Black History Month 20 for 20: Solange - Individuality
Monday January 30th I was shooting the shit on Twitter as usual, and turned my attention to the love I have for Master P. My friend Courtney with a K inspired me to start this series (as you can see below). For every weekday in February, I will profile Black persons in celebration of Black History Month. #BHM20for20 Why only 20? Y’all too busy sinning on the weekend to read (I’m joking but not really). Thank you Kourtnee.
“She (Solange) sounds like a fucking angel fam, like what the fuck fam? I feel beautiful…" – Word Smiff
My name is Alain, not “such & such’s nephew” or “such & such’s cousin”; I’m me, all on my own. The thing is…I’m fucking proud to be “such & such’s nephew” or “such & such’s cousin” & appreciate who they are for who they are, let alone the nepotism that might have ever benefited me BUT, I’m just as prideful in my individuality, and ability; if not more. Understand that you can love your family, take advantage of nepotism (if you choose) and still be loved, respected, and viewed as the individual you are. This is why I relate to Solange, and her artistic endeavors resonate with me on a level I never knew existed.
Solange has acted in TV, film, and music videos; she released her solo (pun intended) album, Solo Star at the age of 16, and her sophomore effort, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams at the age of 22. She is not short of talent, and this was easy to see but what we couldn’t have been prepared for was her renaissance/revival of Afrocentric/neo-soul culture with 2016’s release of her masterpiece, A Seat at the Table at the age of 30.
I know the words classic, and genius get thrown around often nowadays with little to no weight behind them but A Seat at the Table is a classic, and Solange is a genius. Don’t Touch My Hair has become an anthem for Black women; F.U.B.U. has become an anthem for all Black persons. Solange made a pro-Black, pro-feminism, pre-equality, all-inclusive album, and introduced Master P to an entire generation of young people whom probably only thought he was Romeo’s dad. Although my favorite song on the album is F.U.B.U., the beautiful song my man Trey referenced in the quote to start this piece, Cranes in the Sky stands out because word is Solange penned it back in 2008. Very few things I personally enjoy more than artists with foresight, and a futuristic way of expressing themselves. Also, Cranes in the Sky won the Grammy for Best R&B Performance, and while I really don’t care for awards, it just goes to show Solange is becoming universally undeniable.
Solange runs her own label, Saint Records, and has an amazing platform, Saint Heron. I despise the terms, “influencer” & “tastemaker” but Solange’s influence far surpasses music. Who can’t forget the incredible imagery we were blessed with when her wedding photos dropped, and the incredible amount of people who went over the top to try to duplicate the simple, and yet breathtaking photos of Solange & gang in “formation.” At just 30-years old, Solange has her entire life, and career in front of her to become whoever, and whatever she so pleases, as herself, and in her own identity. Solange is Black history, I appreciate her being Solange, and I forgive her for the elevator incident. Just joking, it’s none of anyone else’s business or mine, but I do know I am rooting for Solange to hit the top floor whenever she chooses to press the button.
How the kids say it? “Not even gonna hold you!” Tomorrow is the 20th & final installment, and it’s about Jay-Z. “Not even gonna hold you!”