It’s difficult to ignore all the hardships 2020 has brought out into the surface, especially within the Black Lives Matter movement. Roc Nation curated an 11-track album benefitting multiple social justice initiatives across the country while discussing the revolutionary moments of social injustice.
Featuring Ambré, Buddy, Ant Clemons, Ty Dolla $ign, Nia Miranda, VIC MENSA, Malik Yusef, Wyatt Waddell, Rapsody, Sebastian Kole, Jason Evigan, King Mel, Jorja Smith, AJ Tracey, Unknown T, Chronixx, Maeta, and D Smoke, Reprise is a masterpiece. Various organizations including the Gathering for Justice, Until Freedom, Equal Justice Intiative, Grassroots Law Project, and the NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Accountability Database Project will receive support from all of the project’s proceeds.
“We are honored that so many great creatives were able to lend their genuine support, on what turned out to be an amazing project. As black music executives, we feel a project like this is not an option, but our duty,” said Roc Nation co-presidents Shari Bryant and Omart Grant in a press release.
Songs such as “We Shall Overcome,” “Black and I’m Proud,” “Inner City Blues,” “They Don’t Care About Us,” “Alright,” amongst others express their views on racism and the protests we’ve experienced first-hand all year round.
Each individual track digs deeper into specific topics from police brutality, mass incarceration, to structural racism. Ambré appears on the first and last tracks off the album with the titles “Revolution” and collaborations with Buddy and D Smoke. On the first track, they tackle the threat of police brutality with sounds of gun shots emulating the chaotic events.
Jorja Smith’s “By Any Means” was the first single released this past July, in which speaks about her experiences as a young Black woman aware of how cruel the world can be for Black individuals. “The inspiration behind ‘By Any Means’ really came from going to the Black Lives Matter protest and leaving thinking, what can I do to keep this conversation going?” Smith shared with Pitchfork. “It’s not just a post on social media, it’s life.”
Vic Mensa expresses his anger on “No More Teardrops” as he raps against police brutality after George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter protests. Vic Mensa, Wyatt Waddell, and Malik Yusef join in: “I’m tired of only seein’ n***** at the funeral. Tired of learning my homie’s name at the eulogy. I’m in the courtroom pulling my hair out, cause I get another year for each one of my dreadlocks.”
Each individual track digs deeper into specific topics from police brutality, mass incarceration, to structural racism. This collection of songs in Reprise explicitly describes shared experiences while spreading awards to each issue expressed through their artistic storytelling. Even the cover image, created by artist Malik Roberts, intrinsically details the daily battles of the oppressed.
Reprise has given these power artists the opportunity to speak their truth while supporting organizations supporting these causes – the album is now available on all major streaming platforms.