The sounds of black people run wide and deep within the music space. If you hop from person to person with questions about standout songs that move them, the answers will span regions, decades and genres. Each year, we honor that breadth of talent all June long for Black Music Month.
Some of our favorite buzzing and seasoned musicians of today—Khalid, Tee Grizzley, BJ the Chicago Kid, and Lloyd—also wanted to contribute to the celebration by weighing in on the songs that inspire them. As part of Billboard‘s coverage of Black Music Month, the aforementioned artists curated playlists that reflect the songs that impacted both their artistry and the culture as a whole.
“As a young black musician there are many artists who not only inspire me daily but have also influenced the way that I grew up and my musical capabilities,” Khalid said of his playlist. BJ the Chicago Kid said that the songs and artists on his list “remind [him] of how great we are, can be and most of all, the way we’re supposed to be. All these artists shine bright on and off the stage.”