Culture Politics

Complexion: A Mix

This playlist is submitted by Crystal Simone, one of Spicy‘s Guest Contributors. She is a designer and DJ from New York. She has a vibrant personality, and it shows in all of her work. By day, she is a student at New York Institute of Technology where she studies digital art & design. She does freelance work from time to time, and has worked with Va$htie, Blavity, and more. By night, she is electrifying the crowd as a DJ. Her go-to music is house, electronic, bailafunk and futurebeats afrobeats – which she blends so effortlessly. Follow her @crys_cr0ss.

Living in Trump’s America calls for fostering community. We build community by raising a fist, taking a knee, and singing our songs as loud as we can; the songs that are made by us, for us.

In Complexion, a playlist curated by New York-based DJ Crys Cross, you can hear the hurt and struggle in our voices as we hit notes, high and low. You can even feel the painful truth that strikes like venom with every lyric used to tell our stories. Fatigue and weariness come through our melodies, and in our rhythms and beats, you can hear our angst. My Black people, you are not alone in feeling the way you do. Just listen to the music and you will know too.


Playlist by Crystal Simone

Also in these songs, you can feel our glow. You can hear us establish our sense of self and force onto the world our unwavering high levels of self-esteem. Despite what Miss America thinks, we love our Black skin, light and dark and all shades in between. We love our Black men, Black women, Black boys, Black girls, all of our Black lives. We love to tell our Black stories.

There is a revolution erupting, and it’s being fueled by the hate we receive, the prejudice we experience and the racism that has continuously plagued our people’s history. These are the songs that make up the soundtrack to the revolution. These are the sounds that energize us as we fight, chant, politic, vandalize, march, protest, and protect.

Complexion preaches community. This mix is meant to make us, Black people, feel comfortable. It is meant to let us know that we will be alright; it is meant to remind you that you are not alone. This mix is meant to make you feel free from pain and constraint, and more importantly, gain the confidence to demand the freedom that the rest of America doesn’t think we deserve. You are not alone.

Excerpt by Timaya Forehand

Image courtesy of Nikki Freyermuth