This new Robert Glasper Experiment album is a smooth giver. We find it holy and fresh, a tonic of big Zulu birds flying from a mountain pass.
It wishes peace and love on the world, and takes us on journey we can travel light for; all we need is our ears and our soul.
Each track of experiment black radio feels like switching to a new dream radio station; breezy keys, drum, bass, wind and poems unify all songs. The album is a transcendental blending of cultural and musical elements, and there’s something for everyone: jazz, soul, r&b, hiphop, drum band, dub, electronic, voice box and hum. Beautiful serenades from both women and men abound.
Erykah Badu makes an appearance on Afro Blue, which is honey rhapsody.
There are jazzed covers of David Bowie’s “Letter to Hermione,” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Both these sonic Glasper versions are mind-blowing in how they give new life to pop/rock.
This album is soothing, but keeps our heads swaying. It takes us to a place where everything’s going to be all right. Sun’s gonna shine on our backdoor some day.
The rappers here are poets of rhythm, and it dilates our eyes to listen to them.
The whole album seeks to bring medicine to the masses, a prayer thru our speakers, washed down to our sneakers.
The most straight ahead socially conscious song on it is “Always Shine” with Lupe Fiasco and Bilal:I hope I see these gangsters actin’ like teachers Wake up out they sleep, dare to dream in a world so Martin Luther King-less
It nods to the ancestors of revolutionary discourse, Gil Scott Heron and James Baldwin:And to my hero Heron, Gil Scott In a discourse with Baldwin On a jet plane with no fear for fallin’ But wishin’ it never lands Reminiscent of the dreamtime Presently en route to the rhymes of the machine time
We love how it ends “in the event of my demise give all my possessions to the poor, and to the oppressors, I leave the war.”
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