Solange has revealed that the backlash over her comments about critics covering R&B inspired her new album ‘A Seat At The Table’.
The singer criticised music journalists in 2013 for not “understand the culture of R&B” before writing about the genre.
Solange was later invited on the New York Times podcast to discuss the subject of “cultural tourism”, but declined. Speaking on the podcast, then host Jon Caramanica responded to Solange’s comments by suggesting that she was “biting the hand that feeds you”.
He said: “The only reason Solange’s success quote unquote the past year has even been a thing is because of the same people that she’s lambasting.”
In a recent interview with New York radio station WQXR, Solange said that Caramanica’s remarks were “the turning point in the transition for me writing the album that is now ‘A Seat at the Table’.”
“I began to think a lot about that conversation and replaying it, and it haunted me,” she told host Helga Davis. “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?'”
“I was essentially being told to shut up,” she adds.
A reference to the incident appears on ‘A Seat at the Table’ track, ‘Don’t You Wait’. In the song, she sings: “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?”
‘Cranes In The Sky’, one of the standouts from Solange’s new album, was recently nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance.
The singer was also among the first acts announced for next year’s Primavera music festival.