We are certainly living in unprecedented times in America. While civil rights have undoubtedly come a long way over the past several decades, it’s hard to remember a time in recent history that demonstrates how much further we still have to go.
It seems like just yesterday when the deaths of Freddy Gray, Eric Garner, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile dominated news cycles. Now with the tragic and senseless deaths of AhmaudArbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks, it feels like deja vu all over again.
It seems as though we’ve reached a tipping point as protestors have taken to the streets all over the world in a collective sign of unity. In Minneapolis, DC, Los Angeles, New York, London, Germany, France, The Netherlands and Spain to name a few. In coalition with the Black Lives Matter movement, people of all races, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds have banded together to voice their frustration and demand accountability, justice and reform.
Enter Abel Meri. The DMV-based rapper widely celebrated for his masterful word play and adept lyricism, Abel’s latest release “#BLM” is a thoughtful and well-reasoned social commentary on recent events,delivered over a bevy of soulful instrumentation.
The lead-off track “Black Lives Matter” starts the EP on a high note with Abel delivering line after line of impassioned grievance with his signature witty sarcasm over an infectiouslymelodic instrumental. The frustration and zeal are palpable from the onset and continues as a common theme throughout the EP.
The track “Insight Out” uses a clever role reversal format, with Abel rhetorically asking questions then answering them through his personal insight, hence the title of the song. With lines like “you’re not disturbed by George Floyd’s public execution, but you’re flabbergasted Targets got vandalized and looted?”, Abel frames vivid lines that force listeners to assess their own stances on issues.
The overarching tone of the project is honest and heartfelt. There are several points on the EP where Abel’s perspective makes the listener pause and think about things from all angles. A sort ofthree-dimensional view of situations that makes you zoom out and pan around to see the entire picture.
“#BLM” certainly delivers as a notable timepiece to document 2020 vividly for the history books. “#BLM” is now available on all major digital platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Tidal, Pandora, YouTube, Google Music and Amazon Music.