“I saw things I imagined” – Solange
We’re still recovering!
Sis, where have you been and why have you been gone so long? I’m sure this is the question all Solange fans wanted to ask. The wait was worth it. When an artist invests their time, energy and pours their heart into a body of work, of course, they want their fans to not only enjoy it but to feel it. This is an incredibly well thought out body of work from beginning to end. The literal and figurative meaning of the title has been broken down by several people who are close to Solange including her mother. However, I wanted to take another look at this album. As a poet, I love to take in and take apart a poem or collection of poems and give my perspective on what the author meant.
Mothers & Daughters who Set the Tone
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This is the sample used fit @saintrecords’ “S McGregor (interlude)” from ‘When I Get Home’. It’s a poem recited by Houston-born sisters Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen. It was was written by their mother and the central theme is the eventual longing for the love home provides. Allen and Rashad’s mother is a Pulitzer Prize nominated poet Vivian Ayers-Allen. She’s 95 years old and living in South Carolina. She taught this poem to them when they were children and 30 years later, her son, jazz musician Andrew Allen Jr., set it to music. This clip is from ‘Superstars and Their Moms’, a 1987 Mother’s Day TV special that showed celebrities connecting with their mothers in intimate settings. It featured Cissy + Whitney Houston, Cher, Carol Burnett and more. S McGregor is the name of the street Rashad and Allen’s father lived on. It is not far from Parkwood Dr + Parkwood Park, which you may recognize as the name of Beyoncé’s entertainment company. Parkwood is a Houston street Beyoncé and Solange grew up on. ‘When I Get Home’ is a map to and of Solange’s heart, her hometown of Houston, Texas. There are multiple well executed references to Houston, including locations and one of its biggest cultural contributions, chopped and screwed music. This is hometown and southern pride at its finest. Oftentimes artists try to take on popular sounds born out of other states, but Solange is showing that doing it big for your home is best. This project is so great and purposeful. Nothing without intention indeed. #solangeknowles #whenigethome #solange
I feel this work ‘When I Get Home’ has been labeled as merely a tribute to Solange’s love of her hometown of Houston, Texas; the culture and her roots which is amazing in itself. She showcased and paid tribute to people and cultural dynamics in a way new generations need to see and be reminded of their existence, the poet Vivian Ayers-Allen, the Black cowboys and cowgirls and the power of unity. However, after listening carefully to her lyrics, the essence of the album’s sound and watching the film, I believe it’s deeper intent is to give her husband, Alan Ferguson the greatest love letter one can give; an entire album about all the facets of her love. A confession of completeness, love of self, being sexy and seductive, sharing a feeling of safety, belonging and a deeper connection to the brilliance and misunderstanding of the American Black man.
Enjoy lyrics from 7 of my favorite songs on the album, clips from social media and images as I share links for you to listen…
1. “I Won’t Stop Until I Get it Right” – ‘I’m a Witness’
2. “Take it All Down Make ’em Feel it on They Face” – ‘Stay Flo’
Listen here: https://youtu.be/_W14wK4QGh4
3. “We Lit on Our Own” – ‘Sound of Rain’
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She snapped. This entire work of art is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen in my life & the fact that I was blessed enough to be a part of bringing her vision to life has me filled with so much inspiration & gratitude. I’ll never be able to thank her enough. I’ll never be able to explain enough. I’ll never be able to put it all into words but just know, the tears are real. @saintrecords has saved my life a million times but this time was so personal & necessary I will never get over it. S/O to everyone that was a part of bringing such magic to life. You’re all amazing & will forever have my utmost admiration. My hair & makeup: me, me, me. Styled by: @larrydavidswife – sis had so many mind blowing looks I’m still amazed @ how it all came together. Of course miss Tina made the girls’ outfits. directed by the queen herself: @saintrecords – she knows EXACTLY what she wants & EXACTLY how to bring it to life which was so amazing to watch. producer: @petewillyams – who is beyond amazing. Site graphics, & album artwork : @callmesabla & @queridastudio – wigs were snatched. #WhenIGetHome film out now on @applemusic.
4. “I’ma Come and Get it” – ‘Way to the Show’
5. “Moment of You, Get Into that Moment of You…I’m Comin’ Down Hard, Comin’ Down Clean…Ooh, That’s My Baby” – ‘My Skin My Logo’
6. “You’ve Gotta Know” – ‘Time(is)’
7. “Give You All the Depths of My Wanting” – ‘Jerrod’
Imagine being away from your lover for too many days or weeks and then that anticipation of seeing them in a few hours. Think of all the things you want to say and do. Feel the thought of them standing in front of you, giving you every reason to kiss, love, hug, entice and caress them. Solange is going on a journey of emotions of seeing her lover and giving herself permission to embrace all of her wants and his. She is present and empowered to love.
Now think of a way to do this and more while including and celebrating the culture… she did that.
Let us know your thoughts below.