As I survey the American landscape that includes the inexplicable murders of Black men, women and children at the hands of law enforcement, I am reminded that our Black journey, while power-filled and influential, is most often stunted by systemic oppression.
What Are We Looking For?
St. Louis-native, I,Ced (born Cedric Norah), has been perfecting his brand of Thump-n-Funk Soul since the late-2000’s, producing some of the most organic, interesting and challenging music of the current decade. What Are We Looking For? takes the foundation on his previous efforts and and pushes it further musically, bouncing effortlessly somewhere in the space between free-Jazz and spacey-Funk.
This is an album that you can cherry pick songs from and even fit them easily into a DJ set, but is best enjoyed as a long play record. With each listen, each song reveals a little more of itself, with Ced’s vocals anchoring the experience.
Abound with possibility, What Are We Looking For? envelopes our current moment in Black history by providing a soundtrack that not only reminds us of what we found, but acts as one of the building blocks for what we're looking for in the future.
NAO makes the approach seem easy, but she effortlessly walks a tightrope on her major-label debut outing, For All We Know. She emerged from Soundcloud heaven with two EPs that made many fans. On For All We Know tunes like, the classic sweet spot from that era, "Inhale Exhale" anchor a solid set of tunes.
What For All We Know does really well is give millennials a taste of a classic formula that always works - sleek, melodic, pop-oriented R&B tunes with modern flair.
For All We Know signals the beginning of what may be a very interesting solo career.
Last year I had the pleasure of interviewing I, CED, and he hinted that his new record was done. Well, right now you can listen to the new single "Forever" featuring Thundercat and Om'Mas Keith on Soundcloud! Pre-order the album, What Are We Looking For? here!
Check out my interview with him from 2015, below!
Sometimes you come across something you can't bear to turn away from, and enters Swimming in Your Skin Again. Predating Beyonce's Lemonade by four months, this film gives us a dynamic, spiritual glimpse into the Black experience.
"The officers are schemin to cover up their cover up their ass..." Jamila Woods
For many years, the violence on the streets of Chicago has dominated conversations. For those of us that don't live there, Jamila Woods' HEAVN gives us words that paint the pictures of what life in the city is like. HEAVN feels a lot like what Blackness feels like in 2016 - Angry, beautiful, poetic, unapologetic and head nod ready.
Free dope for freedom. What more can you ask for?