Blood Orange: Freetown Sound
When I was 10 years old I remember taking the train to my grandmas house in Brooklyn. When I walked up from the platform to the street to head to her 4th level walk-up, I remember looking at the street and pondering. So weird as a kid to hold these memories: the gritty spray-painted walls, chain linked fences, a car with a busted window only to cross the street and seeing that car had also been spray-painted with the words "CULTURE" on the side of it. The next block had a group of kids, maybe two or three years older than I, breakdancing on some opened cardboard boxes. This was life. This was my life. This was NY, but more so this was my culture. Every part of it had something that at 10, then 13 and all through my teens, gave me life. Later on, it was in club culture, but it was always from a variety of people, a variety of color, a variety of talent, and above all a variety "of culture."
Dev Hynes rocked our world last night when he pushed the button that dropped hew new long-form Blood Orange 12inch, "Freetown Sound" (3 days early). As I pressed play, and I've listened to it 17x on repeat from my apple queue, I could not help but feel all those feelings I felt like when I was a kid. I felt like I was listening to new culture. All of it! The record is full of emotion and thought-provoking conscious-moving beats. Everything from feministic-ideals to political-charges to equality that we all still face in today's society. I know this record isn't necessarily an ode to NY but to me it exudes all of the things that still give/gave my city life.
In essence, Hyne’s message about the record posted on Instagram from few weeks past sums it up neatly... "the album was intended for those who had been told they were “not black enough, too black, Too queer, not queer the right way.” To me this statement alone is my childhood. There are not many records that move me to this point, but this one is leaving this mixed-queer-ny-puertorican's mouth watering for more. Like me, don't put this record is any genre, its free-form music.