Listen to Blood Orange’s Enchanting ‘Negro Swan’ Album

Negro Swan

Blood Orange’s Negro Swan arrives today with the same enchanting tenderness exuded on his 2016 effort, Freetown Sound. Previously released tracks “Charcoal Baby” (and the “Family” interlude from its visual), “Chewing Gum” (featuring A$AP Rocky and Project Pat) and “Jewelry” (which continues – from the album’s opener “Orlando” – the brilliant Janet Mock’s explanation on her reclamation of “doing too much”). The project also contains features from Steve Lacy on “Out of Your League,” Georgia Anne Muldrow on “Runnin” and Puff Daddy and Tei Shi on the Hip Hop-tinged cut about fear and love titled “Hope.”

The album is versatile – both personal and universal – and it’s packed with messages in a collage of reminders that Blackness is as precious and sweet as it is tiresome and dark. Like in “Vulture Baby,” where Blood Orange sings “Give it some time/ See how it goes/ She’ll change her mind…” about  “…white people who have got their cred by flirting with rap culture, and now they’re gonna show their country roots,” or in “Dagenham Dream” where his childhood memories of being jumped and hospitalized weave pocketed percussions, and even in the hustling horns lacing praises of Blackness on “Saint.”

Standout number “Holy Will” contains vocals from Ian Isiah (and collaborator Eva) sampling “Center of Thy Will” by the legendary Clark Sisters that feels like pure restoration of the heart. Listen to Blood Orange’s Negro Swan below.

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