Today we are scavenging. Not accepting the find of some lazy Rhythm if it don’t got the Blues up in it. Alma con Alma, enchantingly powerful vocals and funk of all forms that daringly create the character of the aural mosaic of Black life. We can’t find the Soul if we look through the allowed channels, this is the hell of all sold genres from the many shades of Black. But we need this music and there is always too much to say and just as much to feel. And now, some of today’s most soulful artists, as Rhiannon Giddens, are cerebral, a soulfulness that is blatantly self-aware once we learn of them. They know what must be said and how they want to say it and naturally fuse it all with a sincerity that is the meaning of Soul. They are also too ecelectic, too musically profound to be the pathetic auto-tuned, tripped trap clap hedonism R&B registers as today. We can’t find the Soul because they aren’t even labeled as such. But it is.
And with the agency to resist the simplicity of commercial labeling, the two person act, Agency, makes a mightily expressed yet smoothly tempo’d work of blusey funk. For Agency, “Making music has a three-fold purpose here: it’s cathartic (both emotionally and in the way it satisfies our love of writing and making music), it’s emphatic (making bold statements), and it’s ecstatic (in the sense it can also excite the senses).” Resist achieves the cathartic as the subtle falsettos and soothing crooning of a destroy racism message from the oranged White House down is timely to the “Black Boys on Mopeds,” the macro to the micro is secured. And often times beautifully lush as the stripped acoustic guitar and the serenaded vocals. The brother isn’t singing words, he is telling us how he feels in song. Didactic often on the surface because of the emphatic aspect, songs as “March on Bablyon” and “What’s Going On (Right Now)” do as they should and reveal we merely in an updated frustrated oppression Gaye fought through. Most often, the capturing of the oddity of this AmeriKKKa’s turn is excellently done (i.e. “Ice Cold”), vocal samples aid and exceptionally diverse vocal deliveries propel the ideas. That leads to the success of the ecstatic as the appeal of Resist increases with each listen.
Musically, the reality is that they are exactly within the genre. The Funk is inclusive of all the sound journeys in all instruments from a deeper exploration of the drum to the expansion of the melodies of all the horns blown or guitars riffed. The diversity is exceptional, moving and always at the right measure hide any of the preachiness or overbearing a frivolous ear might cry over. There are the twanged banjo’s of “Lord! You Know,” the double handclap, finger snap snare s of “Resist March (Outro)” that usher a cacophony of percussion diversity and sharp horns, the 808-ish drum smashes on “Backwards” matched with phrased verses delivered in a mid tempo dance cadence. The Soul needs the singer to just sing and ballads as “Red To The Moon” are proof of the most major instrument well in tow, where his falsetto wails lush.
The works that will save R&B, the Funk, Soul! itself are the ones that refuse to be labeled as such. So that a corporate sticker doesn’t brand a new slave to the block. Just as they resist musically, Agency deliver a strong score ideal for these times and I’d say, even embraced in a future of peace we damn well will build.
#LOVEandLOYALTY A #LoLife
The organization of these principles around a counterculture, an expressive arts of creation that uplifts the ideas and thoughts of an oppressed people, is why I’m an honored builder amongst legends, knighted by heroes of Medina (Rakim Supreme Shabazz Allah/Rudy Lo, Thirstin Howl the 3rd, Bonz Malone) to further create in my element as a Hip Hop Writer of #ArtOnArt & #ScienceOnMusic. So the world may find love that locks in with the action of loyalty though they may never find another writer with my kind of grammar…
Representing the pillars of:
Peace, Sunez Allah