- Solange released a 33-minute-long visual film for her newest album, “When I Get Home” on ITunes.
- She called the piece on Twitter a Texan film, and the visuals pay homage to her Texas roots though costume design and setting.
- It features visual and sonic cameos from various artists and entertainers, including Phylicia Rashād, Tyler the Creator, Debbie Allen, The Dream, Playboi Carti and more.
Following is a transcript of the video.
– Solange released not a music video, but an over 30-minute-long movie for her newest album, “When I Get Home.” Now, she calls the visuals a Texan film, and honestly, there’s no better way to describe it. She pays homage to her Texan roots through costume design and setting with an Afrofuturist twist. Now, there’s enough visuals in here for yet another 30-minute-long movie, but here are just a few of the references you might’ve missed in the piece. ♪ Call me, even on the way to the show ♪
– [Alana] “When I Get Home” has a mountain of influences, and one major one is black cowboys. Solange told writer Antoine Sargent at her screening that seeing what cowboys do to their bodies for the sake of entertainment is something she relates to. According to an interview in T Magazine, her creative muses include modern dancer and choreographer Diane Madden. The list also includes Missy Elliot, Aaliyah, Rotary Connection, Stevie Wonder’s “Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants,” and the Sun Ra Arkestra who we’ll talk about in a minute. One major influence in the piece was Busby Berkeley, a musical choreographer and director in the ’30s and ’40s. He was known for assembling large groups of dancers into dreamlike kaleidoscopic patterns. Circles were a huge motif in Solange’s video. In addition to the architecture and set designs, the dancers continuously moved in cyclic patterns throughout the film. With kaleidoscopes in mind, the dancers make various shapes to create cyclic, multifaceted, and unified patterns. ♪ I can’t be a singular expression of myself. ♪ ♪ There’s too many parts, too many spaces, ♪ ♪ too many manifestations. ♪
– [Alana] Solange made it no secret that this Texas film was for the culture. “When I Get Home” was teased first on Black Planet, a 2001 social media site that predates MySpace. The platform was made by and for black people to connect and discuss social and political issues. Many credit Black Planet as the precursor to Black Twitter. Solange also included sonic and visual clips from southern entertainers to pay homage to her southern roots. ♪ And now my heart knows no delight. ♪ ♪ I boarded a train, kissed all goodbye. ♪ ♪ If it were possible ♪ ♪ to place you in my brain ♪ ♪ to let you roll and around ♪ ♪ in and out my thought waves. ♪ Artist cameos in the album included Tyler the Creator, Playboy Carti, Devin the Dude, The-Dream, and more. Atlanta rappers Diamond and Princess made it in the film.
– Hold the mic.
– Don’t, please can I hold the mic.
– You can’t.
– [Alana] They’re best known for their feature on “Knuck if You Buck” by Crime Mob. ♪ Yo we knuckin’ and buckin’ ♪ ♪ and ready to fight. ♪
– [Alana] But culture also seeps into motifs used throughout the video.
– Do nothing without intention.
– Solange’s team reached out to YouTuber Goddess Lulu Belle and used her clip about the importance of Florida water. ♪ Black faith ♪ ♪ still can’t be washed away ♪ ♪ not even in that Florida water ♪
– She tells INSIDER that she was in complete shock when Solange’s team reached out and believes that, quote, “Solange wanted to send a message of power, sisterhood, and intention.” In many cultures, when used with intention, Florida water is known for its healing. Solange even used Florida water as an accessory in her 2018 Met Gala outfit. In African and Latin cultures, it’s also used as a way to honor our ancestors and our roots. In this scene, time progresses through joy and hardship in a small rural town, but the importance of this kiddie pool is a constant. Over time, the protagonist in this scene also becomes covered in more and more roots until she eventually becomes a tree herself. This tangled encapsulation of roots also mirrors the diamond-covered man at the start and end of the video. The way Solange dances around the man is striking. She’s also wearing the same gems, carrying the same beautiful roots with her. This powerful space shuttle scene can be seen as a nod to Houston, home to one of the most famous space centers in America. But another undeniable element in the film is Afrofuturism. This genre is a way to reimagine what a limitless future could look like in an African diaspora or if colonialism never happened.
– We are home.
– [Alana] It also looks at technological achievements through the lens of African culture.
– Mark Dery coined the term Afrofuturism more than 25 years ago in his essay “Black to the Future,” which could also be why these DeLoreans from the movie “Back to the Future” were used. Solange is heavily influenced by Sun Ra.
– Greetings black youth, planet Earth.
– What it is, what it is.
– [Alana] An Afrofuturist pioneer known for experimental music, his big band, the Arkestra, continues to carry on his name. Overall, “When I Get Home” shows Solange’s Houston as a safe, multifaceted space rooted in tradition with a limitless future. From cattle ranches to outer galaxies, Solange visualizes the freedom of feeling at home. OK, guys, so what were your favorite tracks on the album? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe.