I first heard traces of his Into Nebula EP that day, during my studio visit, as I like to put it, and I knew then, with certainty, that it would touch people in a special way. Into Nebula's got a soul to it that is very Black, how it moves between house, hip-hop, R&B and the blues, sampling Donnie Hathaway, Will Downing, and Kerri Chandler. It's notable to mention that the tape was made while Blu was completing school. He is quite the exemplary student in the halls of academia and to the rigor of art making. The tape is thus a living thesis as it world-builds and leads us towards a future space, talking through topics of race, gender, socioeconomic status and sexuality. The artist has surrendered to the air, and the possibility of spaces unknown, and he's surely riding it, as depicted in the album cover art. What a pleasure to witness him fly and this work two years later.
We bring it all full circle, chatting on the phone how we do about life, excavation and what's ahead. A star is surely born.
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Freedom is not yet here. It is imperative that we always remember this. Black futures depend upon it. Black futures demand that we’re not content with loving our black lives without question; that we always question and consider who is left behind. We don’t have the luxury of parsing out race, from class, gender, size, dis/ability, and sexuality. It is critically imperative that we approach movement work through an intentional — perhaps, proactive — intersectional lens because it is vital that we expand and shape a movement that is all-body loving and all-gender honoring. And this is not to tokenize or exceptionalize people in spaces but to push us to be as abundant as the water — to soft river and vogue our way to freedom, following in the Black radical footsteps of Harriet, leaving no one behind.
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