17 July 2020

Introducing... Black Arts Review

As of today, the name of this blog has officially been changed to Black Arts Review.  Formerly it was known as Babeltunes.

At the time I started it, I was ghostwriter for another site called Song Meanings and Facts.  Occasionally, while doing research for my employer, I would come across a song which I wanted to do more in-depth research than what the job called for.  At first the goal was to write about any track that interest me.  For instance you may notice that the first posts on this blog are actually about Ed Sheeran and Jeremy Renner, neither of whom are Black.

But as time progressed I realized that the focus of the project needed to be narrowed, because the world of music/entertainment is vast.  Moreover, we are living in a very pro-Black era in human history.  So the time is now ripe to delve deeper into art created by Black people, since our wherewithal to entertain is one of the things we are collectively most known for.

But the true purpose of the Black Arts Review is to take more of a scholastic approach towards analyzing media created by Black people.  So this is not a case of 'oh, this artist just dropped a song' and then d*ckridin the person because he or she is popular.  Rather the purpose of the Black Arts Review is to view such media more-objectively, in addition to giving shoutouts to our favorite artists of course.

So from today forward, there will be three major changes taking place in this blog.


The next song I intend to write about is actually The Adventures of Moon Man & Slim Shady (2020) by Kid Cudi and Eminem.  So this isn't a racist blog or anything like that.  Rather henceforth all of the featured songs for instance will either have to be about a Black artist or have a Black co-star, maybe not a feature but an actual co-star, like the track above.


This is what I'm personally most excited about.  If you read earlier posts, you'll notice that I often refer to my "homey".  Well this individual is actually a filmographer who lives in Atlanta that goes by the name of Seriez Premiere.  So now with Seriez in the ATL and myself in Accra, Black Arts Review has writers situate in two distinct centers of Black culture.

Like most of us he had to put his personal dreams aside, i.e. the pursuit of filmography, in the name of practical concerns.  But he is an excellent writer, and some of his old videos are still up on YouTube.    For instance the video embedded below, which is a work of art in and of itself, was created by him.  And it is dedicated to the late Roger Taylor (1952-2019).


I only interacted with Roger Elliot Taylor once face-to-face,  Some 20 years ago I was a guest in his home (i.e. his NYC apartment).  And the way he treated me, a stranger, has made that day one of the most joyfully-memorable in my life.

Rodger Elliot Taylor (1952-2019)
A couple of years back I was working with him on a website called WurknProgress which is very similar to this one.  It was a writing blog, and it had a very-artsy feel to it.  In fact reading his blog may me feel like I was back in the big city or in an art gallery or something.  And that's the same feel I want Black Arts Review to have, to be able to transport the reader outside of his or her immediate surroundings, even if only for a moment.

Einstein on Race and Racism (2006), a book
co-authored by Rodger Taylor.
The WorknProgress website has been discontinued since Uncle Rodger's passing, but its Facebook page is still active.  Moreover he authored a book entitled Einstein on Race and Racism which is available on Amazon.  No one could talk about the relationship between Albert Einstein and Paul Robeson quite like Uncle Rodger.  And henceforth Black Arts Review will be dedicated to his memory.


So once again, I'm very excited about the future of this blog.  I believe one day it will rival other music sites like Billboard and Rolling Stone in terms of popularity.