The American Negro Adrian Younge
- 1Revisionist History01:30
- 2The American Negro04:36
- 3The Black Broadcast00:45
- 5Double Consciousness00:38
- 6Watch the Children01:55
- 7Dying on the Run02:31
- 8Intransigence of the Blind00:56
- 9James Mincey Jr.02:41
- 10Disadvantaged Without a Title00:39
- 11Mama (You Will Make It)01:50
- 12The Black Queen00:07
- 13Margaret Garner02:56
- 14Race Is a Fallacy01:50
- 15Light on the Horizon03:06
- 16A Symphony for Sahara03:05
- 17America Is Listening00:27
- 18The March on America02:19
- 19Paradox of the Positive00:07
- 20The Death March02:09
- 21Black Lives Matter01:20
- 22Rotten Roses03:07
- 23Jim Crow's Dance01:14
- 24Patriotic Portraits02:12
- 25George Stinney Jr.05:01
- 26Sullen Countenance02:16
Info for The American Negro
The American Negro is an unapologetic critique, detailing the systemic and malevolent psychology that afflicts people of color. This project dissects the chemistry behind blind racism, using music as the medium to restore dignity and self-worth to my people. It should be evident that any examination of black music is an examination of the relationship between black and white America. This relationship has shaped the cultural evolution of the world and its negative roots run deep into our psyche. Featuring various special guests performing over a deeply soulful, elaborate orchestration, The American Negro reinvents the black native tongue through this album and it’s attendant short film (TAN) and 4-part podcast (invisible Blackness). The American Negro - both as a collective experience and as individual expressions - is insightful, provocative and inspiring and should land at the center of our ongoing reckoning with race, racism and the writing of the next chapter of American history.
"Behind no fewer than eight LPs in 2020, Adrian Younge didn't allow time for catch-up in early 2021. The songwriter, producer, arranger, and one-man band kept on pushing with his and Ali Shaheed Muhammad's Jazz Is Dead series, and presented this album, a component of an intensive multimedia project that extends to a short film and four-part podcast. Central to the work is the psychological damage that racist behavior -- including enslavement and derogatory terminology -- has had on Younge's people. In part, it's also a history lesson with a range of emotion from lamentation of white-on-Black slaughter to affirmation of Black power. Aided by a handful of fellow vocalists heard individually and as a chorus, Younge is the only individual credited with instrumentation. He fills each role of a standard band plus an assortment of percussion and woodwinds, remodeling soul and groove-oriented jazz of the late '60s and early '70s with grit and elegance. That Younge is an engaging orator will not surprise anyone who has heard him talk about Swedish prog records and vintage studio gear. He addresses the audience with warmth and love throughout the album, spreading knowledge and impelling action without being excessively didactic. (No stretch of the imagination is required to see him following in the footsteps of James Mtume by hosting a community-oriented call-in radio program.) Younge's spoken parts function as interludes, side commentaries, and supplemental statements related to a balanced mix of vocal numbers and instrumentals. The cuts with minimal or no vocals are poignant even without considering titles like "Dying on the Run" and "A Symphony for Sahara." Those that more prominently feature singers Loren Oden, Sam Harmonix, and Chester Gregory are filled with riveting moments. Take the defiant "Revolutionize," with a group vocal that reaches full flight at "Say it with me, brother, Black is beautiful," or the undaunted "I will fight for you" that pierces through the choppy polyrhythm and soaring strings of "The March on America." Most affecting is Oden's tender first-person vocal on "James Mincey, Jr." a tribute to a Los Angeles man who in 1982 was killed by police chokehold in his mother's driveway. Mincey was Oden's uncle." (Andy Kellman, AMG)
Adrian Younge is the next generation of soul music. A self-taught musician and recording engineer who has dedicated his life to the study of classic soul music, Younge finds himself at the center of a new soul renaissance with a vision for pushing the boundaries of the music itself.
Beginning in 1998, he taught himself how to play various instruments to fully realize his vision; a soundtrack to a fictional film titled “Venice Dawn.” Recording the album over the course of the next year, he developed a sound that is equal parts Morricone, Air, and Portishead. Self-released in 2000, the moody, synth-drenched album was entirely composed, arranged, played, and recorded by Younge himself.
Eight years later, Younge would find himself at the center of the Black Dynamite phenomenon. Instrumental in the film’s development, Younge not only edited the film, but also composed the original score, which was hailed as a modern blaxploitation masterpiece, solidifying himself as a force to be reckoned with, composing music for the accompanying cartoon series for Adult Swim.
In 2009, Younge envisioned a new sound that would revisit his earlier, more baroque instrumental work, and mesh it together with the deep, gritty soul of Black Dynamite, releasing material under the moniker Venice Dawn. Something About April (2009) was a heavy, dark mix of psychedelic soul, and cinematic instrumentals, with hip-hop aesthetics. Two songs—”Sirens” and ”Reverie”—were sampled by Timbaland for Jay-Z’s Magna Carta… Holy Grail, respectively on the lead single “Picasso Baby” and “Heaven,” featuring Justin Timberlake.
In spring of 2013, Younge released Adrian Younge Presents the Delfonics (Wax Poetics Records), cowritten with William Hart, as well as Twelve Reasons to Die, a concept album with Ghostface Killah on RZA’s imprint, Soul Temple.
Since then, Younge has launched his own record label, and completed work with Souls of Mischief’s, a sequel to Twelve Reasons To Die, and produced albums for Bilal, and A Tribe Called Quest alumn, Ali Shaheed Muhammed.
“I aspire to be the modern day Quincy Jones. I consider myself a composer, not a beatmaker. Beatmakers make ten beats in a day, I try to make one good song every two or three days…”
This album contains no booklet.