On Monday, June 29, in partnership with Nubian Message, WKNC 88.1 aired the first Nubian Message Mixtape, in order to highlight the work that Nubian Message has done in covering the protests as well as diversifying the music played on WKNC. The mixtape was an hour-long spot from 6-7 p.m. on Monday on HD-1 and from 12-1 p.m. on Tuesday on HD-2 and featured a variety of Black artists spanning several genres.
Nubian Message Editor-in-Chief Elikem Dodor, a third-year studying science, technology and society, said she, along with her staff, specifically chose artists that were from a wide variety of genres.
“It’s like going back to our roots and the different things that we enjoy,” Dodor said. “We tried to pull from different genres, because Black artists are versatile. There’s so many different styles and I think it’s reflected in the playlist.”
WKNC 88.1 General Manager Laura Mooney, a fourth-year studying social work and psychology, expanded on this idea and discussed the whitewashing of musical spaces.
“In a lot of the musical genres that are extremely prominent at the moment, electronic influences, pop, or how punk rock and hip hop are merging in a lot of different ways, a lot of white musicians are rising to power within these spaces,” Mooney said. “While it’s cool to see music evolve, we can’t forget that a lot of these genres come from Black creators, and it must be perpetuated by Black creators in order to maintain some sort of authenticity or artistry.”
Mooney believes that playing music by predominantly white artists would be a disservice not only to the community, but also to the staffs of Student Media, Nubian Message and WKNC.
Dodor explained how Mooney reached out to her and asked if they would provide a playlist that the staff of Nubian Message enjoyed specifically by Black artists. Dodor feels it is important for Black people to consume Black art, especially right now.
“I think it’s just showing the beauty in being Black,” Dodor said. “I know for us personally, it’s relieving to enjoy and be able to consume Black art. I know it’s people who look like me who are doing what they enjoy. It’s a point of relief in everything that’s going on. I can still enjoy and uplift Black arts.”
Furthermore, Dodor feels the playlist shows the entirety of what it means to be Black in America.
“The majority of the staff is Black, but it also pulls from a lot of us being first-generation immigrant children,” Dodor said. “There is some Afrobeats and other things of that nature. It’s the fullness of what Black is.”
Mooney said the playlist allowed for some needed inter-media partnership within Student Media.
“It’s something that’s always been talked about when new student leaders come to power, but less often actually seen through to the end,” Mooney said. “I figured this was just something simple we could do that would allow me to plug the Nubian Message and actually put voices on the air instead of our usual Audiovault rotation.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, WKNC has continued to broadcast, but due to the inability for students to come into the studio, have been automatically rotating music that has not been curated by students. Because of this, the normal broadcasting schedule was not interrupted in order to broadcast this playlist.
According to Mooney and Dodor, a new mixtape is planned to broadcast next week. The two hope to continue the mixtape into the future and continue their partnership.
According to Mooney, the Nubian Message Mixtape will soon be available on WKNC 88.1’s Spotify account. For more information about WKNC, visit the station’s website. For more information about Nubian Message, visit the paper’s website.
*Nubian Message and WKNC are both branches of Student Media, along with Technician.
*Editor's Note: This article was updated on July 7 with a link to the Nubian Message Mixtape playlist on WKNC 88.1's Spotify account.