Photo by Philip Cosores
Mavis Staples’ forthcoming record, If All I Was Was Black, was written and produced entirely by her new favorite coworker, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy. The collaboration has allowed Tweedy to write about the current political discourse in the country from a perspective he might not otherwise have been able to, as heard on the title track. On the album’s latest single, “Little Bit”, he and Staples take a long hard look at racially charged police violence.
“Little Bit” builds its groove on funky bass and guitar lines, a smoky drum beat tapping along underneath it all. Consider it a soul dirge, as Mavis sings of the unfair treatment black people receive at the hands of those charged to serve and protect. “Poor kid, they caught him/ Without his license/ That ain’t why they shot him/ They say he was fighting,” she sings on one verse. “So, that’s what we’re told/ But we all know/ That ain’t how the story goes.”
Take a listen below.
If All I Was Was Black is due out November 17th via Anti-.
Mavis Staples shares Jeff Tweedy-penned track “Little Bit”: Stream