By Miya Jones
The Black Lives Matter movement still has momentum. Protests continue after the deaths of several Black people such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and now shooting of Jacob Blake. Steel pannist Tee Tee Solo has dealt with the refreshed social justice movement in the way most artists do, music. Her song “Trouble in These Streets” urges listeners to pay attention to the fires burning within Black communities and strive towards peace.
The makings of the song actually started years ago. She finalized it in 2020 as police brutality made its way back to the forefront.
“The most poignant event that influenced me to put pen to paper was the death of Eric Garner,” said Solo. “I remember watching the video. I felt deeply saddened and confused as to how anyone could hold so much anger, hate and blatant disregard for someone’s life, enough to choke him to death. The finishing touches were added in 2020 when I was sitting at home. I saw on Instagram the viral video of George Floyd pleading in sheer pain and terror for his life. I was compelled to release the song that week.”
The song, written and produced by Solo, exudes unity through her lyrics and audience participation.
“This is the first time in my life that I have seen so many people, especially of my generation, coming together to speak out against racial injustice in neighborhoods that are so close to home,” said the Suffolk County resident. “This fight is not something that can be won alone. We have to come together in unity and solidarity, rising up together to stand for change.”
The beat and flow of lyrics gives off a sense of urgency and seriousness that fits with her message. Solo’s flow starts off calm. Then it ramps up. She describes the horrors that take place in Black communities such as mothers crying over broken families and police brutality.
The lyric video flashes images of Black Lives Matter protestors, police sirens and murals and social media posts dedicated to Floyd and Garner. The song gives off a feeling of unity through the blending of different genres that makes the song just as diverse as the protestors marching in the streets for equality.
She ends the song, encouraging the listeners to put their hands up, stand up and rise up against inequality.
For the full lyric video click below.