What is Nikka Costa!

If, by reading my previous post pertaining to artist and music, you’ve discerned that I am a self-proclaimed music guru, you’re right! It’s what gives me the most pleasure about writing these post. You see, “What Is Hip!” according to The World Famous Tony Williams is all about my expert views on what you should be listening to, thinking about, as well as laughing at (notice the no LOL here, after all, I am an extremely close relative of Kanye, so you know that I know).
I, first, learned of Nikka Costa in 2001,  after seeing her “Everybody Got Their Something” video from her 2001 album release by the same name. I knew immediately that she was the whole package, a funky, edgy, soulful rocker! Simply stated, a Rock Star! Today, I find it intriguing that when the question comes up about which artist I’m listening to and constantly checking for, people don’t know the name Nikka Costa when I mention her. In fact , she’s one of  a handful of artist whose project I will purchase,  sight unseen.
Nikka Costa makes really good “real” music that ,also, happens to be really soulful. If she wasn’t already, after seeing the NPR interview with Farai Chidaya (the last youtube clip on this post), she would be my girl, definitely! When asked about her take on “white female” artist that “play with the black vernacular” and their music being embraced by fans and radio, Costa references those before and after her, from Teena Marie to Duffy and Amy Winehouse (definitely check out this interview, if just for the subtle snub of Christina Aguilera). She goes on to say that with the recent success of Winehouse, people  finally  are accepting a movement that she’d been perpetuating, since the early 2000’s and that the unfortunate reality was that “black people aren’t making this type of music anymore.”  This statement pricked my soul… a knife straight through my chest.. but please don’t take that out of context. You see Nikka Costa, simply, was confirming what Nelson George wrote in his 1988 book “The Death of Rhythm & Blues”, in which he attributes the demise of a cultural treasure to the fact that black folks simply don’t attempt to preserve their history. like grandmother’s walnut credenza that was passed down from her grandmother, shiii… we sold that shit in a garage sale for $35 when grandmother died, last year. It ended up in an antique store in SoHo where it sold for $3,500 and now it sits in the living room of some young white stockbrokers upper eastside apartment. Costa goes on to add that this has been a trend, since the early rock bands that where “biting” blues artist and states that the world could use more music like this out there (regardless of who’s performing it) and she’s right! The world needs more really good “real” music and Black music needs a few more Nikka Costas.


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