Tracks

I could write a lot of great things about this new Benjamin Booker song, the first single from his upcoming album Witness (June 2), and they’d all be true. If you were wondering if he could follow up his excellent debut, this is all the proof you’ll need. As far as the ideas behind the song and LP, I’ll leave that to Booker:

“Growing up in the south, I experience my fair share of racism but I managed to move past these things without letting them affect me too much. I knew I was a smart kid and that would get me out of a lot of problems. In college, if I got pulled over for no reason driving I’d casually mention that I was a writer at the newspaper and be let go soon after by officers who probably didn’t want to see their name in print. It wasn’t until Trayvon Martin, a murder that took place about a hundred miles from where I went to college, and the subsequent increase in attention to black hate crimes over the next few years that I began to feel something else. Fear. Real fear. It was like every time I turned on the TV, there I was. DEAD ON THE NEWS. I wouldn’t really acknowledge it, but it was breaking me and my lack of effort to do anything about it was eating me up inside. I fled to Mexico, and for a time it worked. But, outside of Pata Negra, I began to feel heavy again and realized that I might never again be able to feel that weightlessness. I knew then that there was no escape and I would have to confront the problem.”