Label: August Greene LLC
Release date: 15.03.2019
August Greene culminates years of mutual respect and friendship, channeling the musicians’ various talents into a cohesive project. The perfect marriage of jazz, hip-hop and soul, it’s music that just is. This is black expression the way God intended: earnest, unfiltered, and harmonious. Throughout August Greene, you feel the abundance of Glasper’s rolling keys, the sheer honesty of Com’s lyrics, and the nuanced subtlety of Riggins’ drum work. It’s a fluid sound that’s sorely needed in today’s landscape, and a teachable moment for the next wave of creators. “I feel like we need to set the bar for this generation of musicians and producers,” Riggins says. “There’s a lot of computer-driven music. This is the opposite of that. We’re showing you can still use your creative muscle on an instrument to generate your own sound.” August Greene is a meditative offering that stands tall against the era of “fake news.” “They body snatching black girls in D.C. / Politics and propaganda on the TV,” Common observes on the opening track. On “Nirvana,” the lyricist uses a stuttering percussive loop and faint piano chords to search his inner being: “Thought I was gonna fly when Obama became the king … when it’s all done, will I have heaven’s dress code, and been able to let God and let go.” As Com puts it, Glasper and Riggins’ soundtrack allowed him to open up in ways he hadn’t done previously. Like on “Fly Away,” for instance, where he riffs on the public relationships he’s had. Other songs, like “Black Kennedy,” feel spacious and scenic. “I got to go new places with the music, and it didn’t have to fit within a genre for me to participate on it,” he says. “This gave me an experience I haven’t had in a long time, so I want people to feel that. I want this to be a cleansing of whatever doesn’t feel good or inspiring.” In the end, August Greene speaks to those pushing through the dark for brighter days. It's a masterpiece from which virtue can shine. “I want people to go on the ride and be open,” Glasper says. “We just created and it became a sound. I want people to approach this with an open mind and without expectations.” —Marcus J. Moore.