Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers have officially announced their follow-up to the critically-acclaimed Dead, titled White Men Are Black Men Too.
So, why the name? They explain below, through an email exchange (of which we’re sure the trio had many) regarding the title — mainly, they’re not going to “cater to what people might think, as if it’s a negative thing” (it isn’t):
We came at it from a different angle, a positive angle. It’s got issues of race and so what? Why should alarm bells start ringing, even though in general conversations race, politics, sex and religion are always the subject matter? Why should it be discussed behind closed doors and never confronted head on?
How do we help tackle one of the biggest hinderances in people’s lives and the world… by not putting the question forward and not letting people debate positively or negatively about the statement?
Motown Music helped change the world, made it expectable for Blacks to be on radio and seen on TV, MJ did it too. Martin Luther King wanted equality and achieved it to some degree. But, after all that, are things equal in this world? F*** no. I still want to ask for it (equality) backed with the best music we’ve ever recorded. A Pop album, our interpretation of what a Pop album should be.
Weight with words, which is the title plus the Pop sensibility of the songs (respectively). I wanna stand for something which I helped make. Folk will complain about absolutely anything… even [if it’s] from the purest of intentions you just can’t win. We don’t make music to please other people or write certain lyrics to do so, either. Why start now? When the title was first put forward everybody was excited and 100% there was no fear. That same commitment needs to be carried on to make it work despite worries after it’s been digested.
So, there you have it. White Men Are Black Men Too is released 6th April via Big Dada. The first single from that project, the self-proclaimed Pop/Rock record ‘Rain Or Shine’, can be streamed below.
In related news, Young Fathers will also be joining other acts for performances in South Africa as part of British Council‘s Connect ZA programme (you can read more on that here). Those live-streamed performances will take place 27th-28th February in Johannesburg and Cape Town, respectively.