- 25 Oct 16
Sublime R&B agit–prop from the cooler Knowles sister.
A dust-up at a Kraftwerk concert seems an unlikely inspiration for a concept album about racial hypocrisies in contemporary America. Yet such were the circumstances in which Beyonce’s younger sister conceived of A Seat at the Table, her gorgeously downtempo meditation on privilege and inequality in the land of the free.
The incident occurred at a gig in New Orleans, where Solange was in attendance with her husband and 11 year old son. When the singer jumped to her feet and started dancing to the overlords of Teutonic pop, she drew the ire of a group of white women. They told her to sit down and lobbed a lime at her head to emphasise the point. In a journal entry on her website, Solange attributed the fruit-chucking to racism and said her experience would chime with other black people daring to insert themselves into a white-majority space.
‘And Do You Belong – I Do?’, the essay she posted online, is a cathartic read. Nonetheless the themes of identity and disenfranchisement are strikingly similar to those another Knowles sibling wrestled with over the summer. Do pop fans have room in their lives for a doubling down on Beyonce’s Lemonade, a project plenty dark to begin with?