L.A. Salami aka Lookman Adekunle Salami recently released his latest video for his nee single ‘The Cage’, a prescient and powerful stew of groove-laden blues, old school hip hop, and soul. The rolling live drum beats, floating textures of melody and instrumentals house Lookman’s clear eye’d poetic vocals punctuated by soulful hooks, as he struggles to make sense of the tidal wave of bad news and lockdown. It is searingly personal yet also speaks to deeper endemic issues of racism and inequality, as he details his personal experiences as a black man in society and delves into issues of prejudice which are all so painfully relevant now, as #BlackLivesMatter protests sweep across the world(“as our star does backflips across space-time/we are seeing race wars rage live on facetime“).
Taken from his forthcoming album The Cause of Doubt & A Reason To Have Faith released July 17th, 2020.
The video for the new single features Lockman was made in lockdown by producers Ruff Mercy, “I suppose this video represents my tearing up of old dead plans and re-establishing who I am and what I am and what the world means to me in lieu of what it really is to itself in the universe where we are simply an organism that reside on it. I fell in love with the Ruff Mercy collective and instantly thought that the style would suit the single version of the song.”
He has also called out the music industry as being inherently racist and Black Out Tuesday a sham.
“Get the fuck out my face with that music industry virtue-signaling solidarity bullshit. The music industry is a slave masters house, full of racists who are just subtle about it, and served by slaves begging to be fed. I’m a “black guy doing white music” apparently, whatever that means since Rock and Roll and my brand of folk can be largely traced to African American blues music that was born out of the poverty their own country has systematically and continuously inflicted upon them – much like hip hop – much like soul – much like jazz – much like most of the elements of modern pop culture; so I’ve seen it up close, often, and from all sides – The music industry doesn’t give a fuck about me. It doesn’t give a fuck about my mental health. It doesn’t give a fuck about my bank balance. The longer I’ve been hustling, the less black people I’ve seen behind the scenes, the more obvious it’s all become. Fuck the lot of them. Here’s a song about being in a cage.”
This isn’t the music of a virtuoso: it’s explorative, daring, meditative, and wild. Lookman describes the inspiration behind his new album, “I love the deliberateness, cleanness, and colour of modern music, but I also miss the complete chaos of old, like some Captain Beefheart and Velvet Underground records, or even 90s HipHop records with the peaking 808s and static compressed vocals al la Wu-Tang, or blues records like Robert Johnson’s. Somewhere in there is the carnival I’ve been searching for. This entire album could very well be a love letter to Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground.”