Maybe I'm just getting old, but it's hard as heck to relate to modern music these days. I mean, all you need to do is turn on a black radio station to witness the ridiculousness of lyrics that obsess on black pathology and private parts. Why, just yesterday, at around 4 p.m., while I was on my way to pick my child up from an after school activity, I heard an ode to alcoholism on the radio, with a gang of dummies shouting proudly how tow up they are from a day's worth of drunken debauchery.
I guess you get what you pay for when you find talent not in small clubs or music schools or church pews, but fresh from the stack of portfolio headshots of some modeling agency somewhere. Talent be damned.
Which is what makes the singing duo Kindred The Family Soul so incredibly beautiful to me. To actually discover singers who seem like they were given their big break because of their talent is rare enough, but for Fatin and Aja to be a married couple with children and mortgages and seemingly normal, everyday lives, makes Kindred seem about as regular as Nick and me.
As a couple that's been writing together for a decade, willing to allow people to peek into our relationship and share in our good days and the bad ones too, Nick and I are appreciative of the sentiments that Kindred expresses in their music, from their adoration of each other (“Where Would I Be”), to their dedication to one another, (“Rhythm of Love,” and “This House”), to their recognition of the struggles of marriage and parenting (“Woman First”). Be clear: This isn't your everyday, run-of-the-mill, black Hip Hop station fare; Kindred's music is refreshingly honest, insightful, funny, head-noddingly familiar and fly. Nick and I have loved them from the beginning–quickly adopted their hit, “Far Away,” as the ultimate African American married couple anthem. What black couple couldn’t identify with the lyrics of this beautiful song?
I’m tired of broken street glass
Not getting no ass
Unless the baby's sleep, but even then seems like we’re trying to creep
Tired of paying taxes, sending emails and faxes
Tired of crooked cops, tired of black folk complaining that crime don’t stop
I wanna go to a place where lovers go
Do the things that lovers do
No stress, a sweet caress from me to you
I wanna do the things we used to do,
Say the things we used to say
Just lay, everyday (all day)
Far away from here/far away from here/far away from here
Just jump in a taxicab, pack a bag, and get away fast.
You better tell it, Kindred.