Cover Art – PJ – Element
I made a comment on Facebook that Oprah is to books as Issa Rae is to music. What I was trying to get at is Oprah has been known for the past decade and some change is she puts books in the consciousness of America (and maybe the world). When she says you need to read this, people believe she has a point and her opinions on it are normally on the money. What I’ve noticed on the the time the show Insecure has been on, Issa Rae and her team of music curators for the show has been pulling out great soundtracks. This song from PJ is a gem among gems. What I appreciate from her as an artist is that she doesn’t have a filter. Raw emotions and her lyrics are about scenarios about everyday people. And among all this, she gives you the energy that you never knew you had. Sorta like audio senzu beans (ask someone who has seen Dragon Ball about that meaning). Among the crowd of songs that has the outpouring of emotions of the current state of affairs, the content of Element really made it standout.
3 Artists To Mention…
Leon Bridges, Terrace Martin – Sweeter
This past week we got to see how the music community wanted to express themselves about the current climate of global consciousness of police brutality and racism. I had to hear this song several times for the lyrics started to connect and it is sort of grim, but real. This is a beautiful song as he talks about the perspective of another victim of racism and sadness that a sweeter life turned into the same sad story. A lot of the songs gets you to think about the current state of affairs, but Leon gets you to empathize with the victim. He does it well.
Zeina El Shazly – Mahbous (Imprisoned)
When I first heard this song, I felt raw emotion from the voice of Zeina. She’s very talented and you can hear it about :50 into the song. She has so much power that you can hear her self filter it and doesn’t come off bad at all. I’ve always wondered how Arabic would come off in an R&B setting. I’ve heard it in Reggaetone and Dancehall, but I think this is the first time I’ve heard singing like this in Arabic. I’ve fallen in love. Too bad I can’t get any lyrics because I would love to know more about this song. From what I can tell, the title translates into Imprisoned.
Chita, ONIRIA – Llueve Adentro (It Rains Inside)
The producer of this track, ONIRIA, really sets the mood with this one. It’s very light and lustful and Chita really fits the setting. She misses the guy who left. How can you not feel for her? The third line is something and I don’t know if it sets the tone, but it goes (using Google translate so I hope it’s accurate) “If we hit each other ‘I start to feel, That time stops bleeding”. And goes on that it’s normal. Now I could looking too deep and say she’s talking about being in an abusive relationship or not so deep and say their relationship was too rocky for a lot of reasons. But love is a real emotion and if you can give it, it hurts that much more when it’s not reciprocated. The song that would precede this in my imaginary playlist would be Can You Stand The Rain from New Edition. Clearly, the guy couldn’t and bounced, thus this song.
I’ve been thinking on how to close these post because I don’t want to take up the time just rehashing names and songs that you will listen to on the playlist. So I’m going to try and go broad strokes because the standout artists are the ones I want to get across to you all. Like if you don’t care to listen to the playlist (I hope that’s not case), just listen to those songs. So what I will say is that this week there is a lot of love from Latin America and some hits from the Middle East and Egypt. The tone that you’ll get is there is a lot of upbeat songs, but again the music industry is well aware of the current state of affairs. Police brutality and racism are real things and through their talents, they want you to know. Take action or empathize, but overall to be a better person in knowing than to walk oblivious and ignorant.
I’ll try and do better next time.