Thursday, November 24, 2011
I'm not going to put up a link for this one, because I don't feel like getting scolded by the pesky fellows at the RIAA, but it's not too hard of an album to find. I got into Neneh a little late, but thanks to my bud Corey, it was better late than never. Neneh has an undeniable dual appeal, especially for a black female artist. She was and is considered highly relevant both in the punk/indie and mainstream scenes. Originally from Sweden, she was born from an African father and Swedish mother. Both her father and stepfather were musicians, and her mother was an artist, paving an encouraging path for her to openly express her creative visions. I could write a hefty amount of text about her upbringing and how it produced such a passionate unique individual, but it would be much more informative to just go here.
In the eighties she was part of several underground punk groups such as New Age Steppers and Rip Rig + Panic, was a steady contributor to early trip-hop groups, and fashioned herself a very notable solo career. Because her success was a product of her own ideals, and not manufactured by a major label, Neneh was something of a humanitarian. She functioned as a role model and was a much needed voice of positivity for low-income inner city youth (especially girls) in the early nineties. It was very much a form of pop feminism, but without all of the spite and arrogance of the original movement that turned so many conservative minds away from it. Because of her pop culture accessibility and success, she most likely inspired a lot of troubled kids around that time who would have otherwise fallen into the pitfalls set for them by their perceived class, race, and gender 'limitations.' Nearly all of the songs on Raw Like Sushi carry a vital and progressive message and were aimed at bettering one's self, being strong and aware, and not settling for the hands you were dealt.
It's unfortunate to think that this kind of thing was once the message the radio was sending out to kids in comparison to the morally questionable, "get money fuck bitches", intellectually devoid dreck playing nowadays. A damn shame, but as Vonnegut said, "so it goes..."