Friday, 17 December 2010

#CurrentlyListeningTo: Cody ChesnuTT "Black Skin No Value"

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I should probably substitute #CurrentlyListeningTo for #Can'tStopListeningTo Cody ChesnuTT "Black Skin No Value" in the above title. There wasn't a big campaign or fanfare in the lead up to this release, but I trust that the most powerful thing of all - word of mouth - will spread it far and wide. I read an article with Mr ChesnuTT in the Fader and was intrigued by this part in particular -


So how does that new energy sound in your new work? Why make a new EP now?
I made Black Skin No Value as an alarm. We’re still dealing with issues of our value as human beings even in this generation. I think the stock value of dignity is low right now, people are caught up in a lot of illusions and I feel that’s an emergency. I wanted to make something alarming that spoke to the culture of the last 10 or 20 years and what we’ve faced as a people in that time. The title is ironic, but it can be mapped on literally to actions of presidents we’ve had, our legal system, and what happens in media and pop culture. What we watch on TV shapes our imaginations, affects our personal values and personal perceptions. Hopefully this music and these thoughts will help people find a moment of pause. I don’t know if all the men out there with who have a platform for communicating with an audience realize that they’re shaping their communities. People define manhood in different ways, but I think first and foremost it’s taking care of yourself, protecting your family and trying to make your social environment as healthy as possible. I hope in the next decade men are really on guard, watching to make sure that a healthy way of living is being protected and prioritized. I would like to think that people are starting to think about more things right now other than clubbing all the time. So I’m trying to touch on all that and our education system, police brutality, but I’m trying to frame that whole experience, this whole moment, in less than 12 minutes


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Whilst I have the feeling this EP will be preaching such a message to the converted, I love the sentiment of honesty and personal responsibility both in the interview and in the EP. Cody Chesnutt's vocals are so intensely beautiful that even if you believe in the exact opposite to his values I can imagine he could woo you, but that is beside the point. This EP is a stunning, and of course characteristically quirky, addition to the very best kind of soulful, heartfelt and political music. 

I'm not putting up a link to download a snippet of a song, it's £4.49 on iTunes (just buy it).

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