"New Breed" the phenomenally animated music video was recommended to me (thanks YouTube!) when it was released at the end of 2019. The video takes you on a bit of a psychedelic trip, with James BKS leading the way in his spaceship and the graphics insinuating that you could enter an altered state of consciousness. The lyrics and African beats matched with the conceptualized animation aesthetic from Stevie Gee & Essy May and BlinkInk, creates multi-sensory pleasure for three and a half minutes. The nod to cartoons of eras past initially gives you the impression you need to wear 3D glasses, as though there is more to see beyond our singular perception, adding this element of surrealism. I keep watching it for more Easter eggs and golden nuggets I can excessively read into. Oh, and the cartoon versions of the artists can DANCE.
Now to the song itself, which brilliantly blends the unique stylings of artists representing the US, UK, and Parisian born James BKS, the composer, performer, and producer. The song opens with the excitement of hearing the clever and quick lyricism of Q-Tip as in original member of TRIBE and of course Vivrant Thang, which still makes me wiggle when it comes on. Now let's add in Idris Elba, you know Stringer Bell, Luther, Charles Miner; an all-around charming bloke that I swoon over and I mention his earlier roles to demonstrate my longstanding admiration and loyalty. Finish it off with Little Simz, whose lyricism blew me away and she embodies that classic British flow that has speed and a particular cadence. James BKS himself holds all these different influences, as though each performer represents an aspect of him against the backdrop of the composition he has created.
Highlighting the recurring racism globally, the foreshadowing which you can pinpoint in musical history eerily (both Biggie and Tupac rapped about their youthful demises as an example) and this song of forwarding momentum describes the unity we are striving toward as we exalt this new breed of freedom fighters. Regardless of your cultural stature, the new breed movement eradicates the egoic pressuring of separatism. scavenging smaller animals and insects as population control. They are monogamous and loyal animals who prioritize their pack. From a subliminal message perspective, we could also touch upon the wolf vs. sheep concept in society. Staying strong in your knowing but also protecting your pack; accepting the desired status quo of the sheep but still moving beyond the limitations impressed upon them.
Essentially as presented in the lyrics and video, the concept is that the characters are traveling home to the motherland, Africa. It is yet another fitting song for the times and also one that held a prophecy. Their fierce lyricism with lines like:
Action, spiritual or physical, closer to the mystical
Ancestors visit you, whisper in your ear you're the "Nia nya"
And you can hear clear we're the "Nia nya" - Q-Tip
Ah listen, everything circular, begin and will end with us I can tell by the look in your face When you look in our eyes you really just scared of us The New breed, coming down that mountain - Idris Elba
Never slow up I don’t know defeat
My heritage comes from Royalty
Crowns a throne and Gold chains, More pain and nothing’s changed
‘Cause we’re still in chains - Little Simz
Highlighting the recurring racism globally, the foreshadowing which you can pinpoint in musical history eerily (both Biggie and Tupac rapped about their youthful demises as an example) and this song of forward momentum describes the unity we are striving toward as we exalt this new breed of freedom fighters. Regardless of your cultural stature, the new breed movement eradicates the egoic pressuring of separatism.
The additional liberating lines reflect upon respect of duality. The purpose of life seems to be our balancing act between the two ends of the spectrum, for example, we hear about masculinity and femininity, the sun and the moon, Q-Tip polishes off his verse with the line: "Quickly we're moving, slick target grooving" which stands out to me A. because they're the new breed and they really don't care and B. It is in that balance of duality that we find our inherent freedom and it is the refusal to be boxed into a marginalized demographic, as the perception was illusionary in the first place.
This song is a nice addition to the weekly playlist we are building, bringing in a fresh vibe and an exciting glimpse into James BKS as he works to bring more music our way in the future.