‘Entertainment’ is the last word I’d use to describe how I experience music. I don’t listen to music, I experience it. It’s one the art form I’ve engaged with most in all my life. I listen to many different artists and genres. I don’t obsess over genre, I love good music. My library might suggest I’m schizophrenic. Anyways, I’ve been listening to Propaganda. He’s one of my favourite artists, and as usual, his latest EP speaks into a deep place in me.
Prop (that’s what we, his close friends call him BTW), is more than an artist. He’s a deep thinker. His self-awareness and ability to read the world around him adds depth to his art.
It doesn’t feel like he’s trying to do something that’s not inherently him. You cannot ignore conviction and authenticity in his music; it’s in your face. These are some of the reasons I love him and his work.
The Work: Terraform – The People
Prop says Terraform – The People is the first of four EPs in his project. I’m glad and at the same time disappointed. This is because after listening to it for the first time, it does feel incomplete and I want more, now.
I hate that we waited this long for this one but one has to let the artists to their thang. I rabbit-trailed. I didn’t mean to write this much about Prop and Terraform – The People. I meant to write about one track that’s rocking me at the moment: We All In.
We All In ft. Lecrae
On a sonic level, Prop has stayed his true self and stayed fresh. You don’t listen to the music, but savour it. It’s great and also one of the things that could distract you from what he and Lecrae are delivering.
We All In is a celebration of individuality, ethnicity and diversity. It is about recognising who you are, the community you exist in, and at the same time ‘making the circle bigger’.
Just when you think Prop and Crae are celebrating their insulated culture and community, they say:
We refuse to celebrate on our own.
We won’t get it started ’til the whole team pull up
You yellin’ to the outsiders “not you” I can hear the voice of God saying “them too”
Making The Circle Bigger
“We” is one of the most harassed and abused word. It is pure evil that a word that should capture the essence of a collective, a community, has become a clarion call of exclusivity.
We All In is challenging me to think about who I’ve excluded. Who I’m excluding, even as I raise the flag of “We”. Without We there is no dignity and justice for the other. We is hard work.
We can require a dying to self and being honest with ourselves and others about our prejudice. We means facing the ugly in ourselves. It requires savage resolve in pursuit of a more perfect view of others. A striving to love them, their humanity and quintessential essence.
We All In is culturally sophisticated messaging on diversity and inclusion. I can’t listen to it without seeing beautiful imagery. I see people admiring, enthralled, captured by the beauty of difference in each other. I imagine a genuine, unfeigned love for another.
You might think me hopeless but I dare to imagine a world where difference is not weaponised. One where difference is a binding agent––a bridge. A world where difference is the celebration.
Thanks for the reminder Prop.
featured image: album cover