“How much more suffering are we going to take?,” asks rapper and singer Miss Storm in the fiery first verse of “Quicksand,” her latest single and call to action. The exasperation in her voice is evident — but so is her determination. She’s speaking for millions who are distraught about the epidemic of state violence against African Americans. Miss Storm names the names of those who have become world-famous for tragic reasons: George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor. She does it to remind us what we’ve lost and how far we still have to go.
There’s always been a powerful political dimension to Miss Storm’s writing. She leads with her intelligence and quick wit and never hesitates to tackle difficult subjects. But she’s never been quite as incisive, relentless, or essential as she is on the upcoming Black Dreams, an uncompromising concept set about the African American experience. This is Miss Storm in the raw, telling her story and the story of countless others like her, making her pain and her rage manifest, inspiring listeners, pushing for social change, and finding solidarity with others in the struggle. If you’re frustrated with the slow pace of progress in a troubled nation, you’ve found your album.
On “Quicksand,” a Black Dreams highlight, Miss Storm is joined by a collaborator who is every bit as talented and incendiary as she is — the dazzling Madam X, who burns down the back half of the song with a verse that pulsates with urgency. The styles of the two rappers are perfectly complementary: Miss Storm is relentless and emotional, Madam X darts and slashes and toys with listeners’ expectations. Together they’re an unstoppable team, natural partners and effortless consciousness-raisers, and a legitimate force for enlightenment.
In the moving clip for “Quicksand,” which Miss Storm co-directed herself, the two vocalists are a formidable force. They begin the video at a cemetery — in mourning, for reasons we all know too well. By the end, they’re together on a barren beach on Jekyl Island – said to be the exact place where the last slave ship The Wanderer brought the last known groups of enslaved Africans sold into captivity in America in the 1800s – facing the sea, wringing some hard-won optimism from their hard experience. In the video, Miss Storm and Madam X have War Paint on their faces as they perform an African water ritual; water is used as an important prayer form to summon ancestors. In between, we’re treated to footage of a spirited rally on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles and an assembly of marchers determined to see wrongs redressed. It’s a reminder that while the wheels of justice sometimes turn slowly, turn they always do.
Q: When and where did you find your passion for making music?
A I’ve always loved music as a little girl and as a teenager it became therapeutic for me. Music is my favorite way of communicating my feelings and expressing myself creatively. I love the challenge of pouring my story into a song and giving it to the world.
Q: Your music tends to cover serious, relevant topics. Why do you feel it is important to incorporate politics and other relevant social obstacles into your music?
A: It is my responsibility as an artist to use my voice to speak on these sensitive topics that impact my community. I want to inspire motivate and bring people together with my music. Music is a powerful tool and I am very aware of the younger generation that is listening and being influenced by music. I am teaching the upcoming generation of female artist that they have a choice to talk about anything they want to and to be bold and fearless in doing so.
Q: What message were you trying to deliver to audiences through your latest release, “Quicksand”?
A: I’m reminding my listeners who “we” are speaking directly to the Strong Powerful Descendants of Enslaved Africans! I’m encouraging them to remain resilient and fearless during times of Global Grieving. I wanted to express to them that we are all in this together! That we all are feeling the pain and exhaustion from being Black in America especially during this pandemic.
Q: What was it like collaborating with Madam X? What is it about you two teaming up that makes this newest song and video have the impact it does on listeners and viewers?
A: Madame X is an amazing power house vocalist that I’ve admired for years. After I wrote the song, I knew she was the one that would deliver the inescapable emotion needed for this record. Her voice wakes souls! and that was necessary for Quicksand. We have worked in many areas of the entertainment world together in the past and it was due time for us to collaborate on a song. This is Madame X ‘s debut as a hip hop artist and I am so happy that she accepted my invitation to join forces with me on this project.
Q: What was your creative vision for the “Quicksand” music video? How did you go about executing it visually, and what was your overall experience shooting the video?
A: My intentions are to give my audience an educational and entertaining experience while honoring my Ancestors. It was imperative for us to bring the energy of our Ancestors to this record. It’s not just a song it’s a history lesson It’s a spiritual it’s a war cry and it’s a modern-day slave hymn. We started the video out at “The Haunted Colonial Park Cemetery” in Savanah Georgia and finished filming the visuals at Driftwood Beach in Jekyll Island Georgia because our African American roots run deep and trace back hundreds of years on this Island. There are lot of moving pieces to this visual from our clothes the colors were wearing to the war paint our face every detail was symbolic.
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