Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dudley Perkins (aka Declaime), are teaming up for their new album, Black Love & War, out Aug. 9. The duo, called G&D, have also just dropped the LP’s lead single, “Where I’m From.”
The song is an exploration of “living life as Africans in America” and traces back the duo’s roots to their parents, slavery’s scars and a distant star.
“I may be from a distant star, shining so far away” soul songstress Muldrow sings. “Or maybe from the mind of my mother and father.”
With airy vocalizations and a soft jazzy feel, the song excavates the duo’s origins in both a historical and personal context.
“That’s where I’m from,” Muldrow croons. “That’s where I’m from. That’s where I’m from. That’s where I’m from.”
G&D aren’t just musical partners. They’re also life partners, raising three children during the 13 years they have been together.
“Not only do they create music together, they adore each other, and that devotion shines through the art,” a press release explains.
So it’s no surprise the album promises to celebrate black love and the unity of the black family. But it’s not all puppies and rainbows. Timely and urgent, Black Love & War will also delve into socioeconomic and racial issues that have them at “war.”
Their third release under the moniker G&D, Black Love & War will be a reflection of the turbulent times we live in and the tragedy and cruelty that led us to this spot in history.
“Blackness has been under attack ever since the first Africans were brought to the United States and forced into slavery,” the aforementioned release reads. “In that time, our culture has been pillaged, packaged and sold to major corporations for profit. We’re told that we’re simply not good enough to be equal, or to be seen at all. We’re forced from our homes by white people who think our neighborhoods are cool.”
And then there’s the police, as brutality against black men and boys swells to a fever pitch in news coverage. But G&D remind us that this injustice isn’t a new phenomenon.
“They’ve been spraying us with fire hoses and shooting us dead since God knows when,” the release continues. “So the brutality you see today shouldn’t surprise you.”
With their trademark blend of ’70s funk and West Coast G-funk, the duo produce a rich, psychedelic sound in a fluid front of upbeat tracks steeped in the throes of modern-day despair.
With these ideas in mind, G&D have set out with lofty plans of healing the world with their new music.
“The duo is back to spread love and solace to those crumbling under the weight of systemic oppression,” the release proclaims.
But mind you, this isn’t a warm hug or a gentle call to pay attention. It’s a barking war proclamation, urging listeners to stand and fight.
The song “187,” a brief interlude near the end of the full-length, is a jaunty nursery rhyme about killing your oppressors, pairing innocence with insurgence. In a similar vein, “Slave Revolt Soundtrack” will portray the death of a slave master on a plantation.
G&D aren’t afraid of venturing into tumultuous territory and instead use their words as a wake-up call for black people to revolt against a system built to kill and imprison.
“We always have a militant feel,” Muldrow says in a statement. “But we wanted people to be able to join in the music and sing along with it. It’s music that makes people come together. It’s a very cultural record.”
Some songs are more somber than saber-rattling. “Peace, Peace” dissects our history of racism and violence through the weary eyes of a concerned father.
“Welcome to the world, son,” reads a preview of the upcoming song’s lyrics. “Now run. Police got a gun. They will throw sticks and stones ‘till they break ya bloody bones. What a wonderful way we all live.”
Another track pairs anger and mourning with an urgent tone as Perkins raps, “Whole world is on the attack. Whole lotta whites hate blacks. And most for no damn reason. This is the season to shoot another dead. Last night, they shot a baby black boy in the head.”
Then the album will shift, transitioning from the “War” aspect to the softer depiction of “Black Love,” with subdued vocals and sun-kissed soul in songs like “Again,” “P.A.L. (Post Apocalyptic Love)” and “Fruitful.”
Black Love & War won’t surprise most long-time listeners, who at this point should be used to G&D challenging them to fight tyranny from their critically acclaimed albums 2007’s The Message Uni Versa and 2013’s The Lighthouse.
“We thought, ‘Let’s hit em harder, and not give a fuck about the industry,’” Perkins says of Black Love & War in a statement.
Muldrow and Perkins are also both prolific in their solo careers. Perkins, who’s worked with the likes of Flying Lotus, The Lootpack and The Alkaholiks, is best known for Conversations with Dudley, A Lil Light and Expressions. Muldrow’s litany of a catalogue includes LPs Worthnothings and King’s Ballad, along with collabs with Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Wajeed and Sa-Ra.
Their forthcoming album features production from Oh No and Mike & Keys, along with vocal backing from Latoiya Williams, Sean Biggs, Aloe Blacc and Ms. Dezy.
Listen to the lead single below, and check out the details of Black Love & War and the “Where I’m From” single art further down.
Black Love & War Tracklist:
01. English Breakfast
02. Where I’m From (Prod. by Mike & Keys)
03. Peace Peace (Prod. by Georgia Anne Muldrow)
04. That’s How We Do It (Prod. by Georgia Anne Muldrow)
05. The Power Of Your Brain (Prod. by Georgia Anne Muldrow)
06. The Battle (Prod. by Georgia Anne Muldrow)
07. Slave Revolt Soundtrack (Prod. by Georgia Anne Muldrow)
08. Protect Yourself (Prod. by Oh No)
09. Sunshine (Prod. by Oh No)
10. 187 (Prod. by Georgia Anne Muldrow)
11. Again ft. Latoiya Williams (Prod. by Georgia Anne Muldrow)
12. Jacob’s Ladder (Prod. by Georgia Anne Muldrow)
13. P.A.L. (Prod. by Georgia Anne Muldrow)
14. Smile ft. Aloe Blacc, Latoiya Williams & Ms. Dezy (Prod. by Georgia Anne Muldrow)
15. Fruitful ft. Sean Biggs (Prod. by Georgia Anne Muldrow)
16. Big Mel (Prod. by Georgia Anne Muldrow)
Black Love & War Album Art:
“Where I’m From” Single Art: