NC Music Love Army releases fourth and final EP of October, a Hip Hop album entitled Train Coming by Dasan Ahanu, Jrusalam, Funkleberry and Apple Juice Kid, on October 28 — one week before North Carolina’s general election
Inspired by the Forward Together Movement, which brought Moral Mondays to North Carolina, budding Hip Hop producer and Durty Durham/Purple Flame Dojo member Funkleberry (Durham, NC) wrote an original track for the Love Army, sampling the words of Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, and enlisting esteemed producer Apple Juice Kid (Durham) — who has made instrumentals for Mos Def, Azealia Banks and Wale and co-directs the Beat Making Lab — to write the beat. At one Moral Monday, Barber speaks of a “train coming,” naming a number of things the movement would do to protect citizens’ voting rights: “fight extremism…defend the ballot…defend the Constitution…encourage voter turnout regardless of party…and sue to restore voting rights and educational equality.” Funkleberry also samples “Ballad of a Hungry Mother,” a song by local troubadour Phil Cook (Megafaun).
Next, Funkleberry recruited the prolific poet, emcee and educator Dasan Ahanu (Durham), who has already appeared on “Get Free” from the Love Army’s first album, We Are Not For Sale, and Hip Hop craftsman and Raleigh native Jrusalam to write and perform verses. Ahanu introduces the song by describing “a movement building slowly…a battle for control,” noting how old money has dirtied politics, and those most affected are people of color. Jrusalam offers a dense and poetic verse that he deems “a straightforward warning to the corrupt political-corporate forces of oppression.” In it, he calls this government’s treatment of its people and lack of equal voting rights “obscene” but predicts the protest movement will cause “a shattered glass ceiling of an economic bubble.” Ahanu returns to detail the courage of a friend, activist and teacher from Hillside High School in Durham, who spoke and was arrested at a Moral Monday protest. “Her willingness to fight for her students and other teachers is amazing,” Ahanu said.
The album features remixes of “Train Coming” by noted North Carolina beatsmith and emcee, K-Hill (Durham), who has made tracks for the likes of Big Daddy Kane; by young, eclectic beatmaker Tanaka (Durham); and by Tareq Nazlawy (Amsterdam), a producer and songwriter primarily known for his work in alt-rock and metal whose remix of “My Body Politic” was released earlier this month. The album is mastered by Jeff Carroll at Bluefield Mastering (Raleigh) and original album art comes from Saba Barnard (Durham), with layout and design by Skillet Gilmore (Raleigh).
Look for “Train Coming” on Bandcamp on Tuesday, Oct. 28. This release caps off a month of EPs from the Love Army, all containing originals and remixes: You Can’t Tear Us Down (I Was Totally Destroying It, Lutie Cain), My Body Politic (Caitlin Cary and Shirlette Ammons) and Senator’s Lament (Mary Johnson Rockers). Configurations of the ever-growing collective of like-minded musicians will perform on Oct. 21 at an Action NC/NC Women United event and at the “Know Your Poll Party” at The Pinhook in Durham on Oct. 26, the only Sunday of early voting. The collective aims to motivate listeners to vote in this year’s general election and continue their investment in North Carolina’s sociopolitical environment after the polls close.