A.S.H.E.S. The CHOSEN – “#SayHerName” Featuring SaeMonae & Brynn Elyzabeth – Single Review
I love it when a message comes at you direct, on-point and with a beat like this new track from A.S.H.E.S. The CHOSEN featuring SaeMonae & Brynn Elyzabeth; we’ve been a fan of the dude’s work for a while now – but this combination of mission, music and meaning is definitely the kind of music I personally love to hear.
Let me tell you why that is exactly. I’m a big fan of people that stick up for the underdog; on “#SayHerName” both of these independent giants-of-the-genre are doing just that in a collaborative effort to shed some light on a pretty major subject that gets so very little. I’m not the most learned scholar out there…okay, busted…I’m like, nothing-scholar…but I like to think I’m educated enough in what’s happening around the world to know what the good is, versus the evil in the world. Truth is…no matter how schooled-up any person is on any subject…we’re bound to miss something; depending on your level of commitment to knowing what’s going on in the world, sometimes some of that knowledge you’re missing can be downright embarrassing. I felt that way this time around.
Here’s why…this quote is lifted entirely from the A.S.H.E.S. page at Soundcloud, but have a look…
“Sandra Bland. Tanisha Anderson. Rekia Boyd. Miriam Carey. Michelle Cusseaux. Shelly Frey. Kayla Moore. It’s not surprising if some of these names don’t sound familiar — but we find that unacceptable.”
The passion in that statement astounded me even before I heard the excellent beat, music & rhyme that clarified the point of what’s written upon the social media boards. It’s a critical statement…and I almost couldn’t believe just how RIGHT it was…I was embarrassed – I didn’t know a thing about a single name that was listed there.
I mentioned that I’m not a scholar…I’m not…I’m an average guy with a grade 12 education. Music…has ALWAYS been my educator, my mentor, my teacher…and as long as the synapses continue to fire around my brainwaves, I’m assuming after thirty-five years of knowing nothing else that this will always continue to be the case. So let me shed the embarrassment…and YOU can do the same; again – let me explain…let me tell you why I’m not embarrassed NOW…let me tell you how I picked my head up…
“#SayHerName” is designed to spark conversation surrounding the amount of police-violence against black females, and bring attention to what is overshadowed often, unfortunately, by the violence against black males. Every one of those names listed in their statement above comes with a horrific tale of injustice and brutality attached to it…I know that now because I Googled each and every one and took in tragic story after tragic story after tragic story. Every one of them was new to me…and these real-life stories were so appalling, so heinous…that to think more noise wasn’t created surrounding these ladies and the brutality they experienced is actually pretty sick. You can’t feel good in hearing the story itself…no matter how good the beat, or how well Brynn Elyzabeth, SaeMonae and A.S.H.E.S. The CHOSEN deliver their verses…it’s fucking grim.
You CAN feel good about what you choose to DO with this knowledge now. You can educate yourselves on injustices like this and be AWARE that they still continue rampantly in our PRESENT DAY…and do your best to make sure they DON’T anymore. I want to personally thank all the people involved with this track from the production, to the video, to the performance…people like Cool Kennedy & Caydolf producing…people like Brynn Elizabeth in the video…SaeMonae… A.S.H.E.S. The CHOSEN …you all deserve an incredible thank-you from people like myself, who plain straight-up didn’t know any better, but do NOW. And that’s thanks to you guys…you all made me aware of these names…knowledgeable to the point where that quote from above on your social media doesn’t apply to me anymore…because it WAS unacceptable to not know these stories; I am completely thankful you’ve brought this to a brighter light.
This pursuit is admirable – but this collaboration isn’t in it for the kudos & compliments…they put in the confident, passionate performance because this MEANS something – it’s about getting out the knowledge to the people…not taking in praise, ribbons, awards…none of that.
But I know they’ll accept a HUGE thank you for making this song; if the goal was to bring attention and awareness to the issues presented in “#SayHerName” – mission accomplished here at sleepingbagstudios, I’m hearing you. I’m extremely grateful to have people as passionate as this in our world making music that serves a REAL purpose…it’d be a much better world if we all learned a lesson from A.S.H.E.S. The CHOSEN and the incredibly insightful, talented, thoughtful people surrounding him. Trust me on that.
They’ve given you all the tools…now it’s up to YOU. Educate yourself…and listen.
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