In 2013, not one black artist scored a No. 1 single, while white artists even sat atop the R&B chart for most of the year. Pop chart analyst Chris Molanphy and Daily Beast columnist Keli Goff help us understand how and why 2013 was so unprecedented.
In this episode: For the first time in Billboard chart history, no black artists topped Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart in all of 2013. Perhaps even more shocking: For 44 out of 56 weeks of 2013, white artists topped the R&B chart. We look at how and why this happened with pop chart writer Chris Molanphy and political analyst and writer Keli Goff.
Then: Born in Benin, based in Brooklyn, but a true citizen of the world, singer Angelique Kidjo numbers Desmond Tutu and Bill Clinton among her friends. She plays songs from her latest album Eve live in the Soundcheck studio, talks about her new memoir about a life in music and as a UNICEF ambassador.
And: Last week, rapper Rick Ross sued the pop band LMFAO over a lyric in their mega-hit “Party Rock Anthem” -- “Every day I’m shufflin’” -- because it’s similar to his famous lyric “Every day I’m hustlin’.” Soundcheck talks with our copyright go-to, intellectual property lawyer Jonathan Reichman (a.k.a. The Copy Cat) about whether Ross has any legal ground to stand on.
Author Keli Goff on Harry Belafonte's activism and his public standoff with Jay Z.
In this episode: Even at 86, acclaimed singer, activist, and actor Harry Belafonte is still making plenty headlines with his recent endorsement of New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and his long-standing public standoff with rapper Jay Z. Writer Keli Goff joins us to talk about the activism of the "King of Calypso."
Then, the creators of Beat Making Lab talk about their portable electronic beat-making kits that they send to developing countries with the intention of improving communities.
And Wichita, Kansas roots rockers Moreland And Arbuckle perform songs from its new concept album based around 16th century explorer Coronado.
According to The Root’s Keli Goff, black producers are “Halley's Comet rare” on Broadway. Goff joins Soundcheck to discuss the theater world’s production gap.
In this episode: Sixteen Candles star Molly Ringwald recently released an album, Except Sometimes, made up of jazz standards — and a jazzified version of the angsty Breakfast Club movie theme, “Don’t You Forget About Me.” She stops by our studio.
Plus: Keli Goff, special correspondent for The Root, joins us to talk about a lack of diversity behind-the-scenes on Broadway — particularly when it comes to producers.
And: Classical guitarist Jason Vieaux is expanding the bounds his genre. He shows off his chops in the Soundcheck studio.