Reported by Imani Wj Wright
Who’s your favorite superhero? Spider-Man? Batman? Black Panther?
Growing up, many of us may have had action-figures, gone to the movies to see the latest Marvel/DC film, and even dressed up as some of our best-loved characters. But, that’s exactly what they were- characters, fictional, symbolic. So, as I’ve grown older, the question I now pose is: “Why did we like these heroes?” Yes, the action was great, but it goes deeper than that. What were they typically fighting for? The greater good, the common man, defeating “evil.” Those are admirable feats that take courage and stamina.
What’s a synonym for superhero? Warrior.
Some of my personal warriors are names like Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, and James Baldwin. That label is hard to obtain, but people like them play a pivotal role in the sculpting of change. So when I see current activists like Solo LaMaze pushing the envelope and pushing for what’s right- I have nothing but immense respect for the brother. While listening to his single, Ain’t Normal, you can hear the raw and unapologetic delivery that dives deep into the darkness of a divided America. If you listen to Blackstar by Mos Def & Kalib Twali, you hear them mention an “abnormal normality.” That refers to the murdering, poverty, and discontent that Blacks deal with in the country. Well, while listening to the hook of “Ain't Normal," you passionately hear: “This shit shouldn’t be normal." As it shouldn’t be. LaMaze is purposely making the room uncomfortable and addressing issues that need immediate attention. To add to that, he does it over engaging instrumentation that can play a role on your zeal and spirit.
LaMaze Told SwanoDown:
I wanted [my audience] to feel what I'm feeling. Frustration, anger, confusion. What's going on isn't normal! I wanted people to relate and understand the pressure of what's going on right now.
I think most artists write for themselves but deciding what to make a single or what to promote is when you really think about what the audience will connect with. I want to make something the people like and will relate to but you don't want to cater too much because you can lose yourself trying to be someone you're not.
We warn you, the video that goes along with “Ain’t Normal” can be graphic, and at times heartwrenching. But we need these types of pieces to keep us aware and hungry for things to improve.
Keep inspiring us brother.
Ain’t Normal (Video):