Curtis Mayfield was a revolutionary. A guitar was his weapon of choice; the singer’s gentle voice bristled with righteous dissent. Mayfield’s music lobbied black pride and self-determination, while probing every ripple of systemic racism and urban mismanagement. It’s a tragedy that his words seem so relevant, so vital in 2017. That we still have them to sooth strange times is something to be thankful for.
Is soul’s long-reigning monarch about to hang up her floor-length fur coat? For five decades the throne has been reserved for just one Queen: Aretha Franklin. A galaxy of pop stars have built their careers by drawing from her ravishing R&B and punchy messages of empowerment, but they all bow down when Lady Soul enters the room.