Outside our confines they talk cray about us. One thing for certain, two things for sure though, we New Yorkers grind. That’s the cost, bosses (real or aspiring) pay. Singer, songwriter, producer Rahsaan Patterson knows of that frantic pace and was at a place in his life where he could pump the brakes and recharge. Now seven years later, he’s back to getting it. “I’ve earned the right to dictate when my creativity flows and when to utilize it. This was the longest amount of time that I have ever allowed myself to make an album. This time I allowed myself the room to breathe and allow the music to tell me what I need to do.”
Had to think about that for a second; that brother has put in work. We are talking over three and a half decades in the public eye. With that amount of time invested it’s safe to say that he’s laid a few bricks in the building of the recently passed Black Music Month. When asked what he feels his contributions were he offered, “Aside from the quality level and class of my music I produced throughout my career, I think it would be my individuality, the authenticity of who I am. When I started my recording career 22 years ago I was the brother you saw on the streets every day, but being presented as a product in the music industry was not the norm. I was the skinny kid with blonde streaks in his afro dancing in a window in my video [“Stop By”]. But that was me. I walked different, talked different and sounded different, and that’s who I was. The people who gravitated to me appreciated that transparency along with what I did creatively.”
After further thought he added sentiments on the vehicle that introduced him to the business, the Disney Channel’s “Kids Incorporated.”
“It took me YEARS, well into my 30s, to realize what it meant to be a little Black boy on national television. ‘The Kid’ was a character with some depth as well as talent and that was a rarity on television at that time. People still come with testimonials on how the show affected them. So in 2019, I look around and see my influence on artists that can afford to be as free as they want to be without the stigma. “
As well as an inspiration to a younger generation, as of May 19, Patterson became a competitor for chart position with the release of his new studio album, number seven, “Heroes & Gods.” Artists, celebrities and athletes currently wear the titles of heroes and gods, yet neglect the responsibilities these words bear. Could be that the times they hear those words it pertains to them as individuals, instead of us as a collective. Patterson, however, sees no barriers: “We have some powerful and majestic energy that resides in us and throughout our lives we’re taught to repress that. The title is a reminder to all of us of the legacy that we built here, and the legacy that we will leave in time needs a collective effort in preserving.” With the album buoyed by the lead single “Sent From Heaven,” the song like the album beautifully illustrates Patterson’s keen abilities as a songwriter. “I have been influenced by classic material and artists. This is something that is missing from today’s climate,” said Patterson. “Some songs might have a melody but how many will truly resonate with us 40 years later? As a songwriter and artist, it is important to insert that part of my
Patterson can be seen July 11 as part of the BAM R&B Festival at MetroTech. Celebrating its 25th year, BAM’s longest-running music series champions the adventurous voices of R&B, from music legends to bold new voices in Brooklyn and across the globe. The free concert series is not only a hub for creative performances but a celebration of the impact of rhythm and blues on contemporary culture.
Over and out, y’all. Bound for New Orleans! Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife.