With social justice taking the front seat on current political movements over the last few months, artists from all different backgrounds found themselves with an influx of thoughts and emotions itching to be shared. A consistent theme I’ve heard from many of these artists is that there is so much going on and so much to be said, that it feels overwhelming to try to create, let alone release, quality music that encompasses the intended message. However, now that we have been sitting in this seemingly stagnant climate of unrest for a few months, it appears these messages and ideas are finally beginning to bubble up to the creative surface.
Mic Carr’s latest album, “Griot de Hope” is no exception. As his fifth album, the Dickson, Tennessee native takes a more introspective and philosophical approach. Through lineage research, Carr learned of his West African roots. He combines his research and feelings about it with commentaries on the current (and past) political climate surrounding social justice. His message is hope. While the album sometimes addresses difficult topics, Mic Carr makes sure each song is laced with the understanding that change is possible, that positivity is everything, and that hope is worth holding.
Rooted, the single from the album, captures the essence of everything Carr is trying to convey. Guided by heavy subs and catchy 808’s, Rooted leans toward the trap side of hip hop, with Carr’s and TERRENCE615’s laid back vocals creating a light, melodic mood. It exemplifies themes of authenticity, loyalty, and perseverance – all of which are consistent throughout the album.
With lyrics like “But you know hope's on my sweater, Tennessee charm yeah love us, different cloth is where I'm cut cut,” Carr addresses both his roots (hence the track title, Rooted) in Tennessee, as well as his unwavering optimism about the future. Ultimately Carr utilizes “Griot de Hope” as an entire album of positive manifestation.
Balancing his time between Nashville and Cincinnati, Mic says we can expect more music, more merch, and more hope on the horizon. The concept of hope resonates so much with Carr, he created an entire lifestyle brand around the word. He calls it “H.O.P.E” or as his website states, "[We are] Hosts of Positive Energy [who are] Helping Our Peers Exceed." The brand focuses on art, community and clothes, while maintaining a consistency of positive and uplifting energy. Check out the official website here, and be sure to follow Mic on Spotify and Instagram to stay up to date!