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Kelela: "White People Don't Understand. Black People Don’t Have The Space To Suck"

Kelela gets real in a cover story for The FADER ahead of the release of her debut album "Take Me Apart."

Kelela laid down the truth with some choice words about her journey to releasing her upcoming debut album, Take Me Apart, in a recent cover story for The FADER.

After years of feeling as if it was "too late" to start her career, Kelela, a second-generation Ethiopian American, finally built the courage to write her first song when she was 25 years old.


The courage that she gained helped her to overcome self doubt and to persevere over misogynoir (the intersection of racism and sexism directed at black women).

The album title, Take Me Apart, demonstrates the importance she places on honest self-expression, and her belief that everyone should take risks.

Kelela knows that it's not easy and that it takes courage.

She told The FADER's Lakin Starling, “When you demand somebody take you apart, then you're the boss. It's so strong. You must have a lot of confidence to say that comfortably. It feels risky, I feel my heart pound a little bit harder, but that's who I am."

She's particularly attuned to how this struggle falls upon black women in the music industry, for whom the stakes are particularly high. It's not necessarily that black people are more "artistically inclined," she said. "It's because we don't have the space to suck."

The album, which was produced by Jam City, is true to Kelela's affinity for electronic music, but is also "fully grounded in R&B's brave emotional honesty," according to The FADER.

At a time when dishonesty goes unchecked more often than ever, this type of straight talk is unfortunately rare. We're glad to have Kelela and Take Me Apart is right on time.
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Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

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Joeboy Shares Visuals for New Track 'Lonely'

Joeboy has dropped the music video for his latest track 'Lonely'. The endearing track features on his upcoming debut album 'Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic'.