Solange’s “A Seat at the Table”

Released: September 30, 2016

Genre: Neo Soul • funk • R&B

Label: Saint Records • Columbia

Producer: Solange Knowles • Raphael Saadiq • Dave Longstreth • Sir Dylan • Sampha • Kwes • Patrick Wimberly • Adam Bainbridge • John Kirby • Troy Johnson • Dave Andrew Sitek • Bryndon Cook • Questlove • Ray Angry • Majical Cloudz • Olugbenga • Sean Nicholas Savage • Q-Tip


Solange Piaget Knowles is such an amazing talent. Many people are always going to compare her work to her older sister Beyonce, but they are so diffrent musically. Solange’s work has been CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED AND IT ANGERS ME, because one thing about Ms. Knowles, is she’s going to give you QUALITY.

Moving on, 2016 was a wonderful year for music. Artists like Rihanna, Kanye West, Tweet, K. Michelle, Drake, Corinne Bailey Rae & Beyonce dropped quality albums that year. However, it was Solange’s A Seat at the Table that made her sit at the table of the contenders of dropping the best album that year. Damn near the whole decade. A Seat at the Table was three years in the making, being described by Solange as a project on “identity, empowerment, anger,  independence, grief and healing. ASATB showed the world exactly what it is like being Black in america.

With elements of funk, Neo-soul, psychedelic soul & R&B, A Seat at the Table peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200 & Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts respectively..being her first album to do accomplish such a feat. A fun fact is that Solange & Beyoncé became the first sisters (as solo artists) to achieve number one albums on the Billboard 200 chart in the same year. Being certified Gold by the RIAA, the album was also critically acclaimed and was easily one of the top albums released that year. Solange showed the world that she may be Beyoncé’s little sister, but she is in no one’s shadow.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: Solange’s “A Seat at the Table”


Written by Solange Knowles

The first song written for the album is ironically the song that opens the album. Rise contains lyrics of staying true to yourself during times of success and failure. It also means practicing what you preach. “Walk in your ways, so you will wake up and rise” speaks to my soul, because if you’re staying true to yourself and your ways, you will overcome any obstacles. That is the positive growth that one can truly achieve once they come to this realization.

Weary (additional vocals blessed by Tweet)

Written by Solange Knowles

Weary is a true gem on this album. Weary has Solange questioning the state of the world we live in and is basically TIRED & FED UP with it. Why do Black women (Black people in general) have to conceal and hide their true authentic selves to survive in America? Solange expresses how she feels about living in a racist and misogynistic society and everyone should be tired of it as well.

Interlude: The Glory Is in You featuring Master P

Written by Percy Miller

You know, but sometimes you ask yourself “Where’s the peace? Everybody is always talking about peace, but as long you find peace in what you’re doing…then you’re successful, and that’s what people don’t realize. See, you got to do stuff ’til where you can go sleep at night. Cause the glory is, is in you.

Cranes in the Sky

Written by Solange Knowles

Cranes in the Sky was a song Solange wrote 8 years prior to its release. After finishing the album, she revisited the song and the cd Raphael Saadiq gave her of instruments. The mid-tempo ballad explores Solange’s attempts at distracting herself from the pain of the break-up with her ex-husband and father of her child, whom she was with for years.

Solange states that she was working through tons of challenges during that time frame, dealing with self-doubt and trying her best to fill the void that was missing in her life. The song was a top 30 hit on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, certified Gold by the RIAA and won the Grammy for Best R&B performance at the 2017 Grammy Awards ceremony.

Interlude: Dad Was Mad featuring Mathew Knowles

Written by Mathew Knowles

I was the first, one of the first. My first day, a state trooper caught me, put me in the backseat of the car. And meeting the other black kids, was six of us. And seeing all of those parents. And also KKK members having signs. And throwing cans at us, spitting at us. We lived in the threat of death every day, every day.

So I was just lost in this vacuum.
Between integration and segregation and, and racism
That was my childhood.
I was angry for years.
Angry, very angry.


Mad featured by Lil Wayne (additional vocals blessed by Moses Sumney & Tweet)

Written by Solange Knowles & Dwayne Carter

In the interlude prior to this record, Solange’s father Mathew Knowles speaks on his experiences with racism growing up in the south, and how it made him really angry. A lot of our parents, grandparents and elders can relate to that anger. People of that generation like Mathew grew up during the era of the civil rights movement, which isn’t that long ago.

Mad speaks to how we have the right to be angry at the treatment of Black people in America. Our ancestors built this country with their blood, sweat and tears, and to this day we have to express how we suffer from racism, discrimination and oppression in many ways.

We are told we need to let it go, stop complaining, etc. Especially Black women. They are always seen as being angry all of the time, when they are fed up with being conscious and having to defend the actions of our people to people who just don’t get it. Especially during the times where the Black Lives Matter movement, we constantly are having to answer ignorant questions like “Why are they rioting?” “What about black on black crime?” Nevertheless, the song contains a feature from Lil’ Wayne, and the pair made it one of the highlights of the album.

The song was sampled by Rhapsody.

Don’t You Wait

Written by Solange Knowles

Don’t You Wait is a direct response to people who felt like they were entitled to music where Solange did not discuss themes like racial politics, racism, etc. due to the fact that True gave a rock & indie influenced vibe. & during a time where Black people were fed up with the deaths of our Trayvon Martins…our Sandra Blands..our Michael Browns..people want to focus on music where they don’t have to deal with the ugly truth about America? If they were waiting on Solange to bow down to them, don’t hold your breath.

When True was released in 2012, it was a successful EP..but for the people who felt she was “biting the hand that fed her” is complete bullshit because that’s the beauty of being an artist. You do the work that makes YOU happy and passionate about. & Solange comes from proud Black parents. & that’s that on that.

Interlude: Tina Taught Me featuring Tina Knowles Lawson

Written by Tina Knowles Lawson

I think part of it is accepting that it’s so much beauty in being black and that’s the thing that, I guess, I get emotional about because I’ve always known that. I’ve always been proud to be black. Never wanted to be nothing else. Loved everything about it, just…

It’s such beauty in black people, and it really saddens me when we’re not allowed to express that pride in being black, and that if you do, then it’s considered anti-white. No! You just pro-black. And that’s okay. The two don’t go together. 

Because you celebrate black culture, does not mean that you don’t like white culture or that you putting it down. It’s just taking pride in it, but what’s irritating is when somebody says, you know, “They’re racist!”, “That’s reverse racism!” or, “They have a Black History Month, but we don’t have a White History Month!”

Well, all we’ve ever been taught is white history. So, why are you mad at that? Why does that make you angry? That is to suppress me and to make me not be proud.

Don’t Touch My Hair featuring Sampha

Written by Solange Knowles & Sampha Sisay

Don’t Touch My Hair is an ode to Blackness. From a historical perspective, touching a Black woman’s hair is disrespectful, an insult and a racial micro aggression disguised as a compliment. Solange speaks of boundaries non black people need to have, or simply don’t touch her HAIR. 🗣

Interlude: This Moment featuring Master P, Kelsey Lu, Sampha & Devonte Hynes

Written by Percy Miller

If you don’t understand us and understand what we’ve been through, then you probably wouldn’t understand what this moment is about. This is home. This is where we from. This is where we belong

And if it ain’t for the better of the people, nah, ’cause you, you robbing and stealing from the people that been there for so many years, not just come and destroy, and knocking our neighborhoods down. You know, when they come here, you invisible. You know, you don’t even have a number in the system. Nobody cares about you. Everything is about dollars and cents, you know, even when you’re talking the government, you know, even when you’re talking about the, the, the preachers and the people that’s running the community. And we have to show them the evolution of where we come from. I’m about to send a message to the world, like…

Where Do We Go (additional vocals blessed by Sean Nicholas Savage)

Written by Solange Knowles

Where Do We Go speaks about that feeling Black people feel when they have to leave from places they called home due to intimidation, gentrification and many other things.

Interlude: For Us by Us featuring Master P

Written by Master P

And they offered me a million dollar deal, and had the check ready.
Said I wouldn’t be able to use my name. I was fighting my brother, because
Man, you shoulda took the million dollars!
I said ‘No, what you think I’m worth?
If this white man offer me a million dollars
I gotta be worth forty, or fifty…
Or ten or something.
To being able to make “Forbes” and come from the Projects. You know, “Top 40 Under 40.”
Which they said couldn’t be done. Had twenty records on the top “Billboard” at one time.
For an independent company.
Black owned company.
You know, going to the white lady’s house where my Grandmother lived at, and say, look, you don’t have to work here no more Big Mama!
We got more money than the people on St. Charles Street.

And I, I took that anger and said I’mma put it into my music.’
I tell people all the time,
If you don’t understand my record,
You don’t understand me, so this is not for you.

F.U.B.U. featuring The Dream & BJ The Chicago Kid (additional vocals blessed by Tweet)

Written by Solange Knowles & Terius Nash

Get so much from us, then forget us!

Inspired by the FUBU clothing brand (For Us By Us,) F.U.B.U. is a Black empowerment anthem, and should be appreciated more. During its glory days. FUBU was worn by who’s who in the Black entertainment industry, and was solely fo us to wear. In the song, Solange is basically saying this is literally for us (meaning Black people). It is time to love and celebrate our Blackness, and wanted Blackness to be expressed on a huge global level like the actual brand used to be. Like Master P stated in the previous interlude: “If you don’t understand my record, you don’t understand me, so this is not for you.”

Borderline (An Ode to Self Care) featuring Q-Tip

Written by Solange Knowles

Being Black in America can be truly exhilarating, yet exhausting at times. With the modern day slavery that is the incarceration of Black men, to police brutality murdering our people…it can be truly horrible even just watching the news, or even seeing biopics and stories about such topics.

The song is an ode to self-care and has Solange manifesting it more into her life. What I get from Borderline (An Ode to Self-Care) is that it’s okay to want equality and justice, and choose not to watch the news, movies or even look at another day numbered. We can wake up, enjoy a special day and love on our loved ones. The song contains a sample of More Than a Woman by Aaliyah.

Interlude: I Got So Much Magic, You Can Have It featuring Kelly Rowland & Nia Andrews

Written by Solange Knowles, Kelendria Rowland & Nia Andrews

You did it from the get go, get go..
Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go look for magic, yeah.
They not gon’ get it from the get go, get go, get go, get go..
Don’t let, don’t let, don’t let anybody steal your magic, yeah.
But I got so much y’all!
You can have it, yeah

Junie (additional vocals blessed by André 3000)

Written by Solange Knowles

We love a bop! Junie has a whole 70s vibes going on and it is truly flawless!

Interlude: No Limits featuring Master P

Written by Percy Miller

People wanna know what “No Limit” comes from. My grandfather, Big Daddy, was in the military. And, uh, you know, he always said, “Man, them people ain’t gon’ do nothing for us.” So he was like,”Grandson, you need to start your own army.” And that’s where the tanks and the military thing come from.

See, I watched the, the Avon lady in my hood. She popped her trunk and sell her products. So I put all my CDs and cassettes in the back of my trunk and I hit every city, every hood. My grandfather, he said, ‘Why you gon’ call it “No Limit”?” I said, “Because I don’t have no limit to what I could do.”

Don’t Wish Me Well

Written by Solange Knowles

Don’t Wish Me Well is definitely one of my favorites! Solange truly outdid herself with the lyricism and production.

Interlude: Pedestals featuring Master P

Written by Percy Miller

But man, I done been through it all, so I, I said, “I wanna tell my story.” ‘Cause I never cried or nothing, and that’s where the “Make ’em say uhh uhh,” that’s like my pain. That’s basically what it is. That’s my battle cry. Think about it. None of us are perfect. We live in an imperfect world.

You know, only God can judge me, that’s how I look at it. The people that’s sitting around pointing their fingers, imagine all the stuff they’re probably doing. Whether you’re police officers, doctors, lawyers, presidents, whatever, you got good and bad in everything. You know, we’re putting people on a pedestal that’s just a human like us.

You know, I mean, they got more drugs in the rich neighborhoods than they got in the hood. A lot of their kids dying from overdose and things like that, think about it. Black kids have to figure it out! We don’t have rehabs to go to. You gotta rehab yourself. But for us, you can’t pull the plug on us and now tell us it’s over. Not me!

Scales featuring Kelela

Written by Solange Knowles

A mellow duet from Solange & Kelela, Scales closes out the album and is one of the album’s most purest gems.

Closing: The Chosen Ones featuring Master P

Written by Percy Miller

That’s what make my life complete, knowing that it’s a higher being, a higher power, knowing that these people done paved they way. You know, our great-great-grandfathers and grandmothers that came here, they found some kind of way to make the rhythm.

You know, and they kept rhythm, no matter what. Now, we come here as slaves, be we going out as royalty, and able to show that we are truly the chosen ones.

Solange Knowles is truly an artist for the people, and I am glad that she released this album during the time that she did. A Seat at the Table turns 5 this year, and everything is still relevant to this very day. Everything about this album is perfection. From the interludes from Master P, Mathew Knowles & Tina Knowles Larson to the production, A Seat at The Table is the perfect album to describe what it is like for Black people in the 21st century. Perfection at its finest. -MJ.

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