I recently read an article that touched on the fact that in the past when black folk were struggling, that the music we made reflected that struggle. During the late 60’s you had James Brown telling the world “I’m Black and I’m Proud.” Aretha Franklin was telling us we were “Young Gifted and Black” while Donny told us “Someday We’ll All Be Free.” Marvin asked the important question “What’s Going On” while Sam promised “A Change Was Gonna Come.” I even remember when it was all of this hoopla surrounding Arizona rejecting the federal holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Public Enemy weighed in with “By The Time I Get to Arizona.” But that was back in the day. I was just telling my man it bugs me out that not one MC has touched on the war in Iraq. And I’m not talking about a line here and there but if we can make a song about “Money, Cash, Hoes” I figured we could make a song talking about something, I don’t know…important. Well, leave it up to my Philly fam Kindred and the Family Soul to step up to the plate with their new release “Love Has No Recession” to fill that void.
“The Sheddington” which is a dope instrumental track that sets off “Recession” and Philly’s own Ursula Rucker comes through on “Above the Water Part 1” and drops jewels with “these times will have you second guessing yourself, your faith, your dreams/got children to clothe and shelter and feed.” “We All Will Know” featuring the only other artist who’s touching on world’s issues, D.C.’s own R&B hippie neo soul rock star Raheem DeVaughn and has the team asking the question “It’s spiraling out of control, what’s gonna happen when the cops ain’t been paid and they’re forced to patrol, and every man for himself gotta gun, so God bless our soul/and when that day comes, we all will know” and the South Street Philly reunion continues with Bilal coming through on “Take A Look Around” with Faatin telling us “we’re trying to blame Mr. president, but it ain’ the fault of the government/when times were good, probably overspent, it came to bite us in the ass.” The first single “You Got Love” with Snoop Dogg could easily be the BBQ anthem for the summer of 2011 and “Magic Happens” is the blueprint on how to make love last, “It doesn’t matter what we drive, the neighborhood that we live, don’t matter what kind of gift or what kinda ring you give/just don’t take me for granted, let me know everyday, that love unconditional is coming my way.” “Authentically You” featuring Lady Alma Horton has the retro 60’s vibe going on and “Sticking With You” is a beautiful ode to the commitment of marriage. But the jewel of the album “S.O.S. (Sense of Security).” ANYONE who is married will instantly adopt this song as the soundtrack to their marriage. “I know you love me and you want to be here/but do I still make you laugh, are we walking along the same path/are you interested in things that I say, do you still feel the passion, no tension in the bed where we lay/I’m not trying to create an issue, seeing a problem where, there ain’t no problem there/so many folks are calling it quits around you, so I’m just checking in, baby are we still good?” ‘Nuff said.
With “Love Has No Recession”, Kindred finds a way to create an album that touches on real life issues of what folk are going through across the country, without depressing us, while still making feel good music, while also serving court as our marriage counselors. Come on ya’ll, that’s no easy task by any means. So many artists can take pride in making “baby making music” but how many artist can take pride in making “saving marriage music”? Nobody…except Kindred. And that’s just one of the many thing that they can boast about having the upper hand on over these other artist in the game. Most folk talk about if Will and Jada break up, that’s it for black love. Screw Will and Jada, if Aja and Fatin break up, THAT’S it for black love!
4 outta 5