Son Little Unveils The Heartfelt, Politically-Charged "O Mother"
Son Little has returned once more with a brand new single that pushes his artistry to even greater heights. The Philadelphia soul artist has already logged collaborations with The Roots and RJD2, but the vocalist-guitarist can by all means stand on his own merits, and with the politically-minded new single "O Mother" he doesn't just stand tall, but marches against injustice.
In step with Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, "O Mother" blends a sunlit, upbeat soul sound with lyrics that beckon at the very core of injustices. Little's pleas "Why do they treat me like I'm not a man? I wonder does anybody know just who I am?" may read as just another turn on self-centered angst, but given the timing of the track's release, just days after a damning report on racist policing in America, the scope of Little's lines grow massive. Soul music has always held hands tightly with the push for Civil Rights in America, and at the heart of any Civil Rights movement is the simple dream of fair human treatment and dignity.
"O Mother is a beautifully textured song, loaded with mellotrons and a troupe of guitars that all sway in step to the drums, chopping tightly underneath Little's heart-rending vocals. The tune was inspired, Little says, by his time away from the States while touring Europe lat least year, and the ugly realizations that came over him when he caught up on the fates of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. "Racism and violence are global problems,” he told the New Yorker, who premiered "O Mother" earlier today. “But our particular brand in America is what makes it hard for black men to breathe."
In a week that's been marked both the anniversary of Rodney King's brutal beating at the hands of Los Angeles Police and the federal exculpation of Darren Wilson of any Civil Rights crimes, "O Mother" is a snapshot of our present world still racked by racial discrimination. Listen to it below and read a little more on Son Little here.