Solange Says a Conversation Between Two White Men Inspired 'A Seat at the Table'

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13:  Singer Solange attends Prabal Gurung Spring 2016 during New York Fashion Week: The Shows  at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 13, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

Solange Says a Conversation Between Two White Men Inspired 'A Seat at the Table'

She had to put it into music.

Published December 8, 2016

Solange has been met with all sorts of praise following the release of her album A Seat at the Table, and rightfully so, earning the singer her first number-one album. While she sadly didn't see any Grammy nominations this year, she has been sparking a series of influential and important conversations regarding race.

In a new interview, the singer opens up about the project's conception, detailing how a conversation between two white men "haunted" her, resulting in the project now known as A Seat at the Table.

Back in 2013, Solange was slammed on Twitter for making a commentary about how white journalists writing about R&B need to know about "deep Brandy album cuts." She denied the opportunity to appear on the New York Times podcast to further elaborate at the time, and as a result, two white men discussed the situation without her. 

"I went to Solange’s concert and I noted who her audience was," one white journalist shared with host Jon Caramanica years ago. "And if I were her, I'd be careful of making these statements because I'd be careful not to bite the hand that feeds me."

Solange confesses during her new interview that she couldn't get their words out of her head, forcing her to address the situation through her creative talents.

"That was kind of the turning point in the transition for me writing the album that is now A Seat at the Table," Solange admits. "I began to think a lot about that conversation and replaying it, and it haunted me. And it haunted my mother to hear someone telling her daughter, 'don’t bite the hand that feeds you.' And also the racial subtleties — are not so subtle — of what that encompasses when you say that to a Black woman. Then you connect it by saying, 'Do you know who's buying your records?'"

To those paying close attention, that quote may sound familiar. The singer addresses the conversation directly on her track "Don't You Wait" with the lyrics "Now, I don't want to bite the hand that'll show me the other side, no / But I didn't want to build the land that has fed you your whole life, no / Don't you find it funny?"

Take a listen to Solange's entire podcast with host Helga Davis in full, below.

Written by KC Orcutt

(Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)


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