For so many of us, this year has fueled a craving to better understand the Black experience as it is lived across America as well as across the world. There’s no questioning the fact that Black culture has been a driving force in nearly every aspect of human life on this planet throughout history, even if it hasn’t always gotten the recognition that it deserves. Following her beautifully breezy single Black Girl Magic” from earlier this year, Detroit emcee and educator Mahogany Jones continues to bring her creativity and reverence for the Black experience to the fore with the single “Melanin”.
Inwardly focused yet universally felt, this new single from the noted educator and activist allows fans to take in all the uplifting energy contained in Mahogany’s airtight triplet-flow as well as her commanding presence in the mic booth. Once again working with The Thirties production team (which counts her music exec husband Dre Marshall as a creative member and managing partner) Jones rides the shape-shifting, soulfully swirling production with collar-poppin’ style and grace. The undeniable glow that she brings to her artistry comes through with each line and allows all of us – regardless of our race – to show appreciation to the lovely cocoa skin breaking through on the single's silhouetted cover art. Sharing her thoughts about the themes of self-love and pride that can be deeply felt in both her new singles, Mahogany remarks “It’s wild because I didn’t expect to create two songs, back to back, that celebrated my Blackness. I think both are an overflow of a celebration that’s long overdue. For so long my skin tone was the source of shame, the reason why I was rejected, the backstory for my anger. And I wanted something to listen to that was a source of pride - that made me feel as beautiful as I feel when I see my skin, and I wanted that for everyone who is Black.”
Safe to say, she absolutely met the moment and delivered a powerful status update for not only herself but for so many black and brown people that are reframing their opinions about what is and what isn’t beautiful. And if this attention-catching new single serves as a positive sign of what we can expect to hear on her forthcoming Indigo EP, I think it's safe to say that the album will be a memorable set for hip-hop and soul music fans to dig into.
You can listen to “Melanin” right now, on all streaming services, courtesy of The Thirties, Inc Music.