[sz-youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2jfnOeWZQY” /]
The Black Opera have given themselves a quite righteous name to live up to, and rightfully so.
Celebrating life, escaping life, representing life, reinventing life, remembering life, and inspiring a way to live life: all beautiful and strangely opposing reasons why each of us choose to like what we like. It is the perfect balance between those that makes a masterpiece, and the juggle to maintain that balance is the ultimate goal of our own lives, let alone art.
The theater is the construction of this exact artform, and adding music to the equation, much like an actual Opera, further complicates the challenge. Music alone is meant to touch someone (achieve all goals mentioned above) through sound. After having listened to Balcony from “Libretto: Of King Legend,” I can see the justification of such a accountable group name. The Black Opera have given their listeners a theatrical masterpiece but without the stage, accomplishing even more through sound alone. Balcony takes personal delivery of heart and feeling with the added weight of history, education, and politics through musical delivery and puts us in the just right place to be critical of our surroundings and ourselves. While they parallel historical story telling with their present story tellings, they uplift and inspire while spitting truth. I could suppose that some could hear their lyrics and delivery and attribute that it comes from anger and negativity, but no, this is definitely not commercial rap. The subject matter comes from a painful place, yes, probably so, but this is a reminder for listeners to recognize the common struggle of a people and hold each other accountable so as to never betray your brother or support your opposition, ie, a “yellowback.” All the while auditorily pleasing with progressing chords (thank you).
This is Hip Hop.