May 5, 2018, Childish Gambino released a song and visual that only stunned the world but gave a firsthand representation of the many injustices that this nation continues to sweep under the rug. This Is America came at a time of modern day civil unrest. Bridging politics and entertainment has been seen as a lost but much needed art form. Some may say that Gambino was able to open the doors for other conscious artist to find mainstream success. Rapper Amon Re The 8th sign in particular, is in the processes of taking music consciousness to the higher level.
From Chicago by way of North Carolina, Amon Re has chosen to use his platform as a vehicle to reflect everyday life situations. Whether these experiences are influenced by others or by his own personal journey, Amon Re’s music creates a soundtrack to life. The new EP New Strange Fruit produced by Dirty Meth Dopamina, is a seven song project that details the vulnerable frustrations of African Americans in America today.
American Pie, the first track on the EP contains a very smart metaphor that sets the tone for the rest of the EP. The track begins with a one man skit that acts out a classic lunch counter scene from the 1950s. A black man is denied service from a white waitress solely because of the color of his skin. He goes on to say that all he wants is some pie, just a couple slices of pie that he is denied access too. The skit directly turns into a song where Amon Re raps;
“I wanna piece of that American pie, because I’m tryna get a piece of the pie. Open my eyes, wake up every day and I grind. Because I’m trying, to come up not just get by. Yeah I want me a piece of that American pie.”
The pie of course is a metaphor of the resources and opportunities that blacks aren’t privileged enough to always obtain. Amon Re does not hold back at all in this song. He brings up real hard hitting issues like, mass incarceration, high rates of unemployment and other problems that have been plaguing America for decades.
Black Rage, track six on the EP, gives insight into the inner workings of a fed up black man. The song addresses the consistent “rage” of black men and explains why the rage is prevalent in the first place. Rage may be a mixture of Amon Re’s personal demons and general societal matters. The track comes across as a well needed venting session.
“…I feel like I’m drowning. I’m too deep in pain…”
Even in the mist of all of the rage, Amon Re suggests that he would rather live a more peaceful life. In the chorus he says, “Black love for this black pain”. The track itself has a nice groove that borrows from the sounds of 1970’s funk and R&B.
It is very much appreciated that Amon Re makes it easy to understand what he saying. His rap style is slow enough to grasp the lyrical content yet strong enough to vibe with. Don’t let the lyrical content fool you, there are still bangers on this EP.
Make sure to stream New Strange Fruit on all digital music outlets.