Solange’s latest album release, A Seat at the Table, has greatly influenced my thinking as of late. The twenty-one track album provided insight that helped me view how our world was being shaped. It took me on a ride that I wasn’t initially prepared for but needed in the long run. I will explain how this musical masterpiece has embodied many of the current thoughts that I currently possess.
On “Rise“, Solange sings about ‘falling in your ways so you can crumble’, which help me realize that we can have failures in life as long as we rebuild ourselves from it. Later on in the song, she sings ‘Walk in your ways, so you won’t crumble’, which leads me to believe that we shouldn’t get in our own way so that we won’t have downfalls in our life’s journeys. When Solange begins to sing on “Cranes in the Sky“, it reminded me of how I tried to escape many problems that I was facing by using the means of temporary fixes.
“Mad” showed me that with everything that’s been going on as of late (police brutality, the results of the General Election, etc.) that I have a valid reason to be mad. People will question the validity of why we’re mad but it’s just as we have the right to breathe air in our lungs, we have this same right stand up for what we’re against. Solange gets deeper on “Don’t Touch My Hair” when she goes into detail about not wanting people to have their hands her hair. In regards to thinking, it says that don’t try to force me to change my beliefs in order to raise your comfort levels. We’ve dealt with uncomfortable situations that were triggering to us and it to force others to change was out of the question.
“F.U.B.U.” made me think about how in life, we create in some instances, solely for our people. Not saying that we’re against what other people in the world have to offer but sometimes, we need to celebrate and support us. “Borderline (An Ode to Self-Care)”, this taught me that my personal self-care is very important for my mental health needs. When Solange sings ‘Let’s play it safe tonight, Baby, we’ve, we’ve been lovers on a mission, So let’s take an intermission’, I think about how we go the extra mile in our daily battles that we need to step back gather ourselves. “Don’t Wish Me Well” guided my thinking as to let me know that letting go is essential for all. When she sings ‘I’m going all the way, and now you’re almost out of view’, which helps me to think that past transgression is fading more and more from memory. Once it’s gone then it’s the end of it.
There were also interludes located throughout the album that also provide more ground for think influences. Solange’s father, Matthew Knowles, discussed on the “Dad Was Mad” interlude how he dealt with racism as he grew up in Alabama, which could lead us to think about how those same instances are reappearing in today’s world. Solange’s mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, celebrated being Black on the “Tina Taught Me” interlude which shaped me into thinking that celebrating the skin that you’re in isn’t a bad thing. New Orleans’ rapper Master P also added some much needed insight on the interludes that he appeared on. On “No Limits“, he talked about how his record label, No Limit, got its name and how he was inspired by his grandfather to not have any limits on what he can achieve.
A Seat at the Table provided a much needed look at myself and helped propel my views of this world.