Month: September 2016

A Seat at the Table: Album Review

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This Cancerian woman known by the name of Solange, just released one of the most provocative albums of the year today. If not, in the last decade. Much like To Pimp a Butterfly, Solange cuts open her soul in A Seat at the Table, and drizzles it all over a bunch of melodious tunes. Songs that are somber and gut wrenching. Melodies that haunt you, and cause you to face the things, that you wish you could forget.

But let’s thank Solange, for reminding us how effective music can be at moving people to action. We dance and we sing all the time. But how often do we listen to music, and think? When listening to this album, there is no room for escapism. You as the listener, experience a kaleidoscope of emotions that cause your soul to rise up inside of you, and tear.

As she coos, the listener can’t help but to feel like a character in her novel. Whether that be the grandfather talking with his chirin’ about his experiences with racism, the mother sobbing over the state of the world her infant has been born into, or the young adult proud of their blackness and rocking their natural. You feel so alive while taking in each song, and the interludes that accompany. It’s a plethora of inviting vocals that harmonize real world problems, and crescendo toward enlightenment.

From the intro track, it is evident that Solange, unlike many of her contemporaries is unafraid of tackling issues regarding systemic racism and classism. She’s reminiscent of the artist of yesteryear. The ones who were more concerned about sending messages of hope and love to their listeners, rather than sugaring down songs that placate emotions, out of fear of losing endorsements.

Much like her star sign, Lange’ approaches the revolution in a subtle manner. She’s gentle in her message, though it is never lost. This is alkaline music for the soul. Each song is nourishment, and mama makes sure you eat all of your vegetables, before she allows you to get up from the table. The lyrical content boasts about the pride she, and other black people have in their unique features. She is unashamedly black, and recognizes the beauty that exists within the struggle.

A Seat at the Table, is more than a collection of songs. The underlying messages speak about our vast history that transcends beyond Transatlantic slavery. We created the table that we were denied access to sit. The irony of it, is that the materials used for building, came from our home land. The motherland. Mother Africa. That each table that is sold for thousands of dollars, has the labor of our ancestors all within their legs.

Today, we are reminding our souls about the innumerable power that resides inside of the melanin. The hope is not in being able sitting at the table, and feel a false reprieve about assimilating into another culture. It’s about choosing to stand in solidarity with your brothas and sistas, instead of sitting and being docile.  The message is clear, the afterlife is no longer the only place we will reach peace. Together, through unity, our collective strength will bring a new heaven to earth.

For years, I’ve been a fan of Solange. She’s breathtakingly beautiful, with legs that resemble that of a Goddess. But not even her physical features are able to overshadow her intelligence and distinct sense of self. It is her pride in her individuality, that makes her standout in a crowd.

I respect your pen game and your take on life, love, and sadness. Thank you, for utilizing your platform in this manner. Creating more spaces for dialogue, about the topics that are far too often avoided.
Rise!
With love + respect,
Von

 

Back to Sleep

There were a multitude of summer anthems, but this stands out the most to me. Chris always comes through with the heat, and this song is no exception. Not sure if it’s the Marvin Gaye melody, or the lyrical word play. Whatever it is, I’m feeling it. This joint stays in rotation.

Hope summer has been good to you. What up, fall? I see, you.

-Love,

Von

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