Dance Yourself Free : Throughline Ever since Beyonce's Renaissance dropped last summer, house music has found its way back to mainstream audiences, prompting some to ask "Is house back?" But the truth is, it never went away. Born out of the ashes of disco in the underground clubs of Chicago by Black queer youth in the late 1970s and 80s, house music has been the continued soundtrack of parties around the world, and laid the groundwork for one of the most popular musical genres in history – electronic dance music. And yet, the deeper you dig into the origins of house music, the more clear it becomes that the history of house, like the history of rock and roll, is a complicated tale of Black cultural resistance.

Dance Yourself Free

Dance Yourself Free

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1160259231/1200556273" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
John M Lund Photography Inc/Getty Images
People dancing under a disco ball.
John M Lund Photography Inc/Getty Images

Ever since Beyonce's Renaissance dropped last summer, house music has found its way back to mainstream audiences, prompting some to ask "Is house back?" But the truth is, it never went away. Born out of the ashes of disco in the underground clubs of Chicago by Black queer youth in the late 1970s and 80s, house music has been the continued soundtrack of parties around the world, and laid the groundwork for one of the most popular musical genres in history — electronic dance music. And yet, the deeper you dig into the origins of house music, the more clear it becomes that the history of house, like the history of rock and roll, is a complicated tale of Black cultural resistance.

If you want to read more about what it was like to be in Chicago in the moments when house music was being created, we've also got a feature full of quotes from people — DJs, dancers, promoters and musicians — who were at the basement parties and clubs like the Warehouse where it happened.

If you'd like to hear more of this music, take a tour through the world of house, curated by DJ Terry Hunter.