black girls who literally rock!

November 20, 2013
88 Picks

I can’t believe I’ve slept on some of these artists and now I find myself completely addicted to them. In the 80’s I was all about the heavy metal hair bands. I was a fan of Metallica, Poison, Guns N’ Roses, and Skid Row. I was a loyal subscriber of BOP Magazine and I must confess that I did have a poster on my wall of Bret Michaels from Poison and Sebastian Bach from Skid Row. In the 90’s when wearing flannel was hot and Seattle was the place to be, I was totally a grunge rock nerd listening to bands like Nirvana, Hole, and Smashing Pumpkins. I remember my mom asking me,
“What is a smashing pumpkin? What kind of name is that?”

By Jamie Broadnax, AFROPUNK Contributor *

Her naivety makes me chuckle now as I reminisce about it, but back then I didn’t really have any other friends or family that shared the same tastes in music as I did. I also was not that involved in metal or alternative music to learn about underground or independent artists that did not share the same kind of commercial success as the artists I mentioned above. Thankfully now that social media gives artists and fans the kind of exposure that we have never experienced before, I have been introduced to black girl rockers who are killin’ it in the heavy metal scene!

The BGN podcast will interview author Laina Dawes and music blogger Ursula from and they will discuss issues surrounding black women in metal. In the meantime, if you’re a newbie to this genre of music, take a listen to some of these dynamic artists!

Militia Vox
She’s the lead singer of the band Judas Priestess. In 2012 she hosted Brooklyn’s well-renowned annual AFROPUNK festival and she’s done lead vocals for Dee Snider’s band Twister sister in the heavy metal orchestra Van Helsing’s Curse.

Straight Line Stitch
I love this chick. Alexis Brown is the frontwoman for this band and kills it with her vocals. She is by far the most popular black woman on the heavy metal scene. According to Alexis, she says that her speaking voice is different than her performance voice and when people approach her they often say she sounds like a cartoon character.

Skunk Anansie
Skin from Skunk Anansie is featured in the forward to Laina Dawes book, What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal Music. The band traditionally has toured overseas since audiences are more receptive to their sound and style. Their new video “This is Not A Game” was released in March of this year.

She has a distinct style of integrating soul and rock into her music and it flows perfectly in all of her rock ballads. Tamar-kali was featured in the 2003 Afro-punk documentary and you can catch a great deal of her performances in her hometown of New York City.

* Jamie Broadnax is the writer and creator of the niche blogsite for nerdy women of color called Black Girl Nerds. Jamie has written for Madame Noire and is the VP of Digital for the online publishing hub the She Thrives Network.

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