News Brief

Solange Has the No. 1 Album in America With ‘A Seat at the Table’

Solange and Beyoncé are the first and only sisters to score No. 1 albums in the same year with A Seat at the Table and Lemonade respectively.

Two Fridays ago, September 30, Solange put out her third studio album, just three days after announcing its existence, through her Saint Records label. And just like that, A Seat at the Table is officially the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart (which ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption).

According to Nielsen Music, A Seat at the Table sold 72,000 equivalent album units in its first week to take the top spot. (And disprove industry prognosticators that suggested the album would earn around 60,000 units in its first week.) Of those 72,000, 46,000 were in traditional album sales. Bon Iver’s 22, A Million, which came out on the same day and was originally predicted to take the top slot, debuted at No. 2 with 71,000 units. (Bon Iver did however sell more traditional album sales with 58,000.)

This is the first time Solange has scored a No. 1 album, and one of the very very few times in history a pair of solo siblings have scored No. 1 albums in the same calendar year. Michael and Janet Jackson were the first to accomplish the feat with Invincible and All For You in 2001. Solange and Beyoncé are however the first and only solo artist sisters to have scored No. 1 albums in the same year.

Her follow-up to 2012’s True EP, Solange’s 21-track A Seat at the Table features collaborations with Lil Wayne, Sampha, Blood Orange, Tweet, Moses Sumney, Q-Tip, The Dream, Kelly Rowland, Kelela, Sean Nicholas Savage and more. Accompanying the album, the singer and Saint Heron founder released a digital book of lyrics and photos taken by Barcelona-based photographer Carlota Guerrero.

Read: Solange’s New Album ‘A Seat at the Table’ is A Balm for Black Suffering

Read: The Audacity of Solange in ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’

Read: How the Beautifully Black Art of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye Inspired Solange’s ‘A Seat At The Table’

Photo by Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

How Davido's 'FEM' Became the Unlikely #EndSARS Protest Anthem

When Nigerian youth shout the line "Why everybody come dey para, para, para, para for me" at protests, it is an act of collective rebellion and rage, giving flight to our anger against the police officers that profile young people, the bureaucracy that enables them, and a government that appears lethargic.

Some songs demand widespread attention from the first moments they unfurl themselves on the world. Such music are the type to jerk at people's reserves, wearing down defenses with an omnipresent footprint at all the places where music can be shared and enjoyed, in private or in communion; doubly so in the middle of an uncommonly hot year and the forced distancing of an aggressive pandemic that has altered the dynamics of living itself. Davido's "FEM" has never pretended to not be this sort of song. From the first day of its release, it has reveled in its existence as the type of music to escape to when the overbearing isolation of lockdown presses too heavily. An exorcism of ennui, a sing-along, or a party starter, "FEM" was made to fit whatever you wanted it to be.

However, in the weeks since its release, the song has come to serve another purpose altogether. As young Nigerians have poured out into the streets across the country to protest against the brutality of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, known as SARS, "FEM" has kept playing with the vigour of a generational protest anthem. From Lagos to Abia to Benin and Abuja, video clips have flooded the Internet of people singing word-for-word to Davido's summer jam as they engage in peaceful protests. In one video, recorded at Alausa, outside the Lagos State Government House, youths break into an impromptu rendition of the song when the governor of the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, tried addressing them; chants of "O boy you don dey talk too much" rent through the air, serving as proof of their dissatisfaction with his response to their demands—and the extortionist status quo.

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Trump to Remove Sudan from Terrorist List Following 330 Million Dollar Payment

President Donald Trump has announced that Sudan will be removed from the list of countries that allegedly sponsor terrorism after Sudan recently met the required payment of USD 330 million.