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#BackChannel: Kendrick Lamar's Grammys, Beyonce's Super Bowl And Remembering Maurice White

In the last two weeks, musicians Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar have used two of pop culture's biggest stages to showcase their political message.

Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime show included her controversial new song "Formation." Meanwhile, Lamar took home five Grammy awards and offered a visually and lyrically stunning performance of his own songs at the awards show.

Host Frank Stasio talks with pop culture experts Natalie Bullock Brown, professor of film and multimedia studies at St. Augustine's University, and Mark Anthony Neal, professor of African & African American studies at Duke University, about the way musicians' race-related messages are interpreted by different audiences.  

Listen to Mark Anthony Neal discuss the legacy of black artists showcasing political messages and hear a clip of Kendrick Lamar's Grammys performance below:

Listen to Natalie Bullock Brown discuss Beyonce's performance at the Super Bowl and the new song "Formation" below:

Check out the skit below from Saturday Night Live about Beyonce's "Formation:" ​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ociMBfkDG1w

Below is Stevie Wonder and Pentatonix tribute paid to Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire at this year's Grammys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXO7E2GmvUw

Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC. His fascination for audio storytelling and radio journalism began as a broadcast major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his career as a reporter for Carolina Connection, UNC’s student-led radio news show, where Charlie’s work won multiple Hearst Journalism Awards.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.