If big sister Beyonce’s Lemonade is a celebration of black womanhood, then Solange’s A Seat At The Table is for the entire black community, filled with declarations of pride, sadness, frustration and empowerment.
A lot has happened in the four years since True – the Black Lives Matter movement has clearly shaped Solange’s songwriting, along with a string of personal conflicts. She could have written an angry, pointed album but instead took a step back and revealed herself more intimately that ever before. But don’t let her soft, angelic falsetto fool you – she has a lot to say.
The album is centered around two interludes, one from each of the vocalist’s parents. The first is her father Mathew Knowles’ story of KKK members hurling cans at his young family; if that tale wasn’t intense enough on its own, the following wobbly, slow jam Mad featuring Lil Wayne contextualises it further, as Wayne raps about personal struggles and Solange makes a powerful call to release her anger in the interest of self-care. The second interlude is spoken by Solange’s mother Tina Beyincé-Lawson, who explains that being pro-black isn’t the same as being anti-white, and touches on the pain she feels when black pride is misconstrued by other races. A powerful plea to heal straining race relations.
A Seat At The Table is out now via Sony