When thinking of the emotional impact of When They See Us, America’s unjust criminal justice system and the black lives lost at the hands of police officers, one can’t help but think of how tragedy, suffering, society and things like it influence those who create, be it music, art, poetry, etc.
What compelled you to write the song, Black Fruit
Well, I did it a while back. When Mike Brown was killed. I was so upset because America still hadn’t healed from Trayvon Martin’s murder and then that happened. Once I heard the beat it just came out.
Sadly, the song applies to our current state with police brutality and our failed criminal justice system. You provide vivid imagery as you narrate the track in a poetic manner, which forces the listener to pay attention in order to grasp the messages you give. What do you hope listeners take away?
That’s the picture I was hoping to paint. I hope the listener is informed. I hope they see the bigger picture, not just in their minds, but in their hearts. I want them to experience the emotion of what’s being said and not just hear it.
As an artist, do you feel that your best work stems from deep rooted emotions or experiences that either yourself or others within the black community have faced?
Yes, that’s exactly where my best work comes from. I love making music that holds weight. I write off pure emotion ’cause it’s easier for the listener to feel.
Your use of figurative language is an English Teacher’s dream! What line/metaphor from Black Fruit is your favorite and why?
They say the sky’s the limit when for us the limit is the sky, and if we pass it probably hang us with that ribbon in the sky, I bet Stevie wonder why.
It’s displaying how they only let us get so far before they try to knock us out of the way even if it results in death. The Stevie Wonder line was just a play on his song ‘Ribbon In The Sky’, basically about love. They would even take something so beautiful and use it for something ugly. The effect is so heavy that if Stevie could see what’s goin on despite him being blind that it shows just how little love they have for us.