The Black Superstar has always been a paradox in American Culture. African-Americans, and many racialized ‘others’, have for a long time held this odd allure as naturally cool, while at the same time suffering the effects of a body that is instantly criminalized. This is a dangerous duality that can serve as simultaneous impetus and hindrance. This polarization drives an ill collaboration between yU and the mysterious Black Opera, hosted by Mello Music Group.
yU is most known for his work demolishing microphones as 1/3 of Diamond District, but he is adept behind the beat machine as well. This joint is actually a cut off his humbly titled A Garbage Beat Tape. One MC’s “garbage” can be another one’s banger. The faceless Black Opera collective bring life out of the rumbling kicks and neck-snapping drums in yU’s production with two strong verses that seesaw between the glamour of being a Black Superstar and the perils of being perceived as one. The Black Opera reminds us that “we still killing over Jordans,” and how balling so hard could make the police try and fine you.
Stimulating to the mind as well as pleasing to the ears, The Black Opera, yU, and the entire MMG collective continue to prove that great music can serve a higher purpose. Not just filling your trunks with bass and your head with ill rhymes, hip-hop still has the power to push you to re-examine the world around you.