It seems as if the overall plan came together organically. After spending a good part of 2022 putting together a collaborative project with artists from The Mother Continent and The Diaspora. A bigger idea was spawned by legend-in-the-making, hip hop artist Chance The Rapper. His new works include titles such as “Child of God,” “A Bar About A Bar” and “The Highs & The Lows” which celebrate Black artists and intertwine the worlds of art, music and cinematography hopes to change the game through forward-thinking ideas that are compelling conversations and meditations on Black life. As of yet it’s not known if these titles are verbal / lyrical calisthenics or if these will be included on his highly anticipated new project, “Star Line Gallery” set to be released by years end. With the release of his most recent single “Highs and Lows” with Joey Bada$$ he attached a message to his fanbase. “Thank you to all my fans and supporters that have been there since day one,” Chance said in the intro to the track. “I wanted to give you guys the opportunity—to all my real fans—to be the first to hear my newest piece, ‘The Highs & The Lows’ featuring Joey Bada$$.” He continued, “Because it’s so hard sometimes to connect with all of you, I need a favor. After you hear this song, I want you to send this to five people that maybe didn’t get a chance to hear it. Throw it in your group chat, send it to your best friend, or just play it out loud because the people gotta know The Return is now!”
Along with good friend and collaborator on the song “Wraithe,” Chance the Rapper spent the last week in Ghana with eight students from Chicago whom they brought over to learn about their roots in an experiential environment. They took this weekend to announce what they hope will be a galvanizing event called the “Black Star Line Festival” to take place in Accra, Ghana. The music & arts festival will be set in the historic Black Star Square on January 6, 2023, and aims to be a bridge between Black people and artists of the Diaspora and the globe with the continent.
During the announcement, Chance stated “When Vic and I started our careers and started touring, we did shows all over the U.S. Eventually we started touring in Europe, we did shows in Asia, South America, Central America, but we never had a chance to play our music for the people who support us the most. When we came here and touched down and felt the love that we received and the fans that we got to connect with, the understanding for the need for the connection became apparent to us. We need a music festival bringing major artists to Ghana. This is what we’re working to create.”
The historic Black Star Square is a monument to the political freedom that was fought for and won by Ghanaians in 1957. Ghana was the first Sub-Saharan African country to free itself from colonialism, under the leadership of its first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah––many nations on the continent soon followed. Dr. Nkrumah was inspired by Jamaican-born revolutionary Marcus Garvey, who believed in a free Africa and a global connection between the people of the continent and Black people globally. When Dr. Nkrumah developed Ghana’s flag and principles, he insisted that these principles were key to the forward mobility of its people.
The festival title’s origins were inspired by civil rights leader Marcus Garvey’s iconic Black Star Line. Founded in 1919, and operated by Black people, the line would link America, the Caribbean, and Africa, to global shipping and tourism opportunities. The Black Star Line was a symbol of pride, not only for Africans, but also for Black people in all ports of call. After nearly 40 years, the Ghanian government launched their fleet with the same name, in homage to Garvey, and even added a black star to the country’s new flag. Sounds like a 2023 plan!
With the weekend upon us, you might want to take a look at what’s popping at Joe’s Pub between Thursday, July 21st and Saturday July 23rd as the First Ladies of Disco: Retro Music Box sets up shop at the venue. The First Ladies of Disco is an explosive, extraordinary musical journey of some of the most iconic soul, pop, rock and R&B dance songs to ever have topped the music charts. Join Norma Jean Wright, formerly of Chic, Linda Clifford, and Original Weather Girl, Martha Wash, as they sing their hits and give tribute to some of their favorite artists and songs. Sounds like a winner!!!
Over and out. Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife.