It’s been about a year since Solange released her landmark album A Seat At The Table. It’s an album that I’ve returned to again and again. It’s solemn yet celebratory with a gentle affect that never belies the intensity underlying every song. The opening song, “Rise,” was the first that Solange wrote for the album almost five years ago, a song about learning to walk before you can run, and doing so with the clarity of knowing where you’re headed.
“Rise” struck an immediate chord with the musician MMYYKK. The first time he heard it, he had forgot to turn his repeat button off, and ended up listening to the song several times over. The result was that the song, with it’s simple yet bold message, became a personal mantra. So much so that MMYYKK decided to try his own hand at recreating it.
MMYYKK is no stranger to inventive remixes. Last year his band ZULUZULUU released a full length compilation of their reinterpretations of classics. As expected, MMYYKK’s take on “Rise” feels fresh and groundbreaking, while remaining true to it’s source material. One can only hope that it finds its way to the ears of Solange, who will share the lineup with ZULUZULUU at the Afropunk Atlanta festival this fall.
Take a listen and read a message that MMYYKK included via email about the importance of the song holds for him personally.
The message of the song resonated with me deeply. I’ve been in a place of self discovery and self development. Learning to trust myself and to love myself and to have the courage to be myself unapologetically despite the oppression that surrounds me daily as a black man in America. This song to me has become a mantra. it’s a simple and effective affirmation of black strength and resilience, that within itself, is also anti-white supremacy. Walk in your ways, be you, be black, be brilliant, be a rebel, be an individual and the more we live and work and operate in our divine spirit, the better our lives will be.