Solange Shares How White Male Critics Inspired ‘A Seat At The Table’
“Now, I don’t want to bite the hand that’ll show me the other side, no / But I didn’t want to build the land that has fed you your whole life, no / Don’t you find it funny?”
The lyrics to “Don’t You Wait” are more than just a friendly f**k you to Solange’s unknowledgeable critics. In fact, the A Seat at the Table track was a straight point of inspiration behind the entire project.
Speaking with Helga Davis’ Q2 music podcast on Monday (Dec. 5), the singer shared her musical and spiritual journey between her debut album and the critically acclaimed gem she released this year. After she debatably crossed over the mainstream with her glowing EP True in 2013, she came under fire for informing white music critics to be well versed in R&B before commenting on the genre. During her infamous Twitter rant, she was invited to New York Times’ Jon Caramanica’s podcast. After she had refused, Caramanica and another guest discussed the singer anyway. “So you know, first of all, let’s talk about biting the hand that feeds you,” Caramanica said about her new white fan base. “If I was Solange, I would be a little bit worried about that.”
The comment hit Solo’s heartstrings, causing her to pen “Don’t You Wait.”
“That was kind of the turning point in the transition for me writing the album that is now A Seat at the Table,” she said. “I began to think a lot about that conversation and replaying it, and it haunted me. And it haunted my mother to hear someone telling her daughter ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you.’ And also the racial subtleties — are not so subtle — of what that encompasses when you say that to a black woman. Then you connect it by saying ‘Do you know who’s buying your records?’”
The universe has now brought good vibes Solange’s way. The album went straight to No. 1 on the Billboard charts and granted her a Grammy nomination for the album’s breakout single, “Cranes In The Sky.”
Check out the interview below.