Abstract

This essay places the important Robert Glasper Experiment recording “Black Radio” (2012) within its artistic, commercial, and critical contexts. As a project that combines genres, “Black Radio” did more than challenge different communities of listeners; it invited them to see how Glasper's sonic juxtapositions could be logically aligned. Jazz, hip-hop, R&B, and gospel merge in “Black Radio” to form a stylish, forward-looking contribution that won popular and critical successes. Glasper and his ensemble toy with the social contracts that have established boundaries around sonic language; indeed, he makes their territories feel seamless and natural. Because of the success of the project, we may be witnessing a post-genre moment that disrupts traditional ideas about music that have been preciously held in the industry since it emerged in the late-nineteenth century.

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