I Took My Seat….And Enjoyed My Meal….Solange’s #ASATT is a Masterpiece!

This weekend was one of media’s blackest weekends to date.  Netflix gifted us with Marvel’s Luke Cage, the big, black, and bulletproof superhero that played an active role in its Jessica Jones series, and Solange Piaget Knowles-Ferguson dropped A Seat At The Table, a masterpiece of an album on pride, presence, and perspective, that relishes in beauty, grace, and black girl magic from start to finish.

I had a long and productive weekend planned and I must admit that it was the presence of both of these works of art that helped to make the weekend go by much more quickly than I had anticipated.

Let me first start by saying that I have been a fan of Solange since a bit before the release of her second album, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams in 2008.  I purchased this album and it was a quick favorite for my commute to work. It was an upbeat album that I loved and the composition and production scheme of this album won me over. And though she wasn’t in the spotlight as much as her sister, she always played a more active role behind the scenes in songwriting and composing, amongst other talents within the music industry.

But this body of work she gifted us this weekend is nothing short of a pure gem.

 

solange-dont-touch-my-hair

From start to finish, Solange brings us a woman in  her thirties that is happy, harmonious, and hip to the world’s ills, illusions, and imitations as she picks apart at blackness and blackhood, beauty, and black girl magic and we cannot get enough of it.

For 51 minutes, I took my seat at the table….and enjoyed the meal that was given to me.

Be leery ’bout your place in the world
You’re feeling like you’re chasing the world
You’re leaving not a trace in the world
But you’re facing the world

Weary is one of my favorite songs on the entire album.  In this song, she talks blackhood and womanhood at the same time. Being black is exhausting in this country, as we are riddled with issues of police brutality, inequality, racism, and oppression that slaps us in the face repeatedly and still expects us to stand proudly and respect its flag with our hands over our hearts. I love this song with my whole self because it is testimonial of how women are not respected and how our bodies are not even our own as rape gets overlooked and ignored and legislation is made over the choices we make for our bodies.

I’m gonna look for my body, yeah
I’ll be back real soon
I’m gonna look for my body, yeah
I’ll be back real soon
I’m gonna look for my body, yeah
I’ll be back real soon

My number one favorite song of the album has to be “Don’t Touch My Hair”.  The title intrigued me because it’s a common line that us black gals say to…….everyone. It is in the unwritten code of conduct that you do not touch a black woman’s hair.  Our hair is magical and tends to mystify non-black people as they want to reach and touch and feel it’s texture and ask a thousand questions about how it can stand just so. And in this song, she goes a bit deeper by delving into the meaning of our hair and how it is a representation of our roots, our ancestors, and our connectedness as a kinfolk collective.

Take a look at the video she dropped for this song:

 

Another reason I love this song (and video) is because of the “free black girl” vibes that I get from it.  In the video she randomly dances by herself, proudly and awkwardly, without a care in the world.  That’s that freedom and that’s that magicalness that we all possess but some of us are afraid to show because there are other people around us and we are in fear of being judged.  Solange says, “forget your judgment!” and dances to the beat of her own drum.  I can’t help but love that.

F.U.B.U. is another ode to blackhood that is named from the popular clothing line of the 90s, which literally means For Us, By Us.  It’s riddled with the n-word, and my favorite line is “Don’t’ be sad that you can’t sing along/Just be glad that you got the whole wide world”. This song serves up a powerful punch to culture and I love it. I love every minute of it.

 

solange-cranes

 

Other favorite songs of mine are: Borderline (An Ode to Self-Care), Mad (which touches on the public perception of her being an “angry black woman”), and “Cranes In The Sky”, which hit wonderfully of dealing with pain via drink, dance, smoke, sex, writing, and other vices.

All in all, this album is a must listen. Over the weekend, I listened to it two times and when I finished it the second time, I went over certain songs again and just let myself feel it.  This album is awesome and every track is a personal experience for one of us in the black community that we can wholly relate to, which makes this ambitious body of work even better.

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