Mona Lisa, who? Get into Solanga Lisa serving nothing but face on the cover art of A Seat at the Table.
I, nor the world, was ready for the music she allowed us mere mortals to hear.
Me two seconds into the album:
This album is black as fuck as it makes a statement about black womanhood, being black, dealing with mental illness and finding your identity in this world. Sorry Becky, but you can’t sit with us. If you didn’t get the message, songs like “Don’t Touch My Hair”, “Mad” and the iconic “F.U.B.U.” let’s you know that. “Don’t feel bad if you can’t sing along, just be glad you got the whole wide world“. Get into it.
Solange gave us a Popeye’s (not KFC, cause we’re CLASSY) biscuit drizzled in honey, “should I wear my Timbs or Jordans today?”, sitting in the kitchen holding ya ear down while ya mama hot combs ya hair (cue in the traumatic personal experiences), “should I put on a wig or wear my natural hair to this job interview?” BLACK AS HELL ALBUM.
It’s an album that is soft on the ears and hard on the heart. You can let this neo- soul music play as you smoke a blunt or when you just need some “feel good” music coming out your speakers. The production is smooth as a fresh relaxer but the lyrics burn you deep like the “Just for Me” chemicals. Cranes in the Sky is probably an easy favorite because of its simplicity of honesty and pain.
“I tried to drink it away. I tried to put one in the air. I tried to dance it away. I tried to change it with my hair”
The interludes with Master P is dope as he drops knowledge and INSPIRES you to not only get your shit together but to OWN that shit. My favorite excepts from Master P’s narrations:
“And they offered me a million dollar deal, and had the check ready. Said I wouldn’t be able to use my name. I was fighting my brother, because “Man, you shoulda took the million dollars!” I said “No, what you think I’m worth? If this white man offer me a million dollars I gotta be worth forty, or fifty… Or ten or something.”
“Black kids have to figure it out! We don’t have rehabs to go to. You gotta rehab yourself. But for us, you can’t pull the plug on us and tell us it’s over. Not me!”
“If you don’t understand us and understand what we’ve been through, then you probably wouldn’t understand what this moment is about. This is home. This is where we from. This is where we belong”
“Nobody cares about you. Everything is about dollars and cents, you know, even when you’re talking the government, you know, even when you’re talking about the, the, the preachers and the people that’s running the community. And we have to show them the evolution of where we come from. I’m about to send a message to the world, like...”
This album made me realize that I’m not the only one going through the motions. As a black woman, you will heavily relate to this. As a black man, you will relate to this. As black listeners, we will find a connection to the message Solange put out for us. She invited us to a cookout where the music is the food. The pains, the sufferings, the depressions, the joys, the love and the laughters have been put on a menu only WE can read by Solange Knowles and she invites us to pull up a chair, make a plate, eat and enjoy (even take home some leftovers in an aluminum foil plate).