Now, they’re preparing to play bi-con Josephine Baker in a new TV series. 

serpentwithfeet (gay | he/him)

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Josiah White, known professionally as serpentwithfeet, is a Baltimore native who uses his classical training and church upbringing to create experimental R&B that feels holy. His eclectic taste is reflected in his musical collaborations, as he’s worked with everyone from Björk, Ty Dolla Sign, FKA Twigs, BROCKHAMPTON, and Ellie Goulding.

Syd (gay | she/her)

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Syd initially gained recognition for being a member of the hip hip group Odd Future, which featured Black queer musicians Frank Ocean and Tyler the Creator. She later formed the Grammy Award-nominated band The Internet, which featured Black queer musician/producer Steven Lacy. On her own, Syd has become another voice shifting alternative R&B and has worked with everyone from Kali Uchis, Willow Smith, and Kehlani. 

Kaytranada (gay | he/him)

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The Grammy Award-winning DJ has been producing some of the best dance tracks of the past few years. The Haitian-born, Canadian-raised musician has been known to create music for other artists, like Tinashe, Kali Uchis, Chance the Rapper, and Anderson .Paak, while strengthening his presence in dance music with his award-winning albums 99.9% and Bubba.

Isaiah Rashad (sexually fluid | he/him)

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The Top Dawg Entertainment rapper has built a large following through creating music with thoughtful, nostalgic, and precise lyrics. Isaiah Rashad has collaborated with labelmates Kendrick Lamar and SZA on different tracks and his work covers topics of mental health, drug use, and family. He recently came out as sexually fluid in an interview with Joe Sudden, adding another Black queer presence in rap. 

Lil Nas X (gay | he/him)

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Montero Hill, known professionally as Lil Nas X, is one of the biggest names in popular music today. The Grammy Award-winning superstar continues to make hit after hit and seamlessly uses social media to market his work, enhance his celebrity, generate plenty of laughs, and be unapologetically Black and gay.

Frank Ocean (queer | he/him)

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When you think of musical game changers, Frank Ocean might come to mind. The trailblazing singer, writer, and producer has shifted R&B with his experimental sounds and pensive lyrics. Ocean’s music encapsulates you into his abstract world. He flipped the music industry on its head with the release of 2011 hit “Thinkin Bout You”, which focused on his longing for his first love, who was a man.  

Kehlani (lesbian & non-binary | she/they)

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The 90s-influenced R&B singer has been steadily leaving their mark in the musical world. With breezy vocals and the ability to maneuver seamlessly through multiple genres, Kehlani’s music makes you dance, makes you reflect, and makes you long for love. Their confessional-style lyrics leave no stone unturned and cement them as a powerful lyricist.  

Kevin Abstract (gay | he/him)

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So many great artists come from Texas, and Kevin Abstract is one of them. Whether he’s releasing his own rap albums or doing so as part of the hip hop boy band BROCKHAMPTON, Abstract is busy creating genre-defining work and doing it with some of the biggest names in the music industry, like Dua Lipa and ASAP Rocky. 

Willow Smith (bisexual & polyamorous | she/her)

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Willow Smith gives all of the Black rocker vibes we need. The musical chameleon started off “whipping her hair back and forth” as a kid and now as an adult, she’s busy doing guitar riffs, hosting The Red Table Talk with her mother Jada Pinkett Smith and grandmother Adrienne Banfield-Norris, belting over rock/alternative tracks, and being a badass effortlessly. 

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