Black History Inspirations: MNEK Shares a Playlist of the Artists & Songs That Reflect Queer Black Culture

Luke Nugent


As part of Billboard's Black History Month celebration, we've asked Black artists spanning all genres to compile their own unique playlist exclusive to Billboard's Spotify account. Each song they've chose represents their love for the culture across the diaspora -- from childhood favorites to songs that make them feel free. Today, MNEK shares his soundtrack.

Hi, I’m MNEK and I really love being a Black man. I love being a Black gay man. And I love being a Black gay man making music for others and also my own records. (I released my debut album, Language, last September!)

I’d be lying, however, if I said there was a massive amount of people who look like myself and live like myself getting their flowers and just dues for their talent and their work. Black music has shaped so much of what’s on radio -- along with Black female and gay culture shaping so much of pop culture over the DECADES -- yet the visionaries are not always chosen as the face of what’s going on.

Thank you, Billboard, for giving me the opportunity to give the artists and songs who have either inspired me as a Black person, shaped my music or who don’t get the shine they deserve a little love on this playlist! Happy Black History Month!

MNEK's first U.S. headlining tour kicks off on Feb. 19. The singer's new video for "Girlfriend" is out now. Listen to his playlist below, and get your tickets here.


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