Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too - 2015 Alt Exp Underground Hip Hop 180G LP
Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too
Label: Big Dada Recordings
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
P+C Big Dada 2015
Made in EU.
Released: 06 Apr 2015
Genre: Electronic, Hip Hop
Style: Conscious, Hip Hop
A1 Still Running
A5 Rain Or Shine
B1 Old Rock N Roll
B4 John Doe
B5 Dare Me
B6 Get Started
Phonographic Copyright (p) Big Dada Recordings
Copyright (c) Big Dada Recordings
Published By Just Isn't Music
Barcode and Other Identifiers
Label Code: LC-12887
Young Fathers are a hip hop and alt exp rock pop group based in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2014, they won the Mercury Prize for their debut album Dead.
You dont call your record White Men Are Black Men Too unless youre looking to stir up some questions about classification, and with their new album, Young Fathers double down on the confusion they inspired with their earliest releases. Their label bio even leads with the statement that the group has "no ancestors," which is a funny thing to say about three men calling themselves Young Fathers because they all inherited their dads names. But their lineage is important, and audible: Graham "G" Hastings was born in Edinburgh; Alloysious Massaquoi hails from Liberia via Ghana, and Kayus Bankole was raised in the US by Nigerian parents. Young Fathers not only have ancestors but draw an enormous amount of energy from them, as White Men Are Black Men Too makes obvious: The record is a direct descendent of TV on the Radio, a grandson of krautrock, a distant relative of the earnest Streets, a grungy nephew of Arcade Fire. And, though it might change by the next time around, theyve hit an unqualified category, for the first time: this is a rock record, almost a pop record. Its raucous, messy, marked by a profound sense of urgency, intended to uplift and discomfit.
Remarkably, White Men Are Black Men Too also addresses the questions posed by its name. The lyrics begin the conversation, but only get so far: "Old Rock N Roll" starts with "Im tired of playing the good black/ Im tired of having to hold back/ Im tired of wearing this hallmark for some evils that happened way back." Then, the speaker flips his loyalty"Im tired of blaming the white men/ His indiscretion dont betray him"-and reverses the album title: "A black man can play him." Then it flips back: "Some white men are black men too, nigga to them, a gentleman to you."
More to the point is this simple line on "Rain or Shine": "I aint strange enough." And the most honest moment on the album, the moment where Young Fathers delineate their worldview the most clearly, is on the albums standout (and most overtly TV on the Radio-soundalike) single "Shame", which begins with a dusty, drum-machine twinkle and rises up into a big, ragged, radio-ready melody. The chorus, self-flagellating and triumphant, switches between cries of "It aint right, baby" and "What you do to feel better! What you do to feel good!"
But at any rate, the words are just the address on the envelope; the music is the letter itself. There is an appealing coherence in the albums composition. Most of the tracks are built on juxtaposition between the low and high register: a vamping bass riff against a shrill glockenspiel, a dark guitar loop beneath a top cacophony of horns, synths, vocal wails. Its a simple framework and a strong mirror to Young Fathers submerged cultural project: delineating a foundational reality (race, genre) and then mounting a tantrum against it. And, in the midst of this dissonance, the albums sound is all tied together by shreds of surefooted, strong pop melody: "27" sounds almost like pitch-warped Passion Pit by way of the Avalanches, and "Dare Me" seems like a sweet little organ-backed ballad until it throws up a middle finger and breaks into an atonal, menacing shuffle.
Its not all coherent or wholly successful. Young Fathers peoples-mic earnestness can combine with their penchant for major-chord toplines to produce a funky but unmistakable cheese, as in "Sirens". Their fractious energy slants unfocused at times, too, and though the group does answer the question provoked by their album title, they do so by throwing their hands upcompacting the past like so much garbage and charging ahead. The sound of White Men Are Black Men Too is telling enough. Its triumphant music for the hyperactive, plural city; its confrontational as a means to achieving communality, with no particular loyalties except to an anonymous, shifting collective of people who all want the same thing as Young Fathersto be one thing, then the next, then the next.
Young Fathers - Shame
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Young Fathers - Old Rock 'N' Roll, Rain Or Shine and Shame
live and in 1080p HD video at Electronic Beats Festival in Bratislava (2015)
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|Format||LP, 180 Gram|