Solange just dropped her eagerly anticipated third album, the powerful new LP A Seat At The Table. Her first full album in 8 years and follows her 2012 True EP. Solange may have been quiet on the music front but she has not been silent. Speaking out on social injustices in America and her own personal experience with racial abuse, she recently wrote and essay detailing the racially motivated abuse she and her family received at the Kraftwek concert.
In a conversation with Judnick Mayard and her mum, Solange describes how ‘the ugly backdrop of the state of America’ and the recent killings of black men affected and influenced the direction of the record.
“In a sense, I feel like the album wrote itself. When I felt afraid or when I felt like this record would be so different from my last, I would see or hear another story of a young Black person in America having their life taken away from them, having their freedom taken away. That would fuel me to go back and revisit and sometimes rewrite some of these songs to go a little further and not be afraid to have the conversation”.
Solange invites listeners to take a seat at her table to understand her truth, our truth on what it means to be black. She describes the album as “a project on identity, empowerment, independence, grief and healing.
I think that A Seat at the Table for me is an invitation to allow folks to pull up a chair, get very close and have these hard uncomfortable truths be shared”.
She uses the album to speak openly, to have intimate, difficult conversations directly with black women and with anyone else who wants to understand her experience and what it means to be black in the world today. She addresses everything from the prejudice, discrimination she endures to the micro-aggressions faced daily. The song ‘Don’t Touch My hair’ featuring Sampha (featured above) is something that every black girl and guy can relate to:
Don’t touch my hair
When it’s the feelings I wear
Don’t touch my soul When it’s the rhythm I know
Don’t touch my crown They say the vision I’ve found
Don’t touch what’s there When it’s the feelings I wear
The album released Friday 30th September, features long time collaborator Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange as well as Kelela, Q-Tip, Lil Wayne and many more.
The album release was accompanied by a stunning book of poems and images which she gifted to 86 very luck fans. For the rest of us the digital version is available to download here.
You sense and feel her anger, her frustration but the album is also a celebration of blackness , it’s “about the feeling of empowerment and Black empowerment”.
By Abisoye Odugbesan