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Black Music Month: Five California-Based Baddies Taking Over The Music Industry

From Sacramento to Slauson Hills and Pasadena, these emerging California-raised artists are representing the state's current hip-hop and R&B scenes.

Black Music Month is here, and it’s more important than ever that we pay homage to the pioneers of the musical genres we so lovingly listen to and keep on repeat today. 

These five artists are taking the music industry by storm, responsible for some of the most recent innovations and exciting, creative cultural advancements in R&B.

Photo via @Kehlani/Instagram.

Kehlani 

Kehlani has gone viral, not just for her catchy rhythms and deep, thought-provoking lyrics, but also for her bravery and activism-first approach to life and music. Growing up in Oakland, Kehlani is known for her strong vocals and stunning riffs, getting her start in singing covers of pop songs in a musical group. Kehlani’s most recent release, “​​Next 2 U,” was a stunning tribute to her dedicated Pro-Palestinian activism work and her commitment to highlighting the ongoing struggles in Gaza. Kehlani has long since emerged as an artist who puts her money where her mouth is and is frequently seen participating in activism efforts, including marches and demonstrations. 

Via @Saweetie/Instagram.

Saweetie  

Saweetie’s serendipitous story is one of hard work, dedication, and a strong sense of self. Growing up in what she coins ‘the Sac,' Saweetie’s story of resilience inspires us all. She went on to attend and graduate from the University of Southern California (USC), where she studied Communication at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Saweetie's most recent release, “NANi,” is emerging on Rhythm Radio Charts, showcasing her abilities to pioneer pop music, and her dedicated ambition and drive to cultivate her own lane.

Via @VictoriaMonet/Instagram 

Victoria Monet

Victoria Monet just released her “Alright” music video, which is making waves across the industry. She has the voice of an angel, but her talents do not stop there. She won her first Grammy at this past year’s award show and has been headed upward ever since. Known for her creativity, passion, and intensely determined work ethic, Victoria Monet is a star-studded icon whose recent projects, including ‘JAGUAR II,” have been earning her exactly the type of acclaim she’s deserved for so long. Growing up in Sacramento, Monet was fascinated by the performing arts, and was involved in singing and dancing herself. Brilliantly showcased in her brand new music video, which drops this Friday, Victoria Monet’s multi-talented approach to the music business is nothing short of remarkable. 

Via Instagram @TinasheNow/Instagram. 

Tinashe

Tinashe moved to Pasadena at an early age to begin pursuing her entertainment career. Although she’s been in the music game for quite some time, she has only just started receiving the recognition she deserves. Her recent track, “Nasty,” is charting higher than ever before, earning her the accolades she has been working towards and been deserving of for years. Now more than ever, listeners are more anticipating her October 2024 album release than ever.

Via @JheneAiko on Instagram.

Jhene Aiko

Jhene Aiko has been repping Slauson Hills since the beginning of her career. She first gained attention back in the 90s when her effortless, soft, and smooth vocals gained citywide acclaim upon the release of her B2K run, first songs, and initial mixtape. Her tracks “The Worst,” “While We’re Young,” and “None Of Your Concern” have cemented her as one of R&B’s gems. Her entire brand and melodic musical creations pay homage to the vibrant culture of Los Angeles, especially Slauson Hills, where she was born and raised. Songs like “Never Call Me” tell you that Jhene’s relationship with Los Angeles is one of love and gratitude. In her “Never Call Me (Slauson Hills Version)” music video, Jhene’s lyrics are an ode to the Hills, and the serene songstress still hasn't ceased paying homage to where she’s from. 

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