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For Us By Us: Luke Cage and Solange Releases

Jacquette Smith A Seat at the Table Black Culture Lifestyle Luke Cage Music Netflix Solange

     Despite things that occurred last week like the overly depressing, yet ironically funny Presidential Debate, the entertainment Gods still found the time to bless us with the wonderful miracles that are Netflix’s premiere of Luke Cage and Solange’s refreshingly soft-revolutionary album A Seat at the Table. Comic book, Wu-Tang, and overall Hip Hop fans alike have been waiting on the release of Luke Cage, and last week, it finally arrived kicking and screaming.

 

     Most people spent their Saturday night engaged with their friends and loved ones, or caked up with their boo thangs, shopping or partying, but not the introverted socialites. We spent our weekend binge-watching Luke Cage and wondering why it took so long for this movement of F.U.B.U on television to resurrect from the ashes of 90s TV. It took years for TV execs to replace shows like Living Single, Martin, The Jamie Foxx Show, Wayans’ Brothers, and A Different World. Now with shows in rotation like Netflix’s The Get Down, Queen Sugar, Atlanta, and Issa Rae’s anticipated Insecure, we’re finally getting our seat at the table to let our magic move mountains in a subtle, yet profound way. Luke Cage only adds to this must watch list.

"This Netflix original is dripping with Hip Hop classics so much so that each episode is named after a Gang Starr song."

     You don’t have to be a die hard comics fan to become a fan of Luke Cage. If you’re a lover of soul music and hip hop, and of sexy black men in hoodies (yeah, I said it), then you’re already half way to becoming a Comic Con attending Luke Cage supporter. This Netflix original is dripping with Hip Hop classics so much so that each episode is named after a Gang Starr song. You don’t have to pull an all-nighter like some did to binge watch this expertly curated Hip Hop classic, but it’s a definite must watch. And if you didn’t get a chance to watch Luke Cage, I hope you didn’t do yourself a disservice by not listening to the wonderfulness that is A Seat at the Table.

     From coining hits like a personal favorite T.O.N.Y from her album Sol-Angel and the Hadley Saint Dreams, Solange isn’t new to the music game by any means. She’s written and produced pieces in the past, but her new release A Seat at the Table has come at a time when it's needed most and it has one overall theme: Bliggety-Black. This album is what would happen if you threw The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Amel Larrieux, the black power fist and Angela Davis in a stockpot together to create a tasty gumbo filled with hope and love. But with all gumbos you have to start with the base, and Solange’s carefree spirit is the perfect roux.

"This album is what would happen if you threw The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Amel Larrieux, the black power fist and Angela Davis in a stockpot together to create a tasty gumbo filled with hope and love. But with all gumbos you have to start with the base, and Solange’s carefree spirit is the perfect roux."

     It wasn’t a surprise that she released an album, not even a surprise that it had a theme of Black Pride, but the pleasant surprise came with the therapeutic feeling that someone was able to whisper feelings of despair, feelings of pride, feelings of worth, and overtly say “this shit is for us” and being completely unapologetic about it. Reading headlines like “Unarmed Black Man shot XX amount of times by the Police” on a regular basis becomes draining and we get so full that you just want to turn it off. You just want to avoid hearing that yet another black man/young boy or woman/young girl lost their lives because an officer “feared for [their lives].” It helps to just hear that someone else feels connected to what is happening in the Black communities.

     Listening to A Seat at the Table is like being able to vent to your closest girlfriend about being “weary of the ways of the world” without interruption and hearing the needed confirmation of “I feel you….you got the right to be mad; don’t let anybody steal your magic.” This album is being able to tell your kink and coil-free haired co-workers and people in passing, “Don’t Touch My Hair,” and not be afraid to offend. Listening to this album is knowing that you are not the only one who has to do things like watch cartoons, or drink it away, put one in the air, or dance it away to try to find peace within yourself from the things that are happening in our country. A Seat at the Table is the perfect album that shows solidarity with every person impacted by police brutality, socio-economical racism, or inter-racial problems within the Black community. With all the joys from last week's releases, we're looking forward to the release of Nate Parker's Birth of a Nation in box offices this Friday, October 7th.

     Last week, we had one shared and prevalent theme between Luke Cage and Solange: “For us, this shit is for us….some shit you can’t touch,” and it feels good to have regained our seat at the table.



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