In between the falsettos, love, and passion, R&B has always included socially conscious messages. Legendary R&B titans The O’Jays are aware of this as their comeback single “Above The Law” declares a call to action for social justice in 2018.
Written by fellow legend Betty Wright, “Above The Law” mixes gritty soul with underlying truths about society’s view on race relations, women’s rights, child labor, political warfare and more. The lyrics, belted with compassion from Eddie Levert Sr. and Walter Williams Sr. as well as Eric Nolan Grant, questions just how much it takes to live above the law. Poignant lyrics include “As it works in your favor/you’re above the law” and “The game is fixed/pure politricks.”
“If you listen to the lyrics, it answers the question why we chose to release this song first,” Eddie Levert Sr. says in a press release. “The song speaks for itself. And whether it’s us saying it or any concerned person: nobody is above the law. The law is there to punish the guilty and protect the innocent no matter who you are.”
Walter Williams Sr. also shared the importance of the song as well as voting in this year’s midterm elections. “We live in an extraordinary but troubling time,” he said. “The opening verse of the song states ‘The man with the pen in his hand changes that lay and the law of the land,’ We are all blessed to live in this great country, but to keep it great it requires us to be vigilant in preserving our democracy. This means voting regardless of the obstacles put in front of us and also making sure that our laws are followed. Nobody is above the law, and we need to keep it this way.”
“Above The Law” is apart of the Rock and Roll Inductees’ final album, The Last Word. The album will include the group’s signature sound with contributions from Wright, Bruno Mars and songwriting mavens Gamble & Huff, who previously worked with the group. Their first album in 20 years will arrive on streaming platforms Feb. 22 on S-Curve Records.
If you are an R&B or renowned music lover, you’re aware of The O’Jays 60-year legacy. The group scored their first hit in 1972 with “Backstabbers” and continued their reign with singles “Love Train,” “Put Your Hands Together,” “For The Love of Money,” “Livin For The Weekend” and so much more. The group has 10 gold albums, 9 platinum albums, and 10 #1 hits.
Check out the lyric video above.
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