Playlist: A Musical Journey Through Black Music is a celebration of black culture and black history awareness in the form of a star-studded compilation of African-American musicians, almost all of whom are legends in their fields. It's hard to argue with most of the picks for this collection: jazz classics from Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong; decade-spanning soul favorites from Whitney Houston, Aaron Neville, and Marvin Gaye; as well as empowering hip-hop picks like Nas' cautionary "I Can" and Run-D.M.C.'s "It's Like That." There's even a nod to metal with the inclusion of Living Colour's "Cult of Personality," which definitely makes the playlist more complete, if not more enjoyable. While the sequencing of tracks is a little disjointed, the overall cohesion of sentiment and purpose is strong, and Playlist does exactly what it sets out to do: celebrate just a few of the highlights of the incredibly rich history of black music. Besides, any mix that starts with Sly & the Family Stone's "Everyday People" promises to be worth the price of admission from there on out. ~ Fred Thomas
Everyday People - Sly & The Family Stone
It's Like That - Orange Krush/Run-D.M.C.
(What Did I Do To Be So) Black and Blue - Louis Armstrong
I Can - Nas
Greatest Love of All - Whitney Houston
Abraham, Martin & John - Harry Belafonte
God Bless the Child - Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra