Salaam Remi seems to be readying something kinda special with his upcoming album Black On Purpose. Not only will it be filled with jams like lead single “Black Love,” it will also be coming with a serious message about what it means to be Black in America. That message was driven home with star-studded single “Is It Because I’m Black?” and it’s continued with the newest release “Comin’ Outta The Rain” featuring soul brother Bilal.
The song itself marries Salaam’s hip-hop sensibilities and Bilal’s jazzy sense of soul quite beautifully. The first thing we hear when the track starts is a break beat that’s soon joined by searing saxophone and drowsy piano. The combination of sounds give the track a dream-like quality that Bilal takes full advantage of, twisting his signature vocals around it to create the narrative of a man finally waking from a fog and starting his life over.
The video imagines a different sort of rude awakening, however. It finds B sunbathing in what appears to be a Brooklyn park as the camera shows the singer mostly inverted and seemingly moving backward through time. The odd perspective creates a feeling of discomfort that mirrors how he must feel as white passersby gawk and stare at him. At one point, a woman actually approaches him and asks what he’s doing in the park before calling the police. It’s an eerie situation that we can only assume is meant to evoke the situation in Central Park that happened earlier this year. The incident is enough to reset Bilal’s day as we are taken back to the beginning of his journey to do as the lyrics say and start again.
Black On Purpose is shaping up to be a musical event in the making. We’d suggest you keep an eye on the project’s website to see what developments are coming next. You can also listen to and watch Salaam Remi and Bilal collaborate to create something meaningful with “Comin’ Outta The Rain” right here.