We are very pleased and proud to announce a new feature at Afropop.org: reprints of selected articles from the late, lamented magazine The Beat, which documented the emergence of reggae, African, Caribbean and world music on the international level. The Beat began publishing in 1982 as a handmade fanzine for the radio program “The Reggae Beat,” broadcasting from KCRW-FM in Santa Monica, CA. Over the 28 years of its existence, it grew into an internationally distributed glossy publication, until 2009, when the collapse of the economy coupled with that of the music and publishing industries forced it to close. The Beat’s run encompassed a very exciting period in the growth and development of African and world music, when it seemed like every day a new (to us) artist or band would appear from one of the four corners of the world, and new music would be explored in the magazine’s pages. The Beat’s time frame also corresponded with that of Afropop Worldwide, and we worked in tandem, with their radio programs often mirroring our articles, and Banning Eyre and Sean Barlow occasionally contributing stories to the magazine as well.
As editor and publisher of The Beat, I always greatly admired Afropop’s productions, and I am now thrilled to be part of the team as Editor in Large for Afropop.org. This series of reprints of essential articles from The Beat will add historical perspective and background for Afropop’s coverage of current musical developments, with the advantage of now being able to enhance the stories online with music and video clips. The Beat also goes on at ByeByeBeat.blogspot.com and Facebook.
We invite you to check in frequently to see what treasures we have unearthed from the Golden Age!
CC Smith, Afropop Editor at Large