Rapper, producer, and DJ MH The Verb uses a compelling form of Afrofuturism to make social and political commentary throughout his latest album, Space Ninja. Created with his band/collective ArtHouse95, the project’s title track “NINJA” in particular challenges the use of the sensitive, racially-charged “N-word”, over live jazz/fusion arrangements. Today (3/11/2020), Afropunk exclusively premieres the song’s Peter Ten-directed music video.
“[NINJA} was inspired by the conversations I’ve had with respected elders in my community who expressed their frustration with the overuse of the words ‘Nigga’ and ‘Bitch’ in hip-hop. The feeling is that those words have been normalized and used by people outside of the black community and promoted to undermine our self-worth. When I wrote the lyrics, it was originally meant to empower young black people by giving them an alternative phrase to use when speaking positively about themselves.The video is directed by Peter Ten and was shot at an abandoned naval base in Richmond, California.” – MH The Verb
Kicking off in 2017, the conceptual multimedia Afronaut series tells the story of a Black sci-fi heroine from the future who travels back in time to inspire the world in our current day. The Space Ninja LP continues this sage and is now available on all digital streaming platforms via FourFingerDistro. The album’s sound is heavily inspired by the way Hip-Hop acts like The Coup used funk to promote their activism. Influences from the abstract compositions of songs from Outkast‘s Stankonia and Q-Tip‘s The Renaissance are also apparent. Producer Buscrates 16 Bit Ensemble and Philly Jazz/Fusion duo Trap Rabbit help blend jazzy East Coast boom-bap with spacey West Coast funk over live band arrangements. The automated computer vocal interludes serve as an homage to A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders.
Stream/Purchase Space Ninja: https://ffm.to/
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