As we listen to our favorite hip-hop artists, debate the 90s vs. today's "mumble rap," and discover new ways to move hip-hop culture forward, we must take time to acknowledge the various artists and genres that helped provide the foundation for these rappers. An influence that extends outside the African American musical landscape, and has played a role in shaping multiple genres from rock 'n' roll to jazz.

June marks the beginning of Black Music Appreciation Month. In 1979 President Jimmy Carter declared June Black Music Month in honor of black composers, songwriters, and singers that shaped American culture, and brought people of various ethnic backgrounds together.

However, despite the proclamation the month wasn't officially recognized until a presidential order was signed off in 2000. This coming after the House of Representatives approved House Resolution 509 that recognized the significance of African American musical influence on society. The name of the month was changed by Barack Obama to African American Music Appreciation Month in 2009.

Recently, President Donald Trump issued a statement proclaiming his first African American Music Appreciation Month,

“During  June, we pay tribute to the contributions African Americans have made and continue to make to American music. The indelible legacy of these musicians who have witnessed our Nation's greatest achievements, as well as its greatest injustices give all Americans a richer, deeper understanding of American culture. Their creativity has shaped every genre of music, including rock and roll, rhythm and blues, jazz, gospel, hip-hop, and rap.”