The Black Opera

The Black Opera’s sophomore project, EnterMission, opens with a minimal intro in the form of “EnterMission Endtro.”  The intro includes opera vocals, as well as a man saying, “I feel like I’ve already heard this.  It’s just right now, no one’s doing it.” This statement definitely correlates with the mystery that is The Black Opera.

No one knows exactly who The Black Opera is—they wear masks in video demonstrations and glorify their Twitter followers, however, no one knows exactly who these people are.  Followers of the movement that The Black Opera have created do know that The Black Opera is a counter-cultural musical idea/organization designed for national and international impact.  The collective is a hub of creative individuals ranging from emcees and producers to actors who represent revolutionary thought in action, executed by a harmonic but forceful orchestral and theatrical presentation.

Two examples of the blend of social commentary and comedy on this follow-up to the Opera's debut release Overture, come in the form of “Villains,” and “Dark Comedy.”  “Villains,” was the first video demonstration from the album and the song is rooted in social commentary.  The song speaks of the complexities and violence rooted within our communities, asking realistically, who are really the villains?  “Dark Comedy,” is more humorous, the first verse speaking to people who still live with their mother but buy a car before they buy a house, use unemployment checks to buy Jordans, count on a mother buying studio equipment to keep them off the street--not to mention he’s a “baby daddy”  paying child support.  The first verse includes a narrative of a person thinking this is all OK, while the second verse addresses the fact that this is pretty idiotic thinking.

The social commentary continues with “ThrILL,” and “Monsters And Robots.”  “ThrILL,” has comedic lines such as, “It’s a thin line between skinny jeans and dresses / but baggy jeans look just as pathetic / guess it’s perception.” The song starts off about killing just for fun which addresses some issues that happen in our culture—people being killed for no reason, solely because it’s entertaining to do so.  “Monsters and Robots,” is basically riffing on the Malcolm X quote, “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”   If you don’t make your own thoughts you can be fed anything, the song preaches: “Mind over matter like satellite floating.  Find your direction or get your life chosen / Monsters and Robots.”

 Leaving behind the social commentary, listeners are introduced to “Magician,” featuring Vaughn G and Jade Lathan, which is sure to be the female favorite.  Everything about this song is smooth from production to lyrics.  Overall, this project by a mysterious group of individuals is a great listen from start to finish.  The surface of the project is rather enjoyable but listen a little harder to understand the metaphors and how they relate to us, and our world.

-Erin Duncan