Black Root is the proto-typical local artist. Some would take that as a diss, as a statement on Black Roots commercial and artistic ceiling. As a “local” artist my self, I can tell you that it can be the highest compliment. He has rooted himself deeply into the inner fabric of a community. His every artistic expression is a living journal of the people and places he loves and takes care of. This the legacy of the griot and djali.
This is what Black Root brings in his incredibly polished and diverse debut EP “Prelude to Procrastination”. The title of the project (and title track) give you the impression that this project is long overdue, yet it is right on time. It doesn’t feel stale, shelved or rushed. It seems simmered, steeped and marinated. It’s what happens when you’ve honed your artwork on stages from Baltimore to Richmond over the course of a decade. It’s what happens when your family, your community and your students are the number one driving force behind your career.
You can hear all the funk and rock pioneers in the production of his first single “Rock to It”. With his infectious energy (half James Brown, half KRS-1) emanating from your speakers in a soul stirring challenge to keep moving forward with energy and enthusiasm.
“My Mom’s Hands” will make you give your mom that random I-Love-You-Phone-Call you’ve been meaning to do for weeks (or put fresh flowers where she rests in peace). All the intimacy, longing, joy and pain we love about blues comes through crystal clear in this track. It truly belongs in a movie montage, complete with black and white slow motion shots of life worn hands and motherly smiles.
Black Root’s stage performance is an adrenaline rush, then an emotional release, then a brain bending journey inside the mind of a business man and teacher (see his track “I Be”). For those of us doing art along the Baltimore Washington Parkway, Black Root is home cooking the way we love it. Part hip-hop, part funk, part go-go and a whole lot of spoken word.
Very few songs on a debut project accurately capture the raw feeling an artist can give on stage, but “PG Represent” track does just that. I speak for a large community when I say that Black Root is ours. He is part of a movement, a feeling, an artistic renaissance that our children will talk about later. Black Root is what happens when that community is respected by that the artists who are part of it. When each word of your lyric matters, and each drop of sweat on stage is an investment into yourself and your whole scene. Us locals have been blessed by Black Root’s energy for years now. That’s why “PG Represent” is my favorite track on this project, and why I had to hit it with a Watermelon Man Remix.
We are glad that the rest of the word can share in Black Root’s art through the CD and digital downloadable album. His art is local, but now his reach is infinite, and we want the rest of the world to see what he’s (we’ve) been working on. It wasn’t procrastination though. It was right on time. Check out the entire project here.